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Rewarding Your Best Customers

We all have specific customers that we love to work with. They are genuinely friendly towards us, they are interesting to talk to and, best of all, they like to buy from us. Your best customers are the ones who are most loyal. They see the value in your products or services and provide you with the opportunity to bid on business when it is available. They willingly speak to prospects who are interested in a reference.  They write testimonial letters. Over the years, your best customers are the ones who have stuck with you through thick and thin, even when things weren’t perfect.

Since not all customers are the same, they shouldn’t be treated the same way.  Your best customers should be treated in a different manner and rewarded accordingly. When dealing with your best customers, think about what you can do to reward them for their loyalty and continued business:

·          Strengthening the Relationship – This is the easiest thing you can do. Seek to continuously strengthen your relationship with your customers. Get to really know them and understand them.  See them not as someone who buys your products or services but as a friend. Take interest in their issue and how you can help them do their job. When you take this approach, you’ll find that you’ll make more qualified recommendations throughout the sales process. The greater care that goes into the recommendation phase of the sales cycle, the better chance you’ll have of continued business.

·          Discounts and other “gimmies” – We never advocate discounting just for the sake of discounting. Discounting should be done logically. If you have a customer who has bought 2000 units of Product X but never seems to buy Product Y, the next time they place an order, send them a coupon for 10% off their first order of Product Y. Or, send them a free case of product. What else can you provide them to entice them to expand their purchases? Can you provide them with priority shipping on certain items, just as a way to show them they are a preferred customer and not just one of thousands?

·          Build a System to Reward Top Customers – Some companies have installed special services available only to their best customers.  For example, a software company may set up a special toll-free support number for their top 10 accounts in order to provide expedited customer support.  The value lies in not only making your biggest customers happy but making sure they know what you are doing to treat them in a special way.

·          Host a Special Event – Some companies host golf getaways, complimentary training sessions that coincide with fun activities or other special trips for their clients. These are great ways to schmooze customers while promoting your firm. 

What can you do to reward your top customers?  You can ignore our four suggestions but what matters is coming up with your own.  What can you do to let them know they are different from other clients and deserve special attention? 

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