Here’s a question for you. Which of your customers are your most valuable ones? If you’re not sure, the next question becomes, “How do you identify which of your customers are your most valuable?”
Your most valuable customers are the ones who make up the bulk of your business. Marketing to these customers is much easier because they’re receptive to your message. In the fourth part of our six-part series, we explore best practices for identifying your most valuable customers, so you can make their customer experience even better.
Your Most Valuable Customers: What You Need to Know
So, why do your most valuable customers matter so much, and why is it crucial to identify them? This is a special group of customers. They don’t demand special treatment, they know what they want (and they tell you, in no uncertain terms), and they always pay on time.
It’s much cheaper to keep loyal customers than to go out and find new clients. That’s why it’s essential to make sure that you not only know who they are, but that you tailor your marketing to them so that you can both improve their customer experience today and retain them as customers in the future.
Best Practices for Identifying Your Most Valuable Customers
There are a few best practices to identify your most valuable customers and personalise content for them:
- Ask the right questions about your customers.
- Gain a 360° view of your customers.
- Create customer segments.
- Use the right tools.
Ask the Right Questions about Your Customers
The first step in identifying your most important customers for the purposes of personalisation is to start asking the right questions. Specifically, there are four queries for which you want answers:
- Where is the customer in the journey?
- What do you know about the customer?
- Does this customer’s journey match the path you’ve already mapped? If yes, how closely does it match?
- How close is the customer to purchasing?
These questions matter because they give you much greater insight into what’s really going on with your customers. Maybe the customer journey doesn’t look anything at all like what you think it does, meaning you have to revise your expectations..and your messaging.
Gain a 360° View of Your Customers
To identify your most valuable customers, you need to understand them completely. You must know what actions they’ve taken online, how much they’ve purchased, and what their last purchase was. This knowledge allows you to better customise content to attract clients.
It’s easier than ever before to build a complete profile of your customers; they’re sharing tons of information with you on a daily basis. Every post to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, every click on your website, every comment they leave on a blog… it all tells you something about your customers. That’s information you can use to tailor messaging.
Create Customer Segments
One of the most important steps in identifying your most valuable customers is creating customer segments. You can break customers down into several groups:
- Audience types
- Journey stage
- Product/service categories
It’s helpful to think of this tasty acronym when identifying valuable customers: PIE (Potential, Importance, Ease). Look at the potential to increase visitor engagement through personalisation (as well as what the potential ROI will be by doing so). You can gauge the importance of a segment based on the number of contacts within it. Finally, it should be easy to evaluate whether a customer is part of a particular segment or not.
Use the Right Tools
It becomes much easier to figure out who your most valuable customers are when you have the right tools. Sitecore, the customer experience platform, includes the Experience Database, which indexes contacts and interactions, as well as a segmentation engine, which divides customers into groups. These two components help you determine what your most valuable customers are doing online, and then you can segment them accordingly.
When your customers take action online, you can search for it within Sitecore’s database. This option gives you a greater insight into what your customers are doing. For example, maybe your most valuable customers always like your content on Facebook. Perhaps that group would respond best to Facebook ads.
It’s easier to figure out your most valuable customers when you have the right tools.
The segmentation engine works quickly and accurately to give you the information that you need. Simply type in a query, and the segmentation engine will deliver a list of results that fit those criteria. You don’t need to do any coding or any programming; the segmentation engine does all the work for you, so you just need to review the lists.
Once you know who your most valuable customers are, you can personalise content accordingly. You can also set up rules to automate the process of segmenting customers and tailoring messages. When you feel as though you’ve established more rules than might be manageable, Sitecore has a solution.
Sitecore leverages machine learning to simplify and automate tasks. For example, if you’ve created dozens of rules to segment customers, Sitecore Cortex will group those types of customers into clusters based on their purchasing ability. You can then create rules to customise content based on the attributes common to cluster members. It’s the best of both worlds; you don’t have to spend time figuring out which customer belongs in which group, and which type of content would resonate with that person.
Once you’ve segmented customers into groups or clusters, you can use Sitecore to serve up personalised content to them at the right time, when they’re in the right place, ensuring a fantastic customer experience.
Enlighten: Helping You Implement Sitecore at Your Company
Enlighten is proud to be a Sitecore Gold partner. We’re experts at implementing Sitecore at firms; our clients achieve high ROI and are able to improve the customer experience for their own users. Interested in learning more about how to identify your most valuable customers and elevate the customer experience? Read our User Experience Guidelines white paper!