Skip to main content

What do you do for your best customers?

The Pareto principle – also known as the 80-20 rule – contends that “80 percent of the effects come from 20 percent of the causes.” If you subscribe to the Italian economist’s observation, and most of the business world does, than today’s application is simple: “80 percent of your profits come from 20 percent of your customers.” Gotta love that 20 percent!

It may not be exactly 80-20 in any dealership, of course, but the principle has proven essentially true in so many instances it is a solid basis to look at things like - who are your best customers? All customers are good – it’s just that some customers are better than others!

Many dealers may not currently track customer total spending but it’s not difficult (an excel spreadsheet or a customer management program can do it) and although it might take some extra effort to initially set up, it’s well worth it. That’s because upon identifying this special group, it’s now possible to recognize who should be the highest priority and keep them happy.

Oh, I know – right now you’re thinking “all my customers are the highest priority!” Yes, but this 20 percent are rightfully the top-of-the-heap priority. They should get No. 1 status, you should know their names, their kid’s names – they deserve your regular personal touch and your extra attention. Don’t assume because they’re loyal now they will always be. Treating them like the No. 1’s they are will go a long way.

Moreover, if any customers deserve to be recognized with such things as special customer loyalty rewards, this group does. Popularly called frequent shopper or rewards programs, well though-out loyalty programs motivate customers to keep coming back because they like doing business with you as well as being recognized with rewards.

According to researchers at the University of Pennsylvania and University of Southern California, people respond to being recognized for their loyalty. Moreover, the reward most popular with customers is a percentage discount on future purchases of items selected by the customer. Other popular rewards include discounts on items selected by the retailer and a free gift when a certain number or dollar value of purchases has been reached.

According to Dr. Bruce D. Sanders, a consulting psychologist at RIMtailing in Vacaville, Calif., retailers often overlook a significant selling point with the customer – his sense of prestige that he receives from the reward. It’s all about recognition. And, that makes it all the more important to develop a good program aimed very specifically at the top 20 percent - separate from any general customer rewards plan - making certain they recognize their program is exclusive and not for every other customer.

Customers come and go in the course of business. However, the extra effort to retain the all-important top 20 percent will always make the loss of some others a lot less significant.



FAF Brings New Anglers into the Fold

The nonprofit organization will leverage Giving Tuesday on Nov. 29 to raise funds for its grassroots fishing and boating participation efforts.


Naos Yachts Plans New Offices

The San Francisco Bay area location will expand the dealer’s midcoast footprint and help grow its Groupe Beneteau, Lagoon, Neel, CNB Yachts, Four Winns and Wellcraft brands.


Trade Only Today Returns Monday

The e-newsletter will not publish Thursday, Nov. 24, and Friday, Nov. 25, in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday.


Correct Craft Gives Back

Employees spent a day serving at the Florida United Methodist Children’s Home, impacting more than 500 kids in need.


GH Motion Launches All-Electric Lift

The GH70e mobile boat lift is powered by a modular solar/battery system and has a 65-ton capacity.


Dealers: Are You in Compliance?

A new FTC Safeguards Rule designed to protect consumers’ personal information goes into effect Dec. 9 — are you prepared?


NMMA Canada President Steps Down

NMMA Canada president Sara Anghel is leaving the recreational boating trade group after nearly 15 years of service.


Ohio Ordered To Get Serious About Algae

Many are applauding a judge’s proposed consent decree that will serve as a roadmap to address western Lake Erie’s chronic algal blooms.