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Google defines 'capricious' in 2 ways:

adjective:

  • Given to sudden and unaccountable changes of mood or behaviour.

"a capricious and often brutal administration"

synonyms:

fickle, inconstant, changeable, variable, unstable, mercurial, volatile, erratic, vacillating, irregular, inconsistent, fitful, arbitrary...

  • Changing according to no discernible rules; unpredictable.

"a capricious climate"

It’s fair to say that everyone can be capricious sometimes, in the ever-changing world that we live in full of endless choices to be made and options to be had – (thanks to the internet) – but when it comes to your business, your main focus should be about creating loyalty between your ‘brand’ and the customers you’ve acquired. Many studies have shown that often an existing customer will grow to be far more valuable for your wallet than one-off or wildly sporadic purchasers.

It is not to say that a customer that might be ‘fickle’ in relation to your brand will be the same with all brands, it’s just that they have not formed that relationship with you for one reason or another.  This customer may have shopped with you only once, and unless you are selling something that is more of a one-off purchase, like a car or a kitchen, then their business is not going to be enough to sustain you.

All customers have to start off as being new somewhere along the line so if your lucky enough to have their data captured, then treat it well. Make sure to work your marketing magic to re-engage them with your brand. Give them no more than 2-3 further communications - possibly via email and/or social - within their first three months of being signed up, (but please consider that this will be dependent on what products you are selling / they are buying and the rate of replenishment).

Always try to get customers to give feedback on their experiences and purchases, particularly new customers so that you can learn from them.  Those that do feedback, are likely to be more open to giving you another chance… with the right handling. So don’t give up on these potential gems as they are not the capricious ones!

If customers don’t feedback, re-purchase or engage with your communications in some way, then leave them to it! These are capricious characters and based on your size, as a small businesses or start-up business, you won’t see enough of a return on your efforts if you continue to pester them and it can damage your brand image. You don’t want to be seen as ‘spammy’ – so concentrate your efforts on your new, engaged or existing and more loyal customers.

It is important to note that this capricious customer is different to your previously loyal, but recently more dormant customers. They are not yet lost – they may just need a refreshed marketing approach to re-engage them, so analyse your data properly!

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