As a Business Coach, I’m constantly asked for tips on how to convert more prospects and one-time customers into fully-fledged brand advocates.
What many business owners don’t realise, however, is that this conversion is not just an automatic process – it takes work, but it’s worth the effort. It involves creating an exceptional customer experience and developing products and services that stimulate repeat business. In addition to this, you also must build a strong customer loyalty ladder.
Your customers are your business’ greatest asset. So, you need to take the time to nurture and guide them up the loyalty ladder to become true fans of your brand.
In this blog, I’m going to outline the basics of the customer loyalty ladder and provide tips on how to help your customers reach the top.
What is the customer loyalty ladder?
As a key relationship marketing concept, the customer loyalty ladder is a framework designed to help business owners understand how engaged their customers are with their brand at any given point in time.
It consists of 7 “rungs”, from suspects to raving fans.
Identifying each of these engagement levels enables you to find a way to increase your customers’ loyalty to your business by putting strategies in place to move them up rungs all the way to the top.
Why is the customer loyalty ladder important for your business?
To put this another way, focusing on keeping your current customers happy and retaining them will help you grow a far more profitable business than spending all your time constantly attracting new leads over and over.
Breaking down the customer loyalty ladder framework
The ladder consists of seven stages, each based on the level of engagement your customer has with your business.
The goal is to get as many to the top as possible, as the higher they climb, the more profitable they become for you.
Let’s break this down.
The people at the bottom of the ladder are those with any potential need for your product yet know nothing about your business. They require the most work to identify, reach and educate about what you do.
These customers pay attention to your brand but are yet to make a purchase. They’re important as an initial growth opportunity for your business and are often responsible for spikes in your sales as they move up the ladder.
These are your first-time buyers. It’s important to provide a great experience for these customers to help nurture the budding relationship and keep them moving up.
Clients are your repeat customers. They’ve made multiple purchases as you’ve provided them with a great experience and met their expectations multiple times.
These customers feel they’re a part of your brand’s ‘tribe’ and have a sense of ownership around your products. You can move customers to this level using techniques such as loyalty programs, subscriptions and membership benefits.
These repeat customers are recommending your products and services all over town. They love your offering and help you through word-of-mouth marketing.
- Raving fans
These are the customers who need no convincing to buy your products over and over again. They are walking, talking sales testimonials for your brand – which is a great asset in the current environment where people tend to trust what other customers have to say over what your brand is saying.
Understanding each of these customer engagement levels can help your business develop a comprehensive plan to effectively move your customers up the ladder.
How to convert your leads into raving fans
Making a sale is not simply about closing the deal and moving on – that’s inefficient and short-sighted. It’s about creating an ongoing opportunity for your business.
Here are three key tips to help you nurture more prospects to become raving fans:
- Establish a customer service policy
This could be a statement or set of instructions that educate your employees on how to resolve an issue. For example, you may develop a policy that advises your team to give unsatisfied customers a 20% discount on their next purchase.
- Maintain your customer service levels
Recognise and reward good customer service to help maintain a high standard within your business. Remember, an employee who feels valued will always provide a better service to your customers.
- Uphold your commitment to your customers
Committing to excellent customer service every day will see your customers move up the ladder and begin to recommend you to their friends, allowing you to stand out amongst the competition.
Do you need help moving your leads up the loyalty ladder?
Without the right expertise, identifying your customer engagement levels can be daunting. Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone.
As a Business Coach and Mentor, I work with business owners like you to help you achieve your business goals.
I can guide you in understanding your customer base, developing the right customer service strategies and moving your leads from the bottom of the ladder all the way to the top.
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