Building Loyalty in the New Year

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Building Loyalty in the New Year

In my last blog, I wrote about the care and nurturing of Your Biggest Fans, and after discussing the topic with several business owners and clients, I realized that many of you don’t know how to get clients to this point on a regular basis.  We all get that occasional Raving Fan due to a variety of reasons – personal connection, we bailed them out of a situation, or you were just a perfect match for them.  We can also create Raving Fans proactively by walking them up the Ladder of Loyalty over time, so that we can continuously add to our Biggest Fans list.

Before I jump into the topic, I need to share one more thought about the current business environment. As the chaos of the COVID crisis unwinds over the next several months, there are going to be many more opportunities to pick up new clients/customers/patients.  This will be for any number of reasons – their previous supplier closed, they want to buy local, or their needs may have changed and they are looking for a new source to have their needs met.

So there are 7 Rungs on the Ladder of Loyalty: Suspect, Prospect, Shopper, Customer, Member, Advocate, Raving Fan. You and your team can have a significant impact on how high on this ladder you can move each and every customer you have.

Suspect – This is every person or business that fits into your Target Market.  They are potential customers/clients/Raving Fans.  We must market to our Suspects.

Prospect – A Suspect becomes a Prospect when they take an action and give us some of their details (name, email, phone, etc.).  Our marketing should be driving them to take actions – sign up for a newsletter, download a white paper, read our blog, fill out a survey, answer the phone when we call.

Shopper – Our Prospect becomes a Shopper when they buy from us the very first time.  They are trying us out, they are judging our ability to meet their needs long term.  During their first purchase, they also give us and/or confirm their details for us.  This is our first Moment of Truth with them, go above and beyond to make their first purchase memorable.

Customer – A Shopper becomes a Customer when they return and purchase a second time.  This is a big deal; train your team to remember them, welcome them back and make a big deal about how nice it is to see them again! Now is the opportunity to make them a Member of your business. It is 7-10 times easier to sell to a returning customer than a new one.  Make sure you have strategies and training in place to get your Customers to come back again and again.  One of them is a Membership Kit.

Member – Customers become Members when they receive their Membership Kit and they feel like they belong to your business community.  Membership kits can consist of a wide variety of different things – gift baskets, gift cards, loyalty cards, referral programs, promotional products, personalized products or services, etc…  Think about your customer base and ask yourself what would make them feel like they belonged to a special community of your customers.

Advocate – Once Members start getting results from their business with you, they move to the next rung on the loyalty ladder, they become an Advocate for your business.  As an advocate, they are now telling others about you and your business on a regular basis.  They are sharing your Social Media posts, leaving positive reviews and comments, forwarding your emails.  Give them plenty to share, teach them what message to give to others.

Raving Fan – The last rung on the ladder is the ultimate, the Raving Fan.  Raving fans do the selling for us, they hand deliver new customers who show up ready to buy from us with no selling required.  One of the things we do for our Advocates to turn them into Raving Fans is to give them status/position and rewards.  What can you do for your best customers to give them visibility and recognition?  What kind of rewards can you offer them?

To take your Customer Loyalty to the next level right now, while the opportunity has never been better, call us at 502-625-5646 or contact us online to schedule a free 30 minute Strategy Session with one of our coaches. We’ll help you build your own Ladder of Loyalty, and help you create more Raving Fans to make business more fun and more profitable, both for you and them.


Author: Mark Mcnulty, Business Coach in Louisville, KY


Building Loyalty in the New Year