Frederick Reichheld, creator of the Net Promoter Score points out in his book The Loyalty Effect that a 5% increase in customer retention can increase a company’s profits by up to 100%. Hence the importance of achieving proper customer portfolio management that can translate into higher loyalty rates.

Today, retention and loyalty are the main objectives of any customer acquisition strategy, beyond the mere attraction of them. Since attracting a new consumer is five times more expensive than keeping an old one (Invesp).

3 steps to optimize client portfolio management

The customer management process must be planned in advance and developed on a daily basis. Allowing for improvisation or inattention can lead to mishandling of consumer data as well as poor deployment of strategies. This would be reflected in significant economic losses and damage to the brand’s reputation.

Therefore, managers need to be methodical, detailed, analytical and consistent if they want to extract the maximum benefit from consumers throughout their life cycles.

In this sense, the three steps to follow to optimize client portfolio management are:

  • Classify customers based on key parameters
  • Leverage CRM data
  • Design marketing and sales strategies

1. Classify customers according to key parameters

The ideal customer classification goes beyond standard demographic targeting. This fulfills the function of facilitating an in-depth analysis of the different consumer groups. This allows designing more accurate strategies, drawing up a more concrete action plan and optimizing expenses by reducing those that do not have an impact on the growth of the company.

Depending on the nature, objectives and needs of each business, the key parameters to consider when classifying customers can vary. However, the most conventional classifications for client portfolio management are:

a) Classification according to the status of the clients

This classification has to do with the level of connection between consumers and the company.

  • Current clients: these are the clients who, recurrently, buy the products or contract the services of the company.
  • Active customers: they are similar to current customers, with the difference that the last transaction had to occur within a specific period of time. As it can be in the last quarter, semester, year, and so on. Defining the time period depends on the interests of the company, its KPIs or the product / service itself.
  • Inactive customers: are those whose last transaction was made outside of a specific period of time. The parameters to define this period are the same as those taken into account for the period of active clients. Before approaching inactive consumers, it is necessary to investigate why they stopped engaging with the company.
  • Potential clients: they are those who have never made a purchase or contract, but who have two characteristics: 1) they have shown interest in doing so and 2) they have the financial capacity to do so. This group is vitally important because it is very close to becoming a new source of income.
  • Probable customers: these have never made a transaction or have shown interest in doing so. However, thanks to the analysis of their profiles, the company considers that it may be able to convert them into clients in the future.

b) Classification according to sales volume

This classification is obtained when the volume of sales is evaluated and the origin of the different volumes is determined.

  • Very tall customers: they are the company’s biggest buying force. In other words, their purchase rates are well above the average. The number of these types of clients is usually small. However, this classification allows to better know the biggest buyers and thus design specific strategies to attract more of them.
  • High customers: are those that produce high sales volumes, but not as high as the previous category.
  • Average customers: their purchase levels are average, so they are the ones who keep sales volumes at their stable levels.
  • Low customers: these are customers whose purchase levels are well below the average.

c) Classification according to frequency of purchase

This classification is related to the time intervals between purchases by customers.

Frequent customers: are those customers who do not wait long between each of their purchases. This makes them the most profitable for the company, so it must design strategies to maintain the level of satisfaction of these consumers at its highest level.   

  • Regular customers: their buying level has a slower pace. Perhaps it is a steady pace, but not fast enough to generate the best profits for the company.
  • Occasional customers : occasional customers are those whose purchases are sporadic, very occasional and distant from each other.

2. Leverage CRM data

A CRM system is key to optimizing customer portfolio management. To get the most out of this software, the company must centralize in it all the information of each client managed by its different departments, both online and offline.

That is, the purchase history, call records, email messages, information collected by chatbots , among others, are data that must be unified in a single customer profile within the CRM.

In this way, the entire organization can access, in real time, the same information about each client and thus know how the interactions between them and the different departments have been.

Once this information is collected and unified, it must be analyzed in order to segment customers according to specific company objectives. In this sense, the CRM data allows segmentation based on:

  • Profitability goals per customer.
  • Assortment of products according to profitability.
  • Product, service or store formats preference.
  • Launch of new products, services or stores.
  • Resizing the business and its offers.
  • Frequency of communications between company-client.
  • Automatic product recommendations.

3. Design Marketing and Sales strategies

After carrying out the different classifications and segmentations of consumers, the company must design a series of marketing and commercial strategies to optimize its client portfolio management.

This strategy design should be particularly easy to carry out since in the previous two steps we will have extracted the necessary conclusions and insights through a centralized, clear, detailed and revealing source of customer data.

Therefore, the task now will only be to plan how to approach our customers to optimize their satisfaction and promote greater purchasing potential. We will achieve this through the following actions:

  • Create custom messages for each profile
  • Communications with customers through their favorite channels
  • Launch of campaigns and promotions that adapt to your needs and wishes
  • Deploy cross-selling or up-selling techniques according to their chances of success.
  • Provide emotional and high impact experiences according to the profile of the clients.
  • Design loyalty programs with a focus on consumer satisfaction and experience.

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