understand your customer, people before profits


Are you in the habit of educating yourself, but then neglecting to take action? Don’t worry…you’re not alone. This is a habit I observe in many business owners and executives.

But that ends today. Today marks the beginning of a new habit. The habit of learning and taking action BEFORE learning more. 

I want you to promise me one thing…that you’ll read this blog post about understanding your customer and putting people before profits – and then take ACTION. Deal?

Good. Let’s dive in. 

How Customer-Centric Are YOU (Learn)

A few days ago, I wrote a post on LinkedIn and I said, “Your best customers are your most valuable asset.”  This is because your best customers are the key to developing your acquisition strategy, offer development, and retention efforts. 

But before we go any further, pause and answer these questions. 

How Customer-Centric Are YOU (Take Action)

  • Who are your best customers?
  • Why are they your best customers?
  • What do you know about these customers?
  • What are the main challenges or problems they face that your product or service can solve?
  • What do they expect from the brands they support or purchase from?
  • What are their preferences regarding customer service and product/service quality?

Understanding Your Customers: People Before Profits

The exercise above is meant to get you focused on the client information that will begin to give you an advantage against your competitors. Knowing who your best customers are will help you figure out your 80/20 (80% of your future profits will come from 20% of your existing customers) it is important to share that it will also help you create a balance in your business…one in which you find and retain a mix of high-tier and lower-tier customers. 

Here’s why. Too many business owners are focused solely on REVENUE. And when you put profits BEFORE people, you miss out on your full revenue potential. 

But the businesses that create a system for understanding their top, middle, and lowest tier customers, will be able to use cross-selling and upselling, as well as focus their marketing efforts on the customers with a higher Customer Lifetime Value.  

To do this, you must understand your people. Take steps to understand your customers’ thoughts, actions, and buying behaviors so that you can leverage this knowledge to improve your retention and the development of your offers. 

“Understand Your Customer” Examples

Do You Want Fries with That? (Take Action)

The above headline is a classic example of cross-selling. Cross-selling (and upselling) is key to improving your Customer Lifetime Value – the measure of how you can serve your customers over their lifetime. 

Amazon Recommendations

How often do your highest, medium, and lowest-tiered customers purchase from you? You’re likely to see that your best customers buy more frequently or renew with you. Use this information to your advantage. Invest more on cross-selling or marketing to this tier. 

Here’s an example of what I mean. 

You open the Amazon app and search for a blender. You are shown a variety of blenders… you click on the NutriBullet. You’re brought to a new page that gives you pictures of the blender and all of the product details. 

But what do you see just below the picture of the blender…a seemingly innocent headline:“NutriBullet products customers bought together” 

🔥 Bam. An unobtrusive, and useful, recommendation (a.k.a. “Do You Want Fries with That?”). 

Recommendation algorithms have been a game changer for online retailers. 

Enhance Your Results

But, I know what most of you are thinking. What should hybrid or service-based business owners do? 

How about this…

You’re the owner of a digital marketing agency. Your client logs into the client portal to check on the performance of their current SEO campaign. After seeing impressive results, they notice a section on the dashboard titled: “Enhance Your Results.” 

The client clicks on this and is given a simple case study that outlines how a “Pay Per Click” (PPC) advertising campaign, combined with an existing SEO strategy, dramatically increased leads for a similar business. 

Then they’re presented with an invitation to book a complimentary call to see how a PPC campaign can complement their SEO efforts. 

🔥 Bam. An unobtrusive, and very useful, recommendation (a.k.a. “Do You Want Fries with That?”) 

Offer Added Value

Offer additional VALUE to the client and potentially increase their engagement with your services, thereby boosting their customer lifetime value.

Do You Want to Supersize It? 

Now let’s talk about upselling. 

  • Do you want to supersize that?
  • LinkedIn or LinkedIn Premium?
  • Amazon or Amazon Prime?
  • Individual sessions with a personal trainer or a package deal, (Which includes a nutritional plan and additional workout sessions, giving you greater value and the results of a comprehensive approach.)

Customer Lifetime Value

All of these are examples of businesses that offer premium upgrades that certain customers find attractive (High-Tier) and improve the customer centricity and the CLV. 

But beware of the modern consumer. Buyers are educated, more discerning, and they DO NOT want to be treated like a nameless, faceless consumer who you are attempting to squeeze every possible penny from. 

This is why knowing your customers, understanding their preferences, and determining whether they are a high-tier or low-tier customer will help you create the right strategies. 

Some businesses group their customers based on tiers and label them as precious metals. (See figure below)

understand your customer

Doing this will help you plan strategically and focus your efforts.

Is Offense or Defense the Objective in Customer Service?

Are you seeking growth opportunities from a customer (Using cross-selling or upselling to improve CLV) or are you actively protecting what you’ve already gained in acquiring the customer?

In an offensive strategy you are leveraging something like a loyalty program or premium benefits, but in a defensive strategy you are focused on customer service and strategic account management.

The Focused Founder knows that BOTH are necessary for a business to truly thrive.

Take Action to Understand Your Customers and Put People Before Profits

Reflect: Go back to the questions at the beginning of this blog. Have you gained new insights about your customers and your business approach?

Apply: Choose at least one strategy I shared in this blog and implement it in your business. Whether it’s refining your customer-centric approach, enhancing cross-selling tactics, or exploring upselling opportunities, pick an action that aligns with your business goals.

Engage: Share your commitment with someone. It could be a team member, a business partner, or comment below. Declaring your intention increases the likelihood of follow-through.

Remember, knowledge is powerful, but action transforms knowledge into results.

Be the business owner who acts, adapts, and excels.

Your Feedback Matters

Before you dive into action, I’d love to hear from you. What did you find most valuable in this blog post? Is there a topic you want to explore further? Your feedback helps shape the content I share, because my primary goal with this blog is meeting your needs and supporting your success.
If you’re looking for more advanced strategies and support for growing your business in 2024, consider booking a call with me to discuss how I can help you reach your revenue goals. You can find time on my calendar HERE.

Understand Your Customer: The Importance of People Before Profits

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