The value of loyal customers can’t be overestimated—they trust your business, make more purchases, and act as brand advocates. Yet, many businesses still model their customer journey off the classic conversion funnel, which largely ignores how to retain existing, loyal customers by only including these six stages: Awareness, Interest, Consideration, Intent, Evaluation, and Purchase.

Although there are newer versions of the conversion funnel that track the Retention stage at the end, there’s an even better method of measuring and maintaining customer retention: the loyalty loop.

Unlike the classic funnel that reflects a time when consumers were less connected to businesses and to each other, the loyalty loop acknowledges the impact that technology and social media have had on most consumers.

How the loyalty loop works

The loyalty loop cuts down the steps for acquiring new customers to just three stages: Consider, Evaluate, and Buy. Once someone makes a purchase, they enter the second loop, which consists of three stages focused on customer retention: Enjoy, Advocate, and Bond, before ending back at Buy for the second time.

Source: General Assembly

Create your loyalty loop with customer feedback

For the loyalty loop to work, you have to listen to your customers. Knowing what they love about your business, and where they think your business falls short, is key to the Enjoy, Advocate, and Bond stages. If the customer experience in these three stages is positive, it’ll lead to customer loyalty and repeat purchases.

There are three types of surveys that you can use to bring your loyalty loop into fruition.

Identify your strengths and weaknesses with win-loss surveys

Win-loss surveys are sent to customers when a case is closed to collect feedback on their experience. For prospects who turned into customers, a close-won survey is sent to find out what the customer liked about the brand that led them to make the purchase. For prospects who declined to buy, a close-lost survey is sent to learn what went wrong in the customer’s journey.

Predict repurchase and increased spending with CES

The Customer Effort Score (CES) asks, “How easy did [organization] make it for you to handle your issue?” This survey is effective because it focuses on how well a business performed when their customers needed them the most.

Measure customer loyalty with NPS

The Net Promoter Score® (NPS®) asks, “How likely are you to recommend us to others?” NPS responses can be used to categorize customers into three groups: Promoters, Passives, and Detractors. NPS data helps businesses provide a personalized customer experience. For instance, special care can be given to Detractors to right a wrong, and special campaigns can be targeted at Passives to turn them into Promoters. NPS is also the perfect measure for the Advocate stage in the loyalty loop to create that long-lasting bond.

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