“I Just Called To Say I Love You”: Why Brands Must Make VIPs Feel Special

Matthew Kelleher | Chief Commercial Officer
An honest question: are you confident that your VIPs know they’re valued? More than that, do they event know that they’re VIPs? 

We find that in many cases VIP stands as much for ‘Very Internal Perspective’ than it does for ‘Very Important Person’, with the label given to customers after certain thresholds of Recency, Frequency and Monetary Values (RFM) have been met. But the status they’ve had bestowed upon them is quite often never actually communicated to the customers themselves. Which seems a bit odd.

It essentially means your VIP programme isn’t being used to best effect – if the VIPs aren’t treated any differently, they just carry on engaging with your brand as normal. This means that while they probably won’t feel any more negative about your brand, the dial’s not moving towards them feeling more positive about you either. That’s why understanding how to show your VIP customers that they are important to you is paramount.

This is where we bring in a bit of logic from the King of schmoozing – Stevie Wonder. As the great man said, “I just called to say I love you” (yeah, not exactly my favourite either…) and while taking that literally might get your sales team arrested, the sentiment is the same. There’s no game-playing with Stevie, he’s not being coy – if you put yourself out there with your marketing and let your customers know they are treasured, they’ll be more likely to have warm and fuzzy feelings towards your brand. Recognition is the first stage to loyalty…

There are many ways to do this, from surprise and delight extras with their orders right through to early access sales or VIP-only events. And, as I’ve said before, not every VIP should be blanket marketed to in the same way. Individualisation based on customer lifetime value is a great way to create the right incentives. They retain your most valuable customers, and as word gets out about how well you treat your nearest and dearest, it also makes becoming a VIP to your brand aspirational for potential new customers.

So, if you properly plan and communicate your VIP marketing programme, and ensure your most valuable customers know how much they mean to you, soon enough you’ll have customers queuing up singing “signed, sealed, delivered, I’m yours!” (metaphorically, of course!)
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