Once your customer has just purchased from you, whether they have bought online, taken part in an event, or paid for a subscription, you need to invite them into your club, make them feel special and keep learning from them. Here’s some ideas that were inspired by successful alumni programmes, and could apply equally to media, events, training or allied businesses:
1. Capture the moment
Enthusiasm is at its peak as soon as the purchase is made. Now is the time to invite customers to join your club; sell the benefits with the confirmation, and follow up within a week.
2. Offer real value
Think hard about what their needs will be; if they have bought a product from you they may appreciate a how-to guide; if they attended a course or event then summaries and extra resources will be of value. Make the proposition clear and worth the time and effort of staying in touch.
3. Encourage sharing
Peers are the best sources of information. Find ways for your customers to share their learning, ask questions and swap ideas. This can be online at first but consider making it real world as well. You need to set an example and share yourself first (see point #2)
4. Create events
These can be scheduled online discussions around a particular topic, or Q&A with an expert in the field. You may even want to run real-life forums or events where members of this club can meet and swap ideas and experiences.
5. Reward referrals
If you offer value and create opportunities to share and network to your best customers, they will become advocates for your product or service. Find a way to reward them for referring you to their contacts – this doesn’t have to be cash – and they will become a valuable salesforce for you.
I’m keen to hear your experiences in creating clubs for your best customers; just comment below.
Carolyn Morgan’s consultancy business, Penmaen Media, helps develop online media brands that grow revenue for media and non-media businesses. Find out more at www.penmaen.media