One of the most important goals for your business must be to create Raving Fan customers and clients.
Business owners rely more on loyal customers than first-time buyers. Any good business would want to establish a base of loyal customers that continually do business with the company.
How do you create that loyal base of customers?
We are going to explore what we call the Ladder of Loyalty and how to gain the Raving Fans that not only keep coming back but bring in friends and increase your sales.
Suspects and Prospects
At the lowest level of the Loyalty Ladder are the suspects and prospects.
Suspects are people that belong to our target market. Any person that fits the profile for our target client base would be a suspect and we create ads and campaigns to let them know about the business and what we can do for them. Prospects are suspects who have shown interest in our products. They are the people who like our Facebook pages, browse our websites and visit our stores. Prospects know the business and actually like our products.
Shoppers and Customers
Prospects become shoppers when they buy once from the business. They have shown interest and trust the business enough to give it a go. Customers are shoppers who come back. It means that they like the product they bought and see value for money in their purchase.
Making customers out of shoppers is a matter of giving the client a product that does not only meet their expectation but actually goes beyond it. Customer satisfaction is important to get them moving towards the direction of being raving fans. Suspects to customers make up 80% of the client base of any business.
A good way to track if you have customers is giving one of those buyer cards where they get a stamp for every purchase and a special item once they reach 10 purchases. This way you not only get the customer’s personal details, you also have a way to extend the lifetime value of your client.
Members and Advocates
Members are customers who have the feeling of being part of the business. Imagine a regular at a coffee shop where the team actually find it odd if that person does not show up for a day or two. Members are long term customers who feel satisfied with a company.
Advocates are members who start telling others about your business. They share stories on social media, post photos in Instagram and spread information about your company through word of mouth. They refer your business even without rewards or promotions; they are simply happy with your products and services.
Raving fans are the top level of the loyalty ladder. They bring in clients with them when they visit and constantly promote your company for you. There are times when they do the selling for you. Creating a raving fan is a result of excellent products, good customer experience, and building a long-term relationship with these clients.
You will know a raving fan when you see them doing the selling, recommending to friends what is good and what is new. Keep these fans happy by rewarding them more. Also, build a relationship with the customers they bring in as these can potentially be raving fans as well. Remember that people with similar interests tend to imitate each other in terms of choices of brands and products. The client base will increase exponentially with every raving fan you keep.
To get to the stage of having raving fans, a business must always focus on the quality of products, a healthy relationship with clients and creating an environment that is conducive for repeat business. Always remember that 68% of clients leave because they feel that they are not important to a business. So to have raving fans, make your clients feel important. Get to know them and reward them for their loyalty. The cost of a loyalty program will be very insignificant when compared to the business they bring in.