A customer becomes loyal to a company and its products and service on step at a time. By understanding the customer’s current loyalty stage, you can better determine what’s necessary to move that customer to the next level of loyalty. Our “Growing Loyal Customers” system comprises six stages: suspect, prospect, first-time customer, repeat customer, client and advocate. If your customer relationship processes and programs aren’t moving customers forward, rethink them.
Action Step: Using the customer loyalty stages, define loyalty for your customers (what distinguishes a repeat customer from a client in your particular business?) Use the customer data you collect through your loyalty program to rank your customers according to lifetime value; we’ll talk more about creating these lists on our Loyalty Countdown #2 post. Beginning with your highest-ranking customers, identify which loyalty stage each customer is in. Next, create a customer action plan for moving that customer to the next higher level of loyalty.
Source: Griffin, Jill. Customer Loyalty: How To Earn It How To Keep It. 2002.