Ways to earn customers loyalty online is by using the loyalty ladder concept. I want you to picture an ordinary ladder. Now consider
Ways to earn customers loyalty online is by using the loyalty ladder concept. I want you to picture an ordinary ladder.
Now consider each rung of the ladder. Each “rung” is a “stage” of loyalty a customer may have. There are many different stages of loyalty customers demonstrate at each rung of the ladder:
- Raving Fan
Let’s describe each of these in more detail.
Suspect: The suspect is the lowest rung on your ladder when a customer starts out on your loyalty ladder. This is when customers are at the very bottom of your ladder.
These are people who may or may not want or need what it is you sell. They may not have any money. They are simply people who are not buying.
Prospect: Prospects are suspects who have taken some sort of action like subscribing to your newsletter, giving you their email addresses or those who have asked you for some sort of free information.
They are people who may turn into active customers but aren’t there yet.
Customer: A customer is anyone who has actually spent money with you. You have to differentiate between your prospects and your customers.
This is one of the reasons it is so damn important you segment your lists. You don’t want to have everyone on ONE BIG list.
At the very least, you should have a prospect list and customer list. You should treat your prospects and customers very differently.
You should always give your customers more attention. Give them a better deal than everyone else. Why? They are already paying you for your products and services. Prospects are important, but customers are even more important.
Member: A member is someone who buys from you more than once. These are customers that now trust you. They feel they belong with you in some way.
Now listen up. Customers who make two purchases are 10 times more likely to make more than someone who makes only one purchase with you.
So anyone who is a member deserves special attention because if they buy twice, they are likely to buy again.
Devotee: What’s the difference between a devotee and a member? A devotee is someone who not only buys from you but tells other people about you.
They send you referrals. They promote you actively. They are happy to be your free sales force because they get so much value from you.
Raving Fan: The next stage in the ladder is Raving Fans. Usually, only 1% to 5% of your customers become Raving Fans. They’re one of your most valuable assets.
They pretty much own everything you have. And, whatever new products and service you come up with, they will buy without blinking an eye.
The Raving Fan will stick with you for years as long as you don’t screw up in a major way.
There are a very strong trust and bond with you and the Raving Fans. They trust you 100%. They want to see you succeed. They want to see you do well.
If a devotee is someone who sells for you, a Raving Fan is someone who can’t STOP selling for you. Raving Fans tell everyone about how fantastic you are. They talk about your company. They love you.
These days it’s more expensive than ever to get a new customer. Most businesses, in fact, are acquiring their customers at a loss or break-even point.
That means you have to get your customers to come back to you and buy again and again.
Why? That customer isn’t simply profitable to you. They are your most important resource. What you want, what you need is as many raving fans as you can get.
You will succeed when you sort your prospects from suspects, move people up from prospects to customers, from customers to raving fans.
You need to have a marketing system that automatically moves people up the loyalty ladder as quickly as humanly possible.
YOUR ONLINE CUSTOMERS WILL BE LOYAL WHEN YOU USE THESE STRATEGIES BELOW;
Provide excellent customer service.
Sounds obvious, right? But, it deserves mention again because excellent service is what creates lifelong customers, avoids negative word-of-mouth and differentiates you from the competition.
This is how many companies have created loyal followers.
But, how can you improve customer service?
For starters, listen to customers and address their concerns in a timely manner. Make it easy for customers to get in touch with a representative.
Clearly display an email address, phone number, and social media account. You have to “wow” them by going above and beyond.
Break Down Customer Loyalty into Smaller Sizes.
Most people think customer loyalty is about a lifetime. Well, it’s not. The goal is about a lifetime, and a lifetime is a long time. How do we get a customer to be loyal to us for a lifetime? That’s huge. Let’s make it easier.
Rather than a lifetime, focus on the next time. Every time. So, ask yourself what I call the Customer Loyalty Question: What are you doing right now to make sure the customer will come back the next time he or she needs what I sell? Think next time, every time, and it just may turn into a lifetime.
To wrap this up, the value of customer loyalty is obvious. Loyal customers not only do more business with the companies they are loyal to, but they will also spend more each time they do business.
And, when they are loyal, they talk. Word-of-mouth marketing is the best marketing there is. Combine the value of the lifetime customer with the value of their recommendations and the payoff to your customer service and experience efforts are huge.
Earn a reputation for being consistent and dependable. This means if you promise a product to be delivered within 48 hours after the purchase, then make sure delivery occurs within that time frame.
If you promise 24/7 live customer support, then make sure that is a promise that you can keep.
If something changes or your business changes due to unforeseen changes, let your customers know and be very open with them.
Create an Emotional Connection.
There is a big difference between satisfied customers and loyal customers. Satisfactory is a rating. Loyalty is an emotion. Find out a way to connect with your customers.
Make them feel special. Thank them for their business. Treat them like they want to be treated.
Make life easy for your customers, and they’ll keep coming back. Think about how you can make the customer experience simpler or faster.
Consider streamlining your checkout process so customers can get in and out,
answer questions on social media rather than forcing customers to go through an automated maze of menus over the phone and offer auto-billing.
Stay Connected On Social Media.
Social media is a great way to share information about new products or simply build ongoing awareness of your brand.
As such, your e-commerce website should provide links to your social media accounts to help customers stay connected after they buy.
Perhaps more importantly, getting your website visitors to follow you on social media, can foster more personal connections as you showcase your brand’s story and personality.
Data from Social Media Today reveals that 86% of consumers feel “authenticity” is an important element in deciding which brands to support.
Naturally, this means that your social media content needs to deliver that feeling of authenticity, too.
When you allow your website and social accounts to work in tandem together, the combined effect can dramatically accelerate growth in your customer base.
Immediately after completing their first purchase, give new customers the opportunity to follow your most active social media account—and go out of your way to welcome them when they do.
While it’s important to have policies in place, you also have to remember that every customer has their own circumstances and problems.
Let’s say that you have a 30-day return policy and a customer wasn’t able to return the product because of the weather or they were out-of-town.
Instead of refusing to accept the return, wouldn’t it make sense for you to accept the return and offer either a refund or store credit?
Make It Easy To Sign Up For Newsletters.
Email newsletters are generally considered to be one of the most effective ways for brands to continually reach customers.
Not only is email more likely to reach your customers than a social media post, but when an email is personalized, it can significantly boost your sales.
In fact, research from DMA found that 75% of email revenue stems from manually delivered campaigns, rather than automated emails that run behind the scenes.
But to enjoy this ongoing revenue, you have to get customers to sign up for your email list in the first place.
“You have to make signing up for your email newsletter as simple as possible. Make it so they can sign up through a box that they tick during checkout, or by submitting their name and email address directly on your home page.
Don’t worry about trying to collect vast amounts of personal information upfront—this can actually backfire and make someone less likely to sign up,” Smith explains.
By making the email sign up process as frictionless as possible, e-commerce stores can grow their lists at a faster rate—especially by incentivizing visitors with a discount code or free shipping offer in exchange for joining your email list.
Ask for their feedback.
How do you know what customers like or dislike about your products? How do they feel about your customer service?
If you aren’t aware of this information, then how can you make the appropriate changes to make your customers more satisfied?
Whenever a customer completes a sale, ask them for their feedback through an email questionnaire or an online survey on your website.