When you consider who your best customers are, how do you define them?  For most businesses it’s safe to assume that the best customers are the ones with the highest level of engagement.  From referrals to social shares to click-through rates, these shoppers are committed to the brand and are always happy to get involved.

Repeat purchases are a huge part of this.  Customers who return to your store to make another purchase demonstrate a strong commitment to your products, but that’s not the only factor to consider.

Identifying your best customers

Ultimately, your best customers are going to be the most loyal.  As a result, you need to strengthen and build those relationships to encourage that loyalty in the long term.  However, this is incredibly difficult if you don’t know who your best customers are.

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Repeat purchases are the most obvious way to identify your best customers.

Since repeat purchases are the most obvious indicator of a loyal customer, it’s a great place to start when you’re trying to figure out who your best customers are.  Take a look at your customer data and identify those who have the highest purchase frequency, average order value, or customer lifetime value with your store.

Each of these purchase metrics can tell you a lot about how often the average customer returns to your store and how much they’re willing to spend once they’re there.  If a customer’s numbers are high, they’re clearly committed to your brand and enjoy your products -- good indications that they can become some of your best customers and brand advocates over time.

Reward and referral programs are also great tools for identifying your best customers.  Not only do customer referrals help reduce customer acquisition costs, but customers who are referred to your brand by a friend are 4 times more likely to make a purchase.

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The number of successful referrals a customer makes it a strong indicator of how valuable they are to your business.

This conversion rate makes it clear that referrals are a highly beneficial form of marketing.  As a result, any customer who makes a lot of them is super valuable to your business and should be considered part of your best customers group.

Building the best customers

Once you’ve identified who your best customers are, you can begin to intentionally build emotional relationships with them.  These relationships go beyond simply making a purchase and have the power to supercharge the valuable interactions they already have with your brand.

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Your best customers have an emotional relationship with your brand that goes beyond making purchases.

There are a number of ways you can turn a shopper into a loyal customer.  Throughout the buyer’s journey, you have the opportunity to engage with them one-on-one in a number of different ways, including post-purchase emails and social media.  The most effective way, though, is definitely a rewards program.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise.  After all, these programs were designed to incentivize repeat purchases!  This is especially true for VIP programs, which rely on exclusive status and special benefits to encourage genuine relationships between your brand and your best customers.

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VIP programs use gamification to motivate customers to engage with your store more often.

Through a number of psychological factors, VIP programs offer status, foster a sense of achievement, and build a sense of belonging that roots every customer relationship in emotions.  This directly opposes the transactional relationships that are so prevalent in an acquisition-market, helping you to not only identify your best customers but attract the best ones, too!

The best part about a VIP program is that they’re built to tell you who your best customers are.  With better incentives at every tier, VIP programs push your customers to make more purchases and engage with your brand more often, setting them up for long-term engagement that drives all sorts of value to your store.

Best Customers VIP Tag Shopify

You can then see everything is to know about a customer in the same place.  From order history to their VIP status and everything in between, you don’t need to click through a bunch of different applications or windows to tell who your best customers are.  Instead, you can safely and correctly identify any upper tier VIP member as the best your customer base has to offer.

Nurturing your best customers

While knowing who your best customers are is a fantastic step towards improving your business, you can’t stop there!  The relationships you build with them can’t be passive. Instead, you need to continue to engage with your best customers to let them know that you recognize and appreciate their business.

Here are three easy ways you can keep investing in your best customers.

Tailored marketing campaigns

As you most powerful asset, your best customers can significantly alter the course of your business.  If they get disinterested in what your brand has to offer, they might stop referring others to your store which could impact your success dramatically.

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Your best customers want to hear from you, so stay in touch with personalized messages and promotions.

Luckily, you can target them with personalized messages and promotions!  Now that you know who your best customers are, you can easily design campaigns to keep them engaged with your brand.  This includes:

  • Inviting them to special events
  • Reminding them how close they are to their next reward
  • Rewarding them with bonus points (just because!)
  • And much more!

The sky’s the limit when it comes to improving your best customers’ experience.  No matter how you want to show them that they’re special, the key is remembering that the more engaged these customers stay, the better your brand and rewards program will perform.

Restructure your VIP tiers

Maybe you don’t have many “best customers” and your VIP program needs a little boost.  If you find yourself looking at your program and are disappointed with the number of top tier members, it’s the perfect opportunity to critically assess how your VIP program is set up.

Tier structure is incredibly important to the success of your program.  If you only have 3 people in your most exclusive tier but over 1,000 in the middle, the barrier to entry may be too high.  As a result, we’d recommend having 5% of your customers in your top tier, 30% in the middle, and 65% in the bottom. This will motivate your best customers to keep their exclusive status and push your other customers to strive for that top challenge.

VIP tier customer breakdown

In order to make that breakdown possible, it’s a good idea to critically assess what customers need to achieve to reach each level, as well as each tier’s entry rewards and perks.  You want to make sure that everything you’re offering resonates with your target audience and delivers what they want to get out of your VIP experience.

Give them something extra

Everyone likes being recognized for being the best, and your customers are no exception!

Your VIP rewards program gives you a number of different opportunities to reward your members with something special:

  • Free gift on their birthday
  • Sample products
  • Branded swag
  • Bonus points
  • Etc.

The choice is yours!  The key is to recognize your MVPs on a somewhat regular basis to keep the positive associations with your brand high.  These are the types of interactions that will encourage repeat behavior that makes each of your customers the best they can possibly be.