Know Thy Customer

Business customization isn’t just for the big sales guys. The more you personalize your customer’s experience, the better.

Carving market niches in not a new sales approach. Personalizing a buying experience is not new. (Think marketing automation and Amazon.com.) I love that Amazon knows what I’ve purchased and makes suggestions. Sometimes it’s overwhelming and a little like “big brother,” but I feel as if Amazon knows me. I know they really don’t know me, but they know my buying patterns.

Grocery stores are a more recent entry into the “knowing you” marketplace.  Grocery stores have long provided demographic-based coupons, deals, and promotions. But now Safeway (one of the large grocery chains where I live) has started a program with special, personalized pricing called “Just for U.” I have a Safeway card and enter my number every time I make a purchase.

Beyond tracking my purchases and providing competitive-brand coupons, the grocery giant is now reaching out to me with Just for U—and it does feel like it’s “just for me.”

(Personalize your prospects’ and clients’ experience: address what matters to them. Read, “How to Get People to Open and Act on Your Emails”.)

Focus on Your Existing Customer

The focus is on existing customers. Steve Burd, Safeway CEO, was quoted in a recent issue of the San Francisco Business Times:

“We’re finding that our more loyal customers are bigger users of Just for U than our less loyal, occasional shoppers. The two markets that we have Just for U, in a non-advertised, non-promotional fashion, are the two markets where we’ve gained the most market share.” (Referring to Chicago and Northern California—which also includes Hawaii.)

I wondered why I received a valuable coupon in the mail—one I had never seen before. It was printed on a large fold-over card and entitled me to $20 off a purchase of their quality meats. That’s a reward I paid attention to. I used it, and I bought a lot more when I was there. Workers in the store were curious how I received such a great offer. It came in the mail, I said. And I don’t buy that much. We’re empty nesters, but I buy regularly.

Go Beyond the Expected: Comment Here

Reward your existing clients. What are you doing for your loyal customers? Comment here.


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