The customer masterplan: A new way to think about customer relationships

4th Nov 2016

Over the last few years I’ve been involved in both B2B and B2C marketing.

It has always amazed me how there are common theories and methods on one side of the fence that don’t exist on the other – despite being equally applicable.

I’ve also seen many businesses struggling to work out what marketing they should be doing given all the options available; and struggling to succeed with those they are already committed to.

These frustrations were core to the development of the Customer MasterPlan model. The model is designed to help you work out where you should be putting your effort to build a stronger relationship with your customers and grow your business.

In this post I’m going to run through what the Customer MasterPlan is, and in the following 2 posts I’ll be outlining how to use it to get more repeat buyers, and to build a great relationship with all your customers.

(Click to enlarge)

the conversion

The diagram above is the Customer MasterPlan model. At the bottom we have the 6 circles and 5 arrows. The 6 circles represent the 6 Customer Relationship Levels, and the 5 arrows are the Stages between them – where you put in the effort:

(Click to enlarge)

the conversation

Put simply if you want to grow your business you need to persuade as many of your customers from the left hand side to the right hand side as quickly as possible.

The two diagonal arrows are a reminder that as you move from left to right across the model there are fewer customers to market to – there are fewer people at each of the Customer Relationship Levels. And that each person is worth more to you.

The final arrow (the double ended one right at the top) is The Conversation. You’ll note that it stretches the full width of the model. The Conversation is unique to each customer, it’s the sum of every single interaction they have ever had, and will ever have with your business. For example whilst in The World someone may see your product at a friend’s house, hear you’re mentioned on TV, see ads on Facebook and Google before they finally click to your website. As a Visitor they add what they see on the site, before signing up to your emails or buying. Some of The Conversation you are in control of, much of if you are not and probably don’t even know is happening.

That means it’s important to keep your message consistent. Always and everywhere.

How to use the Customer MasterPlan

Consider your business activity divided into these 5 Stages. How much effort are you putting in at each stage to get the desired outcome? Your marketing, your products, your website, your customer services – where are they focused?

Where is your business strong and where is it weak? Do you have a massive email list and very few buyers? Lots of Buyers but very low traffic volumes?

If you score your performance out of 5 for each Stage you’ll quickly see where you are weakest – and that is where you need to focus your effort for maximum improvement.

The model is designed to help you work out where you should be putting your effort to build a stronger relationship with your customers and grow your business

There are 100s of things you could do to improve each Stage. The key is to focus on the Stage and identify the things you can quickly and effectively improve that will make the biggest difference to your customer. This will take a fair bit of testing and optimisation. Keep testing and optimising until you have this Stage working as well as the rest of your business. Then move onto the next weakest Stage.

What if customers can only buy once?

A client of mine sells amazing doormats; each doormat lasts at least 5 years, and most homes only have one outside door. That means very few customers will buy twice, so putting a lot of work into repeat purchases (Stage 4 and 5) would be a distraction.

If you have a single purchase business then you need to get Stage 1-3 highly optimised to make sure you’re making your profit on that first order.

What if you’re a subscription business?

If you’re selling a subscription product then all your challenges are the same for Stage 1-3. Then Stage 4-5 are about maintaining the subscription, or ensuring the renewal! Rather than aiming for an additional purchase.

Watch out for the next 2 posts which will dive further into some of the actions you can take once you’ve identified your focus:

  • The Customer MasterPlan: 5 ways to get more Repeat Buyers
  • The Customer MasterPlan: 3 ways to build an awesome relationships with your customers

The Customer MasterPlan is the model at the centre of Chloë’s latest book “Customer Persuasion: How to Influence your Customers to Buy More and Why an Ethical Approach will Always Win”. It’s available as eBook, Paperback and Audiobook from Amazon. Find out more

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