Creating fans is the last and arguably most key component of Lifecycle Marketing. Depending on the level of execution in this specific area, your customers become more than a transaction; they are your advocates by becoming repeat customers, offering referrals and leaving you positive reviews.
The following strategic methods to Create Fans offer an exceptional experience to your customers and create strong relationships through your delivery and impressive service.
Once it has become apparent that you’ve accumulated some life-long customers, you need to ensure you’ve systematized your method to deliver services so that clients consistently get everything they were promised.
“I think small business owners especially have a really unique advantage to show up in the relationship and start to essentially deliver value to their prospective customers in advance of the sale,” said Keap cofounder Scott Martineau. “You're entering the conversation they have in their head that's already going on. You're speaking their language, you understand what they're dealing with and you're showing up as somebody who's helping them versus trying to sell them.”
When it comes to business relationships, sometimes it’s not always about the sale, but the interaction and the trust that is built between the customer and the agent/retailer/owner, etc. It’s also not just about the products, it’s about the education behind the products and services. Delivering education on how your business can change and improve your customers’ lives is just as valuable as the product or service itself.
Strive to become that advocate for your customers, be the company they can turn to when they’re looking for reliable customer service and quality products. Be the company they turn to when they have a huge problem that needs to be solved.
For example, before Infusionsoft, Hear and Play struggled with purchase order inaccuracies due to non-integrated ecommerce and email systems. They wasted a lot of their valuable time fixing incorrect orders. With Infusionsoft’s all-in-one platform, they consolidated their sales, marketing, and ecommerce tools, and started sending personalized messages based on behaviors and attributes. Their customer lifetime value grew by 300% and repeat sales increased by 80%.
This is your chance to go above and beyond for your customers. Not only will running your business through a CRM like Keap’s help you maintain organization and efficiency, but it will make it easier for clients to work with you, keeping you reliable and approachable.
Some ways to improve the customer experience and really impress your clientele include:
1. Making subsequent interactions just as smooth as the first–keep your standards consistent so your customers know what to expect every time and can associate your brand with top-notch service.
2. Finding every possible solution–you’re there to solve their problems, so it’s important to become a master of troubleshooting. If one product isn’t a good fit for the customer, try another. If nothing works, don’t force the issue or make them feel pressured.
3. Eliminating unnecessary delays and poor communication habits–If someone calls your place of business and you know you’re going to have to place them on hold, offer to call them back instead of making them feel neglected. If an item is going to be delayed, send a courtesy message to the customer letting them know and offer to waive the shipping fee.
4. Giving your customers a seamless experience–customers always want a hassle-free experience when doing business with you, make it as pleasant as possible while trying to fulfill their needs.
5. Letting your personality shine through–hold your entire team to a certain standard of customer service, even if you, as the business owner, are not there. Make it so no one ever has to ask to “speak to the manager” because something went wrong.
To give your business a competitive edge, you should always aim to do something unexpected beyond good customer service. If you’re a realtor, surprise your clients on their one-year anniversary of living in their home with flowers and a card. Or record all of your customers’ birthdays in your CRM and automate birthday emails to be sent out.
In the case of Burleson Orthodontics, they leveraged Infusionsoft’s pre-set actions to initiate reminders for staff to send greeting cards with thoughtful gifts at key points in treatment. For example, after a patient has braces put on, they receive a gift card for a smoothie to help soothe any discomfort. And after braces are removed, the patient receives a gift card for a free caramel apple.
You can also implement loyalty programs for your most devoted customers to keep them coming back.
Loyal customers, also known as brand ambassadors, are spending money with your business regardless, so why not have a loyalty program in place? It can also impact the way they consume and how frequently.
It’s also important to add incentives and upgrades throughout the duration of a customer’s loyalty program to increase the likelihood that they will remain loyal to your brand. For example, if they’ve spent a certain amount or accumulated a specific level of points, upgrade them to gold status.
To guarantee repeat business, positive reviews and customer referrals, you need to intentionally implement each of these aspects into your customer journey when working with Lifecycle Marketing. Encourage referrals by creating incentives for customers and partners in an effort to grow your client base.
“If businesses don’t handle their relationships the right way, people who are brought on as clients won’t become repeat customers and they end up missing out on having a lot of lost potential referrals and repeat business,” said Martineau. “Those are the biggest challenge areas that businesses have and Lifecycle Marketing helps guide them towards strategies to improve.”
Set up a customer referral program in the following ways:
1. Know what type of referral you’re looking for–there are different levels of referral systems, gauge which one is most appropriate for your business:
- Asking a customer for contact information of someone who might be interested in doing business with you
- Asking a customer who discusses your business with the potential referral and can attest if they’re interested in learning more
- Asking a customer to introduce you to the referral or arrange a meeting
2. Develop a system–either request a referral on an invoice or send a referral link in a confirmation email.
3. Time it right–Figure out the best time to ask for a referral and make it part of your sales and customer service process.
4. Pick a reward for customers that matter–understand what motivates your customers to give you a referral, and then design your program to provide rewards addressing their motivation. Don’t just send a generic gift card, make it personal. Leverage upsell or cross sell items as rewards and incentives for referring a friend.
5. Create a referral landing page–make it simple for your customers to find where they can leave reviews, testimonials and referrals. Include a link to the landing page on the purchase confirmation or send it in a survey a few days after the product was delivered.
6. Bring the program to your customers’ attention–your customers may not even be aware this program exists. Direct them to it with a call-to-action in your next email campaign or add it to the main navigation bar on the homepage of your website.
7. Follow up in a timely fashion–Build a timeline or set up alerts in your customer referral program so you know exactly when to follow up on a referral so a hot lead doesn’t go cold.
Let lifecycle marketing help you stand out from other businesses in your industry. Above all, you want your customers to be satisfied and enthusiastic about doing business with you every time they call, click on your website or walk into your store. They are your biggest cheerleaders; they are the ones who will ensure your business stays open for a long, long time.
With Keap’s CRM, you can create processes for delivering great service that will amaze your customers. Leverage automation for upsells, repurchase reminders, and requests for reviews and referrals.
Keap also enables you to automate the process of sending surveys to customers after their purchase as well as a request for a review or referral to highly-satisfied customers.