This post is written by FILEX 2012 presenter and well known business consultant and expert - Rowdy McLean.
Customer service is a hot issue in Australia. With customers reigning in their spending, or being more discerning with the dollars they do spend, the challenge of getting more customers to support your business is great. To transition prospects to advocates, you need to understand the five evolutionary stages of the customer.
1. Tyre kickers: These customers have seen one of your ads or stumbled into your business as they were passing by. They have come to check you out and can disappear as quickly as they arrive if you do not engage and look after them.
2. Interested: These customers are interested in coming back to see you again. It’s like a second date, and could really lead somewhere if you consistently impress.
3. Customers: OK – now we’re cooking! These people are in your database and are regular customers. They are starting to bring real value to your business. It is your chance to find out what they really like and make recommendations to them about other products and services you provide.
4. Friends: These customers enjoy spending time with you and will refer other customers to your business. Be aware however, these customers have other businesses that also look after them and it does not take much to ruin the friendship. Take good care of these customers and find ways to become their best friend.
5. Advocates: These customers are loyal to you, they recommend you to others and would not go anywhere else. Reaching this stage is what we must strive for in customer relationships. The more customers you have who reach this stage, the more successful you become as a business.
You need to develop a communication strategy to maintain and build on these customer relationships, transforming as many Tyre Kickers into Advocates as you can. You must ensure you touch base with your Advocates on a regular basis. Invite them into your business and visit theirs so that you both have a greater understanding of each other and can explore the opportunities of working together.
Target your Friends by developing an understanding of their needs, operations and people. Investigate how you might provide them with a service that is beyond what they get from anyone else.
Communicate with Customers at least monthly, to remain ‘top of mind’, and keep in touch with Interested people quarterly, so that they remember you are around and offering something they may want.
The key is to identify which of your customers sit in each level and then develop your communication strategy to build on and improve these customer relationships. Look to move your customers through the evolutionary stages, one level at a time, by staying in touch, understanding their needs and providing solutions.
What are you doing to move your customers up a level?
Rowdy is an expert on productivity, personal growth and achievement. He is the master of making things happen and getting things done and has achieved some remarkable things. You can find out more about Rowdy, his book and his products at his websites www.playabiggergame.com.au and www.rowdy.com.au
Join Rowdy at the FILEX 2012 Business Summit, where he will be presenting:
• Play a bigger game – What drives motivation, execution and results?
For more information on Rowdy’s session, the Business Summit and the Business Gold Pass package, see pages 9 and 16 of the printed brochure with your Summer Network magazine, or check out the fully interactive site at www.filex.com.au where you can also register for the convention or the all-inclusive Gold Pass.