How Valuable Is One Itty Bitty Customer?





How valuable is one single customer? I’m not talking about the big spending ones we all dream of, but the pain in the ass individual who seemingly takes advantage.

The guy who’s always there buying the cheapest product

The girl who always has a question

The demanding couple that never stop asking for more

How valuable are they? Are they worth all the trouble or should you kick them to the curb? I’m going to take the form of a small coffee shop and consider what the value of one, pain in the ass customer could be.


That One Annoying Guy

The guy is annoying. He comes fives times a week, hogs a table with his laptop, stays for 4 hours, and always buys two cups of coffee (£2 each).

Is he a good customer to have or a bad one? Let’s look, shall we:

  • Worth £4 each visit
  • Visits 5 times each week
  • That’s 260 times a year
  • Or…520 cups of coffee
  • Aka £1,040 each year

OMG, that annoying guy spends over £1,000 a year on coffee. Is he crazy?

This doesn’t take into account the occasional side purchase (sandwich, muffin, etc). Even the most stringent individual person will sway from time to time. Let’s say he spends a further £30 each month on other products.

That’s an extra £360


The Value Of Loyalty

Putting the pounds and pence to one side for a moment, let’s think about the endorsement value of this guy. He is loyal, that much is clear. Therefore it’s safe to assume that he brings friends and clients to your coffee shop from time to time.

What’s that worth? And extra £100 a year…£500…£1,500????

And that’s his value right now. What about in three years time when he has a family?

That £1,000 a year could transform to £1,500, or £2,000 annually.

Hopefully by now you start to see a picture form. This single customer is a pain in the ass. He turns up all the time, orders cheap products, and hogs up space and time. But over the span of 10 years he could have a value of over £30,000.


But Is It Worth It?

You might be thinking this guy is the best customer in the world. But is he really worth it?

His value might be high, but how much does he demand from you?

  • Does he plug his laptop in every day for four hours?
  • Does he hog your wifi?
  • Does he take up table space so others have to leave?
  • Is he rude?
  • Is he always talking loudly on his phone?

Sometimes you need to look beyond the money…beyond the loyalty…and beyond the endorsements he offers. The customer is often right, but not always.

But you shouldn’t count that annoying customer out. He might arrive with a full charge on his laptop, never use wifi, take up a table during your quiet hours, and is generally low maintenance.

He might spend a little each time, but is loyal beyond belief. And who knows who he might become. Why…one day he could become the king of Estonia (or maybe not).


Consider Your Customer

The point of this post is to get you thinking. The example here is a coffee shop, but you can translate it into any type of business. Everyone has the type of customer that’s hard work. Sometimes you have to cut them loose!

However, sometimes, just sometimes, that seemingly annoying customer is actually a knight in shining armour. He does spend a lot of money, but he does it over time.

This is why having a set of customer profiles is important. This is why you need to uncover who your customer is. You might be undervaluing your most valuable audience.

Turndog Millionaire – @turndog_million

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