Customer for Life
The Ten Key Stages
When you take an unqualified lead and move it through the ten key stages, you build more than a Customer, you build a “Customer for Life.” No matter the importance of the marketing tactics we select for your campaign, we make the attainment of this goal our overriding objective.
Stage 1: Lead
Building a pipeline full of leads must be considered a vitally important element in your company’s sales activities. No company is able to claim a one hundred percent retention rate, so the “leaky bucket” must be plugged by filling it with enough leads to make continued revenue growth possible.
Stage 2: Capture
When a lead is generated and received, any and all contact details must be captured in an automated manner. It is only in this way that a volume of leads can be managed through a process of response and follow up to gently nurture the lead to the next, important qualifying stage.
Stage 3: Qualify
Driving a potential customer through a 10-Stage nurturing process is a delicate, long-term process, so early qualification of a lead saves precious time and money. Qualification determines whether an individual is genuinely interested in your product or service, and if they have the authority to make a purchase.
Stage 4: Convert
Now that the Prospect is qualified, it’s time to start moving them one step closer to customer status. To attain this goal, they must be converted from Qualified Lead to Purchaser. This process requires actual and/or virtual dialogue. It may also require the provision of incentives to motivate them to ‘cross the line.’
Stage 5: Trial
A successful sampling or evaluation of a product on a trial basis typically leads to the Purchase stage, so this stop on the road to building a “Customer for” Life is an imperative. What sort of trial can you provide as proof that your product or service is worth purchasing? Can you provide a product demo? A business audit or review? A value incentive like a reduction in rates, a price discount or refund?
Stage 6: Purchase
You’ve achieved the all-important trial of your product or service, and now it’s time to close the first sale before moving the customer along the remaining path to becoming a “Customer for Life.” It might take offering a further value incentive, but whatever it takes, it’s a vital time to close the sale.
Stage 7: Re-Purchase
Keeping a customer purchasing and re-purchasing a product or service drives revenues and profits. It also drives the beginning of brand loyalty, requiring multiple purchases of your product or service to maintain a new customer’s purchase pattern.
Stage 8: Cross-Purchase
Brand loyalty is intensified when a customer purchasing and re-purchasing Product A also purchases Product B, C or D. In addition, when that same customer re-purchases Product B, C or D while maintaining their purchases of Product A, it is time to recognize them as a loyal customer.
Stage 9: Loyalty
Beyond continuing to purchase your products and services, loyal customers are truly special. They may even consider the relationship they have with your company or brand an emotional connection that goes far beyond quality and price. So much so, in fact, that they can become important evangelists using word-of-mouth to spread the good word.
Stage 10: Retention
Congratulations! While you may have reached Step 10, it's now important to do everything you can to retain your Customer for Life. That means you require a continued understanding of their needs and the ability to keep on fulfilling them to the highest level of their expectation. Good luck and keep up the great work!