A couple of weeks ago, I blogged about an article from Harvard Business Review about analyzing customer data. In this week’s blog we are going to look at the different types of customers.
While consumers do not engage or connect with every brand (for example I have no attachment to any brand of dishwasher detergent), many of them do connect with craft beverage companies, becoming an ambassador for the brand.
According to the HBR article, the various types of customer relationships are governed by their own rules, based on the customers’ expectations. The article lists six different types of customers.
Basic Exchange – This customer wants a good product or service at a fair price, looking for dependability without having to think about it or do too much.
Business Partners – Want to work with the company as a valued and reliable partner working over the long term.
Fling – Expects the company to provide excitement, fuel his or her passion during every interaction and not encourage reflection or rational thinking about purchases.
Best Friends – Looks for intimacy and emotional support. The customer wants a two-way flow of honest communication and expects that the company won’t take advantage of vulnerability.
Buddies – Looks for sustained interaction but doesn’t want a close or emotional relationship. Expects that the company will not make demands or limit freedom to associate with others.
Master-Slave – Wants to intensify feelings or self worth. Demands that the company listen, anticipate every need, satisfy demands and not ask questions.
Can you break your customers into one of these six categories? I believe that many businesses know the customers who are looking to be their best friends. They come in regularly, bring other people with them and present the business as theirs. For example: “This is our winery” rather than “this is a winery we usually go to.”
What about the other categories? Spend some time thinking about how many of your customers slot into the different categories, and start focusing your communication to meet the expectations of different categories of customers.