The business economist Erich Gutenberg first introduced the division into regular and regular customers in German specialist literature in 1964 ; for him, all customers are regular customers as long as there is no mobility of demand . He was of the opinion that regular customers can be bound to the company through product design , advertising and sales organization .
Companies also rank their customers based on how often they close a deal with a particular customer. Providers can also increase their sales and ultimately their profits by taking customer loyalty measures to ensure that customers become regular customers. Suppliers with only walk-in customers show greater fluctuations in sales than companies with predominantly regular customers. Regular customers secure future sales development and form the backbone of every company. These customers usually remain loyal to the company even in times of crisis and do not switch to the competition without good reason . In the catering and hotel trade in particular , they are called regular guests, in Internet jargon they are called regular .
A consumer is already a regular customer when he purchases a monthly magazine from the same dealer. Therefore, all subscription customers are regular customers, as well as customers from other long-term obligations ( rent , loan , leasing , lease , credit agreement or beer delivery agreement ). It is not necessary that the regularity can be determined according to the calendar, but the frequency of purchases (purchase frequency) plays a role. In retail , someone is considered a regular customer if they have bought from the same provider for 3 years in a row. According to the Federal Court of Justice (BGH) in connection with the calculation of the compensation claim for petrol station tenants, regular customers are people who have refueled at the petrol station at least four times a year. But it does not matter that you fill up once a quarter. The BGH regards those customers who have or are likely to have more than one deal with the entrepreneur in a foreseeable period of time, in which repeat orders are usually to be expected, to be regular customers in the commercial agent according to HGB . If the turnover share of a regular customer is 100%, it is a monopoly of demand .
To determine the importance of regular customers for a company which is initially business code of Kundendurchdringungsrate ( English rate customer penetration , share of wallet ) evaluate. It shows how strong the supplier's position is with a customer and to what extent there are still potential needs and / or needs that have been skimmed off by competitors:
If the customer penetration rate is very low, there is still market potential for the provider that can be used to acquire potential regular customers. The regulars ratio indicates the proportion of repeat customers in total sales again, the regulars ratio ( english regular customers rate ) is calculated as follows:
Regular customers should generate more than 50% of a company's sales so that a certain sales stability can be achieved. Occasional customers, on the other hand, ensure higher sales volatility through their random purchases. Depending on the location, the casual customers make up a more or less large proportion of the total customer base of a retail store.
Regular customers through customer loyalty
Occasional customers can become regular customers with professional customer care, and regular customers can become casual customers if there is no or insufficient customer loyalty. Regular customers create a lasting business relationship . It can be up to seven times easier (or cheaper) for a vendor to get a regular customer to buy than to acquire a new customer. For a provider, the regular customers identified as key customers ( English key accounts ) are of strategic importance, as they achieve a high percentage of sales from a provider. You will be looked after by a specific key account management team as part of customer management .
There are factual or psychological customer loyalty through which regular customers can be won:
Factual customer loyalty (based on the provider):
- Contracts for long-term obligations contain notice periods or minimum terms, so that an immediate exit from the contract is not possible. Sanctions provide for contractual penalties , rewards take the form of volume discounts or bonus systems (such as Payback ).
- With customer cards or discount cards ( e.g. Bahncard ), regular customers can be more firmly bound to the company or occasional customers become regular customers. Their frequency of visits and their average purchase amounts are higher than those of non-card customers.
- Technology / function : Complementary goods are technically or functionally dependent on each other and can only create benefits together ( DVD and DVD player ). Lock-in effects mean that product or service components can only be obtained from one manufacturer .
- Economy : switching costs through contractual penalties or transaction costs prevent or prevent a change of provider or product.
- Psychological customer loyalty (based on the customer): this includes trust in a provider or in a product, preferences and customer satisfaction can also create regular customers.
Importance of regular customers for the provider
Regular customers guarantee the company permanent and continuous sales . They care about customer satisfaction in order to win and keep regular customers. They also set preferences one such as in branded products , the brand loyalty . Providers of continuing obligations do not consider a customer a regular customer until they have sold him several continuing obligations. For example, multiple magazine subscriptions are to be sold to the subscriber or the borrower must take out multiple loans in order to be classified as a regular customer. In the context of research and development in the pharmaceutical industry , the research objective is primarily to develop an active ingredient for chronic diseases , because patients become regular customers through long-term medication . The aim of gastronomy must be to convert casual customers into regular customers through customer loyalty, for example through a regular table .
Regular customers in individual branches of industry
The aim of marketing is the regular customers who, according to the Pareto principle, make up 20% of the customer base but 80% of the turnover. German mechanical engineering roughly complies with this Pareto principle, because it receives 49% of its orders from regular customers and can generate 72% of its sales with them.
The current account is a factual preference that leads to a regular customer relationship. It is used between companies ( business-to-business , German company-company ) in their role as debtors and creditors ; however, its main application is in banking in the current account . As a result, bank customers usually conduct all or most of their banking transactions with their house bank - the one that runs the current account - and are therefore regular customers. The Pareto principle can therefore also be observed in the banking sector. 75% of bank customers do not change their bank details . Personal (trust in the advisor ), economic ( switching costs ) and spatial preferences (the proximity of the bank branch ) also have an effect here . Bank customers who already pool a large part of their business volume at one institution are more inclined to use other products from the range of services from the same provider. The willingness of a regular customer to change their established credit institution due to more favorable conditions or bank fees decreases the longer the business relationship lasts.
With a share of regular customers of 63.5% and a share of sales of 56.8%, German travel agents are among the branches of industry with the highest proportion of regular customers. When it comes to online shops in Germany, Amazon is the leader with a regular customer share of 59.5%, followed by Zooplus (33.6%) and H&M (23.8%). The number of regular customers in the individual retail segments is very different . While mail order business has a regular customer quota of 80%, it is 63% for discounters , followed by department stores (58%) and specialist markets (49%). In pharmacies , the proportion of loyal customers fell from 56% (2002) to 44% (2008). When it comes to drugstores , dm-drogerie markt leads with 48% ahead of Rossmann (25%). In 2007/2008, the average share of regular customers in supermarket chains was very low ( Aldi 12%, Edeka 9%, Lidl 7%, Kaufland and Rewe each 6%). At the Swiss supermarket chain Migros , however, it is over 50%.
In the long-distance transport of the railway there are various frequent traveler programs such as the BahnCard of Deutsche Bahn AG, the half-price subscription to the SBB that VORTEILScard the ÖBB . With these, a 50 percent discount is usually granted on the purchase of a regular ticket against payment of an annual fee. There are also so-called network cards , which allow unlimited use of the entire network of a railway company within one year. Also offer airlines a variety of frequent flyer programs on. The common frequent flyer program of Lufthansa , Austrian Airlines Group , Swiss and other Central European airlines is Miles & More .
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