Client Favouritism – Is It a Bad Thing?

CustomersLet’s be honest, we all have our favourite clients. I know I do. More often than not, our favourite clients are also some of our best clients. These are typically the clients with whom we have great partnerships and an understanding that together, we’re responsible for success. The question is do we, or should we, treat all clients equally?

How we differentiate clients

For some, client favouritism is already built into many of our business models. It’s common practice to tier clients based on the amount of revenue they generate. We routinely see companies offering different levels of service typically called Gold, Silver or Bronze, similar in idea to consumer credit cards. The clients that spend the most have Gold cards, then Silver level, and then Bronze for “basic level”. Does this differentiation set us up to treat our clients differently instead of focussing on delivering great customer service to all of our clients? Is client favouritism itself two-tiered – clients we like and clients who generate the most revenue? How are we treating clients that don’t generate the most revenue but are still solid performers?

Can client favouritism be a bad thing?

Client favouritism is not a good or a bad thing. It’s perfectly fine to dedicate more time to the clients you have great working relationships with; the ones that are profitable, appreciate your work and do what they say they’ll do. But if you’re only focussed on your highest revenue generators and let others fall by the wayside, you may be alienating some good clients. Not all of your clients are going to be rock stars in the revenue department. However, I do suggest that you nurture solid, steady, long-term clients that deliver consistent revenue, in addition to the few rock stars. These steady clients speak about your service to others, and can be a good source of referrals, so maintaining a relationship with your clients, where each feels like they are the “only” client, is the ideal.

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One Comment on “Client Favouritism – Is It a Bad Thing?”

  1. mlspensieri says:

    I agree completely with this post. It is very important to place higher focus on clients/businesses who generate the most revenue in your portfolio, but I really appreciate you mentioning that they can’t be the SOLE focus. I work in the non-profit sector, but the idea is the same. Some companies can’t donate as much because they are smaller in size, or don’t have as many resources at their disposal. I don’t think you should prioritize every company like this, but it is important to pinpoint those who are dedicated to the cause and steadfast in their commitment to you. Fostering your relationship with these folks will keep them coming back and supporting you year after year!


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