Last week, I revealed the easiest way to increase customer lifetime value is to reduce your lost customers by showing more appreciation.  One reader even commented that he lost 70% of his customers last year due to poor communication!  I know he’s not alone either.

If you’re in the same boat, then it’s time to create a “customer appreciation” marketing campaign.  In the US, there’s really no better time of the year than right now, as we approach Thanksgiving in November.  So let’s talk about how to launch this campaign in the next 30 days.


Step 1. Segment Your Customers

The first step is to segment your customers by value so you can determine how much you will invest to retain them.  Clearly, the customers that generate more value for your business deserve more time and attention.  Do you know who they are?  I’m sure a few pop into your head immediately, but if you have a decent number of customers, then it’s going to take a little time to sort through them all.

As you comb through your customer list, grade each one on a scale of A, B, and maybe even C.  Again, we’re grading on value, which is not always directly related to revenue.   Here are some things to keep in mind as you segment:

  • Total revenue within the last year including all purchases and upgrades
  • Total referrals. Note that you may be getting referrals from partners and prospects who have never purchased from you.  If this is the case, then you can’t just look at your customer database.
  • Total cost of fulfillment including customer service within the last year.  Let’s face it, a few of your customers are probably a real pain in the butt, and they are costing you more than their fair share of customer service.  Factor this in to make sure you don’t reinforce bad behavior.
  • Last but not least is likeability.  Just like some customers cause you pain, others you truly enjoy working with regardless of their profitability.  We’re all in business to make money, and we might as well have fun while we’re at it.  :)


Step 2. Pick Appropriate Gifts for Each Segment

The final step after you have segmented by value, is to determine the appropriate gifts.  Don’t worry if you’re strapped for cash.  Your gifts do not have to be expensive.  In fact, you could run a customer appreciation campaign without spending a penny.

Here are 3 ideas if you’re short on cash:

  • Send a coupon for one of your products or services
  • Offer a free phone call or in-person consultation
  • Schedule a seminar or webinar where you’ll provide free advice


At the very least, I recommend a phone call to say “thank you,” along with a physical card (not just an email that can get lost in the junk folder).    Take a minute right now to set a date on your calendar for early November, and then complete the 2 steps above.  This might be the most important thing you do all day.


Webinar: “How to Keep Customers for Life!”

Want more customer retention tips?

Register for our webinar with Zendesk on Thursday, October 17th.

You’ll discover:

  • Why keeping your customers is way more profitable than getting new customers
  • Costly customer service mistakes most small businesses make (and how to fix them)
  • 5 simple tips to turn customer service from a cost center into a PROFIT center
  • How Twitter and Facebook have changed customer service forever – and what to do about it

Click here to register for the webinar