The Customer Life Cycle is a concept you often hear about in business school or business books.
Basically it follows five stages through the life of a customer:
By successfully guiding customers through these 5 stages you will end up with enthusiastic advocates of your brand.
Let’s take a closer look at each step and what you need to do along the way.
Stage 1) Reach
During this stage you reach out and make some sort of un-official first contact with a potential client.
This stage involves things like:
- Social Media
- Search Engine Optimization
- Word of Mouth
Basically anything that gets you, your website or your brand in front of a potential home buyer or seller.
Analytics are especially important and we always recommend you follow the Laws of Direct Marketing for maximum effectiveness at this stage.
Stage 2) Acquisition
At this stage you have an interested prospect and now you’re making your first official communication with them.
You’ve got their attention, now you have to make a good impression.
If you don’t provide good customer service or do something to hurt their impression of you at this stage you’ll lose their business.
If you don’t return emails or phone calls right away you’ll lose their attention and your prospect will go somewhere else.
Remember that the person is most likely contacting other agents as well.
This is the stage where you have to stand out and show that you’re better than everyone else.
From the digital marketing side of things if you have a problem like a terrible website you’ll lose the customer as well.
Stage 3) Conversion
This is the step where you make the sale.
Here is where all your sales training comes in. You’ll need to work hard, build rapport and overcome objections.
Selling or buying a home is a pretty intimidating thing for most people.
Your job is to make it as easy as possible for them (while hopefully selling for as much as possible or getting them the best deal possible).
Stage 4) Retention
Your job isn’t over after the sale though and this is your chance to stand out from most other agents out there.
During the retention stage you want to do everything you can to maintain a relationship with the customer.
It’s always easier and cheaper to keep an existing client than it is to try to acquire a new one.
Giving your client a small gift for their new home or sending yearly holiday cards are both fantastic ways to build and maintain relationships with your clients.
This stage also gives you the perfect opportunity to ask for feedback. Find out what you can do to make the experience better for future customers and how to build a stronger relationship with your existing ones.
Stage 5) Advocacy
This this the end goal you should have with all your clients.
At this stage you’ve attracted a customer’s attention, made a great impression, closed the sale and provided excellent service.
Now your client has become a loyal friend and an ambassador for your business.
They’ll tell their friends and send you referrals.
This is also your opportunity to collect reviews and testimonials for places like Google+, Yelp or your website.
If they ever decide to buy or sell a home in the future they’ll be contacting you first.
It’s not always easy to reach this stage but if you do the result can be incredibly powerful.
Take a good honest look at your business and how you handle each of these 5 stages.
If you’re not ending up with lots of clients at stage five carefully go over the previous stages.
Figure out where your weaknesses are, what you’re doing wrong and put together a plan to fix them today.
The results will be more than worth it!