How would your business look if you kept every customer you ever had coming back? Or at least the ones who were a good fit with you and your business. Would that be a realistic expectation? Let’s assume that it is – how would we do it?
The level of loyalty you have with your customers will depend on the type and strength of relationship you build with them. Imagine for a moment a ladder – I call it the” ladder of loyalty”, and each rung on the ladder represents another kind of relationship with our customer.
At the first rung we don’t even know who they are but we suspect that they might be a good customer so let’s call that rung our “SUSPECTS”. These are people or who we think might be interested in our product or service so we find a way to market to them, or send out our promise to them. If they respond to our marketing by showing some form of interest they become a “PROSPECT” which is the second rung on our ladder. Now we have an opportunity to convert them into a “SHOPPER” by applying our sales process and getting them to make an initial purchase. Now, many would call that a customer, but someone who buys only once may never be back. When someone buys a second time – the likelihood that they will do so again and again increases exponentially. There is a different relationship between someone who pops in once to buy something and never returns. Our job is to get them to buy a second time, which indicates they have ongoing needs and like us enough to return. At that point we can call them a CUSTOMER. A lot of businesses stop there but it is only when the fun and excitement starts. Our next opportunity is to strengthen their sense of belonging by turning them into a “MEMBER”. Do this by giving them extra benefits and privileges to make them feel special. As you keep in closer conduct with these special customers some of them will continue to climb higher up your ladder of loyalty to the “ADVOCATE” role. These people will tell others about you and spread our “word of mouth” advertising to others who would surely benefit from your product or services. Where could we possibly go from there you ask! Well, not everyone will go right to the top of your ladder – but some will. These are you “RAVING FANS” and they will absolutely do your selling for you. You have given them a fantastic experience, they fit like a glove, and they are your biggest asset.
My clients –design the actions they have to take, and keep taking, to bring people up their ladder and you can too!