How to Hook and Keep Gold Customers
Keep Them Shopping
Once you’ve gleaned the gold customers from your database, the next task is to keep them buying. Looking beyond the usual tactics of offering terrific customer service, valuable offers (e.g., free shipping) and deals (e.g., percentage discounts), here are some other tactics to try.
* Loyalty clubs and programs can work well, says Grant, but they have to be managed correctly. Otherwise they become resource drainers. And if their contribution to your bottom line turns out to be negative, it’s often difficult to stop loyalty programs without incurring customer displeasure, he continues.
* New merchandise will keep customers interested. Ideally, says Grant, you’ll want to add products and categories that add depth and breadth to your assortment. “One good place to start is by looking at which companies are renting your list and what those companies sell,” he notes. “That might offer a clue as to products that are complementary to yours. Similarly, try looking at the rental lists you’ve tested in which the response was good. Perhaps those people buy merchandise you don’t currently sell but could.”
* Employ a contact strategy that targets customers based on their true consumption rate of merchandise in your category. Merchants using the ClearEDGE database, for example, can see what their customers are buying from other merchants, including competitors. Krause offers an example: Say you sell baby products, and you have a one-time buyer who bought from you. Is she a gift-buyer or a new mom?
“Most marketers live with tunnel vision,” says Krause. “They see only what customers spend with them. They don’t see what those individuals are spending with competitors. With our alliance data we can see the spend of 90 million households shopping in 89 product categories. With that kind of data, you can see that someone with a low RFM score with you may be a big spender somewhere else.”