The loyalty ladder allows you to define the different stages of your customer relationship. This is different to the loyalty maturity journey, which looks at how your business manages loyalty both from a strategic and tactical perspective. The loyalty ladder focuses on how you progress your customer's relationship with the business.


These people are potential future customers of the business. They may not have heard of you yet, but as a business you have identified them as customers to whom your service or product could be of value.


Your business is actively targeting these people with relevant content, offers and collateral, with a view to engaging with them and converting them to becoming future customers.


These are your current customer base. They may not have done much business with you yet but they have purchased and you are starting to build a profile of their business.


These are customers who are engaged in more than just purchasing from you. They are members of your loyalty programme and subscribe to your newsletter.


These are customers who are members of your loyalty programme, participate in your campaigns, subscribe to your newsletters, engage with your content and refer new customers to you.


The holy grail of loyalty, these customers are more than your advocates; they are your business champions. They actively go out of their way to tell others about you, they are aligned with your vision and your goals for the business and the product or service they purchase from you is intrinsically linked with their business operations. In short, you are their trusted advisors. Business champions provide 55% higher revenues in B2B than their peers.

Moving your customers up the loyalty ladder to become business champions is a goal that will deliver significant return on investment. Customers place much higher trust and value in recommendations by their peers than any advertising campaigns and referred customers have a 16 times higher lifetime value. Customers at the top of the loyalty ladder are not only increasing your customer acquisition, but they are likely to be referring the right type of customers. They are best placed to explain exactly how you can help someone else and the type of referrals that they provide are priceless.

Tips for moving customers up the loyalty ladder: 

  1. Identify what your customers value over and above your product or service. What would help them look good in their business?
  2. Identify the behaviours you want your customers champions to display 
  3. Create a personalised loyalty campaign that features smart targets for each 
  4. Empower your employees to help take the message to your customers and encourage them to become your champions

About The Author - Melanie Parker

Stream’s co-founder, Melanie, became the first British woman to become accredited with the CLMP from The Loyalty Academy. Passionate about all things loyalty, Melanie cuts through the technical jargon and gets to the real business issue. Melanie loves to develop engaging digital solutions that appear simple whilst creating long lasting partnerships that add value to all.

View Melanie Parker's Profile

Connect with Melanie on LinkedIn