I posted a blog on the Inequality of Treating Everyone Equal a few days ago on my misfirebook.com site and awakened this morning to a response posted by an old friend.
An observation a colleague of his shared years ago on differentiation and customer appreciation.
It was that supermarket and grocery chains had it all wrong—opening Express Lanes for shoppers with the fewest number of items in their respective baskets, while their better customers—customers with full baskets—languished in long lines at the checkout counter!
That left me scratching my head, wondering about customer differentiation and the folks who brought their vehicles to us for service, maintenance, and repair. That, and what it meant to appreciate a good customer. The right kind of customer.
We divided that universe into three groups. The first was the motoring public and included anyone and everyone with a passenger car or truck. Anyone in need of service, maintenance, and/or repair.
The second group was Customers. Folks who had made that great leap of faith and trusted us with the care and maintenance of their vehicles. Folks who made a choice and had chosen us.
We identified the third group as Clients, and they were more than just Customers. They were loyal and lifetime customers. Our evangelists and 5-Star reviewers. They came in more often and spent more over time. They were the best example of the right kind of customer and as a result, deserved—and received—more of our energy, effort, and resources as a reward for that loyalty.
If you’re in business, your job is to identify who those individuals are, and once identified, how best to reward them. If you’re not in business, and we’re talking about personal relationships, you have to ask yourself, what—if anything—is different?