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It doesn’t take long to realize that not all clients are created equal. Some clients will be of more value to you over the years because they have confidence in your professionalism and as a result employ a range of services and purchase your retail offerings. At the other end of the spectrum, you’ll have clients who will never value your efforts and constantly complain. Identifying your most valuable clients and investing in them are two of the most important things you can do to boost your bottom line. A common way to to segment customers is called the ABCD method.


The A Group

This group consists of your best customers. They schedule regular visits and increasingly take advantage of a range of your services and retail products for themselves and even for friends and family. They can be counted on to recommend you -- online and through word of mouth -- and refer you to others. You want to keep these clients for life and provide them with incentives such as loyalty programs, discounts or invitations to special events, as well as accommodate their specific needs with professional products they prefer and priority bookings.


The B Group

B Group clients include two types. They can either be up and coming clients who have the potential to move into the A Group or solid clients that book on a regular basis; try additional treatments for special occasions or massage for a particular need and make frequent retail purchases. In some cases, A group clients move into the B group, possibly because of a change in their financial circumstances. In any case, B clients are solid and important to cultivate and invest in, possibly by offering an extra service on the house (a foot rub with a massage) or a discount. The hope is for B clients to move into the A group.


The C Group

C group clients generally are price-sensitive. They are looking for a vendor to fulfil a needed service and are not interested in cultivating a strong relationship with your business. Among C group clients may be those new to massage or skin care treatments, so they may be on the fence. Unless you can determine a C group client has potential to evolve higher, be cost-effective in handling this group.


The D Group

D group clients frequently want the lowest prices and book the least visits. Ironically they can be the most demanding about scheduling appointments – or frequently cancel – and they never seem satisfied with the service. The worst of them can harm your team’s morale and hurt your reputation. You should let clients like this go and focus your efforts on replacing them with clients who value you.


Prospect for Groups A and B

Once you have a good handle on group A and B clients, direct your marketing messages and efforts to prospect for more of them. You may want to boost social media engagement or expand mobile marketing. Maybe your website needs to be redesigned. Also determine how you want to invest in each of these groups through special incentives.


It may take some time to come up with a targeted prospecting and retention plan but the result will be more loyal clients who will be with you for the long haul.