Recently I was working with a client and we were discussing different types of customers – specifically loyal customers – that any business might encounter. I thought it would be interesting to share the list that we came up with. I’ve identified six main types of customers that just about all types of businesses could have – or have already. I included businesses that have loyalty programs because so many of my clients do.
- Customers Who Are Satisfied: A satisfied customer is not a loyal customer. They may appear to be loyal, but they aren’t. I refer to these types of customers as “dangerous customers.” You think they are happy because they are satisfied. While they don’t dislike you, they don’t love you either. These customers may like (not love) your products and services, even without incentives stay with you. They don’t complain. And, they don’t leave – until your competitor offers a better experience or something that appears to be of greater value.
- Customers Who Are Loyal to Your Loyalty Program: Not unlike the satisfied customer, these customers are not really loyal either. These customers are loyal to your loyalty program, but not to your products or services. They appear to be loyal because they come back again and again, but not because they like you. They come back because they love accumulating points or having their card punched. The airlines come to mind. Some customers may stay with an airline just because of the points they’ve accumulated that can be put toward free tickets. Sometimes the perks are even more important than the price.
- Customers Who Enjoy Convenience: There are customers who shop with you simply because you are convenient. It may be because of your location, or that they don’t know about the competition. They may or may not be price sensitive. These customers are ripe to be converted to loyal customers, if you can give them a reason to do so.
- Customers Who Appear to Be Loyal, but Don’t Really Like You: Not all customers like you, but they still continue to do business with you. Maybe it’s easier to stay with you, rather than switch. For example, a customer may not like the bank they go to. But they choose to stay there because it would be a hassle to go to another bank and fill out paperwork, transfer the money and more. Given the chance for an easy exit, they may take it.
- Customers Who Are Loyal to Your Low Prices: If you choose to compete in the low price arena, you will find shoppers who are more loyal to the price than your company. As soon as they find a lower price elsewhere, they leave you. If you advertise that you are the lowest price, you better be the lowest price.
- Customers Who Are Really Loyal: This is the customer who loves your products and services. They would never dream of doing business with anyone else. Price isn’t an issue. And, you don’t need a loyalty program to keep this customer loyal. Most likely, they enjoy the relationship they have with your company and/or the people who work in your company. This is the ultimate loyal customer. This is who you want to be doing business with.
This is the list I came up with. Are there any other types of loyal customers that you can think of?
Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, keynote speaker and New York Times bestselling business author. For more information, contact www.hyken.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken