Even if you have never heard of Pareto’s principle by name, you have probably felt its effects on your retail business: 20 percent of your customer base drives 80 percent of your sales.

These highly engaged customers are your best customers, not only because they spend a lot of money on your items, but because they feel a connection to your brand and products.

If you can leverage this connection by nurturing your relationships with these customers, you can learn more about how your products connect with their needs. You can then maximize their satisfaction by delivering products and services that meet their articulated needs, as well as the needs they did not know they had.

Take these four steps to begin to identify which customers matter the most to your business and engage them to deepen the relationship.

  1. Identify frequent buyers

The average customer has a 27 percent chance of making a second purchase from you, whereas customers who have purchased from you three times in the past have a 54 percent chance of buying another product.

Those customers who are your frequent buyers are the “low hanging fruit” of customer engagement. These customers already love your products and buy often, whether or not you reward them with incentives like early bird discounts, free samples, or other promotions.

Comb through your customer database to find those customers who have bought more than once. These frequent buyers make a great place to start deepening your engagement.

  1. Message and track your repeat customers

If you aren’t already sending discounts to repeat customers, start doing so. Use your CRM software to track your repeat customers’ responses to messages you send. Some percentage of your repeat customers will open your messages, buy using promo codes, or take other actions demonstrating active engagement. Narrow your focus to these highly engaged users.

  1. Personalize the connection

There’s a reason that companies send holiday gifts to clients: It reinforces a personal connection.

  1. Draw on this to personalize relationships with your customers.
  2. Send a handwritten note along with a major purchase.
  3. Offer a special reward or start a loyalty club for frequent buyers.
  4. Create a survey that asks customers how you can meet their needs, or ask them to vote on a new product they want to see.
  5. Invite your most valuable customers to participate in a focus group. This makes communication a two-way street and demonstrates to customers that you are highly receptive to their needs.
  6. Follow-up

When you take these steps, customers will soon start coming to you of their own accord with feedback and requests. Actively follow-up to demonstrate responsiveness, show you care, and keep your best customers engaged.

The more you can identify which customers are your best customers, the more you can sell and the stronger your brand can become. Taking the extra time to nurture your relationships with loyal customers will reward you threefold with more sales to these customers, word of mouth buzz that sends new customers your way, and an increased return on your investment.