How to Help Clients Focus on Their Best Customers

3 tips for businesses to become more customer‑centric.

Danny Phillips, Director of Australian-based agency Arkade.

While the term “customer centricity” has been interpreted in many ways, at its core, it’s the idea that businesses provide customers with an exceptional journey. This, in turn, increases customer loyalty and retention—and catalyzes profitable growth. To Danny Phillips, Director of Australian-based agency Arkade, it also means focusing on your best customers.

“Often, most businesses are surprised to find out that more than half of their revenue comes from as little as 5% of their customers,” Danny says. “You can't make bad customers good. It takes a lot of effort to make average customers great. But you can focus on great customers and say, ‘Let's make sure that you have a great experience.’”

When a business devotes attention to its best customers, not only does it have fewer people to service, it can home in on how to best serve them—and it’s easier to find more people like them.

Here are 3 steps that Danny recommends agencies can take to help their clients become more customer-centric:

1. Track customer preferences

“If you're not creating profiles as well as tracking transactions and interactions, you can't find who your best customers are,” Danny says. To harness that data, Danny recommends defining what info a client wants to collect first—and going beyond just addresses or email. Valuable dates such as birthdays or anniversaries are a good place to start. If a business sells clothing, for example, they can ask about a customer’s style preferences.

The key to collecting this data from engaged customers, however, is making sure the business reciprocates with good, customized service. That can mean using Mailchimp to create segments of their customers, and then sending them targeted Mailchimp automations like welcome emails or monthly updates based on their profile.

2. Optimize data collection

The secret is to rejigger how clients collect data at all touchpoints. Because no one wants to feel like a statistic in a database, Danny recommends reframing the language in terms of benefiting the customer. Instead of saying, “Can I have your phone number?”, for example, a sales associate can say something like, “Let me make sure I put that on your account so you don't need to keep receipts.” Many point-of-sale systems have convenience benefits like this one that make customers feel like a business is going the extra mile.

“It's our brand in your pocket, not your data in my database,” Danny says. If your clients worry that’s asking too much of customers, consider this: Danny points out that if they know their VIPs, they don’t have to bug them with advertising. Instead, they can speak to them directly.

3. Find problems to solve
"Customer experience is using the business to solve customer problems."

Instead of shoehorning features into your clients’ marketing strategy, try identifying issues that actually need solutions. While a landing page may seem enticing, for example, it may not be what a client’s customers need. “Customer experience is using the business to solve customer problems, rather than using customers to solve their business problems,” Danny says. “That's why smaller businesses have an advantage, because it's usually 1 person wearing 4 different hats and can think more broadly about how they can help their customer.”

Then you can stitch together the tech, marketing, and overall retail experience to help your clients create a unique customer journey. “Solve that job as quickly as possible in the most delightful way possible, because that's what they will talk about,” Danny says. That, in turn, should send more good customers your way. “Just do the retailer's job of identifying what your customers need you to do, and then very quickly you'll find the feature in Mailchimp that supports a part of that.”