Seating Customers At The Holiday Table

Holiday time often means pressure to include those that, during the year, you prefer to exclude. (Yes, I am nodding towards a few “frenemies” and perhaps an in-law or two.)

Like spinning the family roulette wheel, you don’t always get to choose who you break bread with once a year nor do you always get to choose your customers. So how do you deal with the customers in your database you prefer not to sit with?

Don’t suffer alone! 

Stop playing musical black sheep with unwanted customers and, instead, treat them like you would any annoying holiday guests; sit them at a table amongst their own!

Sure, it’s the big holiday dinner party and you already know: 

… that Uncle Jack is allergic peanuts, 

… but Aunt Martha doesn’t eat meat, 

… and oh yeah, Cousin Kimberly just un-friended you on Facebook because she thinks you made fun of her prized poodle that one time,

… and for god’s sake, keep your Dad away from the tequila, 

… and Cousin Brian away from any dairy because he gets gassy.

Whew! Segmentation at the holiday dinner table can make you crazy.

Segmentation of customers can likewise make you nuts, but if you deploy a little careful seating assignment charting, you can probably group those customers away from the “normal” people and enjoy the time!

While you likely want to export all of the undesirable customers off with your Cousin Kimberly to Siberia somewhere, you may be forced to place them at a table near you. Take a careful look at your most valuable customers and rank them accordingly, giving them a great “table” to be at full of opportunity and value and a great experience. 

As you go across the valuation table and start looking closely at your customers, you may find that some of them you thought you wanted to punt may actually do a little better and behave themselves if sitting with a table of better customers. Sure, you have some folks you would rather move to the kids table, but maybe if you sat some of your misfit guests with some genuinely fun and interesting people, perhaps it would be a good time for everyone.

Maybe not.

It’s risky to co-mingle the CRM efforts across all customer buckets in the same way it is to give your Dad the whole bottle of tequila. However, with a little careful planning and execution, you may be able to do that exact thing for the short term and see if it changes the outcome.

Sending an exclusive discount email for our “most valuable customer” to a customer who clearly is not your most valuable may actually reap some rewards. Perhaps they convert and behave themselves without lopping on the extra discount codes and problems with returns. 

And, while you run the risk of your Dad picking a fight with the inflatable Santa in the front yard in full view of the neighbors, chances are he may just stop at one drink and behave.

Mixing and mingling amongst your customer types may save you some time and grief from having to shepherd so many different groups and needs. However, if you apply the same careful puzzle logic to how you seat your guests at your holiday party, you may actually come up with some winning combinations.

Of course, the fun will be deciding who gets the fruitcake you save for only those “special” guests!

Tags: crm
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