Who is your lifetime customer?

As an online pet food business, you expect animal owners to order from you over and over. Your lifetime customer is the pet owner. They may have multiple animals over their life and you may make them happy again and again with each transaction. It’s easy to understand your lifetime customer. Taking the time to provide great service and special touches for the customer is a high value prospect. While customer service should always be good regardless, some special touches only work financially if you know your lifetime customer and their value. Like sending a cake or gift to them every birthday.

Imagine you run a kitchen remodeling business. The average person remodeling their kitchen does so once every 20-30 years. Most people remodeling their kitchens professionally are over 40 years old. That means that each customer is likely to be a customer only one time. This presents a different lifetime customer scenario than the pet food. Additional touches likely don’t gain repeat business as the same level of the pet food distributor because business happens so far apart, however, there is still a lifetime customer here:

The Community.

Kitchen remodeling businesses tend to be local. At some point, too much distance and the drive time and gas add so many costs that someone closer is much cheaper. That means the business is tied into the community. The community itself is the lifetime customer and as people move in and out your contribution to the community should be known. That is where the special touches should come from:

  • A beautiful planter built with maintenance sponsored in the park.
  • An afternoon school program contributed to in a positive way.
  • Fun activities at festivals for families

There are many different ways to add value to the community that you belong to and this has been used as a marketing tactic before.

The digital world added another layer to this. Businesses who have expected one time buyers online, but are spread out geographically. An example could be a high-end telescope in prices ranges that most fans can only buy one in their lifetime. To address this area your lifetime customer is the astronomy community. Contributing to forums, setting up online events, and being a positive contributor in anyway you can online will make sense for you.

Everyone needs to recognize that special touches are what everyone is looking for, but where those touches are done is dependent on the industry you are in. It’s worth thinking deeper about especially for anyone who is an industry where repeat business is low.