One of the key strategies we discuss in coaching is the importance of customer loyalty strategies, particularly in relation to customer’s levels of loyalty in driving repeat business.
When you have a database of existing customers you have a key opportunity to improve the bottom line of your business.
How? By keeping in touch with them via your marketing communications. This doesn’t mean constant sales messages and discount offers, but to keep them included and informed of your business, the opportunities, developments and any exclusive offers. People will buy from people and if your customers feel they have more of a connection with you, they are likely to repeat buy and even better – tell a friend. What we don’t want is them to feel that that they are only contacted once a year when you need something from them – eg. a sale.
Why? The reason you need to do this is to move your customers up the loyalty ladder. Statistically, 9 out of 10 first sales are made a a loss. This can be due to the time invested in nurturing the customer to get them over the line. So once we have done that – do we want them to stay there? Or do we want them to repeat buy, recommend and be a raving fan? Of course we do!
Here’s the levels of loyalty ladder and the stages we need to move a customer through the stages.
Starting at the bottom with the SUSPECT, these are your potential customers who fit within your target market and are willing to buy. If they take action in response to your marketing, such as a request for more information, a phone call or email, they move to becoming a PROSPECT. From this stage you will have collected their contact details so that you can stay in touch and keep them updated with information, It is from here that you begin your relationship building.
Once a prospect has purchased from you, they become a SHOPPER. You should have a record of the transaction amount and where they found you (remember you need to be measuring this information so you can test and measure your marketing) Once a customer purchases again, they become a CUSTOMER.
A MEMBER is a customer who has purchased more than twice and who feels like they belong to what your company is offering. This is where you need to start showcasing other products and services via your marketing communications such as brochures, catalogues and providing extra value such as downloads.
An ADVOCATE is someone who will tell others about you. They will provide referrals and promote your products and services – all whilst still purchasing.
At the top of the ladder is a RAVING FAN, and these are your biggest friends. Very much like an advocate, they will be doing your selling for you, but it will be on a regular basis – they are almost part of your team / sales team.
So how do you move your customers through the levels of loyalty to ensure you are nurturing suspects to be raving fans? Here’s some key points to consider in your customer loyalty strategies:
- Focus on customer service. It is not enough to aim for customer satisfaction – aim for customer delight. Every. Single. Time.
- Be consistent in your delivery, your marketing and your customer service; you don’t want your customers thinking they’ve experienced a ‘one-off’.
- Review your customer purchasing systems to ensure that you are making it as easy as possible for them to buy. From the sales process of contacting through to the exchange of money and delivery of service. Make sure it is easy.
- Include a ‘wow’ within their cycle and make sure it is relevant to who they are as an audience. Show that you know who they are, what makes them tick and give them something that your competitors won’t. If your customers are delighted, it is easy for them to be an advocate and raving fan.
If you would like to hear more customer loyalty strategies and how to move them up the ladder get in touch with Luke today.