How Do I Build Loyal Customers?

A simple tool to help you map out a clear plan on how to turn the average person into a Loyal Customer

Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

Prospect -> Customer

The first level is prospect, this is someone who may be potentially interested in buying your product or service. Your goal at this level is to turn as many prospects into customers, which means get them to buy at least once from your business. Understand that the process of turning prospects into customers is a huge topic and there are millions of ways to do this. My basic recommendation is that these individuals are often hungry for information so figure out what that information is and provide it. Some of them are wondering about price, others about quality, others are debating between your product and a competitors. Focus on one person at a time, identify their questions, and provide them with the information.

Customer -> Regular Customer

Congrats! You got the Prospect to buy something and become a Customer. However, that was just one sale, don’t you want more? Now, your goal is to get the Customers to turn into Regular Customers. There are many ways to be able to do this,

  1. Email or Call List — A very simple way is to simply collect emails or phone numbers. Next time a customer buys something, ask them if they would like to join your email list of special offers. Then, simply follow up with them! Send them a thank you email the next day, then send them a special return discount a week later. Experiment with this!

Regular Customer -> Supporters

Nice! The Customer keeps coming back and is now a Regular Customer. Now, it’s time to get them to go from simply buying your products to believing in your brand. The important thing here is that so far, the relationship has been transactional, they give you money and you give them a product/service. However, a Supporter is a customer who not only buys from you but also believes in your business. Instead of viewing each product as an individual thing, Supporters believe in the values of the company to the point where they trust you. When Apple releases a new product, Supporters immediately believe that the product must be of great quality and value because they believe that Apple will always have high quality products.

Supporters -> Advocates

Arguably the hardest step in this ladder is the step from Supporter to Advocate. See, while the Supporter will buy your items and believe in your brand, the Advocate will actively market/sell for you. Depending on your business, there are millions of different ways and I’d be foolish to try and pick one that will work for all. Instead, I’ll leave you with a few suggestions:

  • Offer Rewards for Referrals — Train your Supporters to get comfortable with being Advocators by starting a referral programs. Example: “Here’s a unique code for you, everytime someone buys an item and gives us your code, we’ll give you a reward!”

Summary

Loyal customers don’t just fall from the sky and your job isn’t done with the first sale. They require a process which helps them grow into loving and advocating for your business. Using the Customer Loyalty Ladder model, you can now map out each step and come up with plans on how to move the customers up to Advocators.

Making Business Knowledge Accessible for Small and Medium Business Owners @ EntreKey.com with the occasional personal thoughts!

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