Want to grow your practice quickly? One word: superusers. These individuals are the bread and butter for a successful business, and go above and beyond the title of a “regular client.” They’re genuine members that spread word about your company, and also offer trustworthy insight on products and services to new customers.
Superusers impact the membership economy – a business model that takes a customer-centric approach involving digital users and subscription prices. "Your superusers are those customers who show up a lot, send you support requests, submit the most comments in your brand's community, speak at your events, serve as references, and send tons of new members your way," says Robbie Kellman Baxter, membership economy expert.
Baxter has over 20 years of experience in strategy consulting and marketing. Some of her clients were as small as venture-backed companies and start-ups, but some were huge industry leaders like Yahoo!, Netflix, and eBay.
"Your superusers are those customers who show up a lot, send you support requests, submit the most comments in your brand's community, speak at your events, serve as references, and send tons of new members your way," says Baxter in her book The Membership Economy: Find Your Superusers, Master the Forever Transaction, and Build Recurring Revenue. “These valuable members do a lot of the heavy lifting for you. Imagine how much more successful you could be if more of your members evolved into superusers."
From Baxter herself, here are five tips to grow your practice with loyal clients:
1. Find out what your superusers are doing today: Whether they know it or not, superusers are selflessly helping you grow your business. How? They contribute by recruiting newbie spa-goers and train them as if they’re the “experts,” and they test out new products and services to compare to what you’re doing. Find out what your clients are doing and define those successful behaviors so you know what is best for your company.
2. Discover commonalities: Discover what your new clients have in common with superusers. Looking for patterns in their onboarding process and behaviors will help you find out where clients will be coming from and who they’ll be. "When you look closely, you may find unexpected trends among your superusers," says Baxter. "One of my clients discovered that his most demanding customers were consistently the ones who ended up recruiting many new customers and helping with product development. It goes to show that you shouldn't discount the value of any of your members—even difficult customers might be superusers if you take the time to understand what drives them."
3. Figure out why someone is a superuser: Superusers aren’t doing what they’re doing for nothing. Are they doing it to feel a sense of community? A sense of generosity? Help them reach their goals by being aware of what they’re going for. "What are your superusers getting in return for their generosity?" asks Baxter. "Are they finding their own Cheers hangout where everybody knows their name? Or better yet, are they achieving a reputation within the community as an expert, or perhaps as a generous soul? If you don't know why your superusers do what they do, ask them. You might be surprised by their answers."
4. Look for clients with a Superusers "mask": Pick out regular clients and analyze them. Do they share key attributes that superusers have? Do they have differences? Finding out what might be making them “on-the-cusp” superusers is important so you can guide existing customers onto the superuser-path.
5. Help regulars achieve superuser-status: As soon as you’ve figured out what your superusers are doing, what they have in common with new clients, what’s filling their need, and what’s differing them from existing clients, you can now begin to recruit more. How? Evaluate the status of your current superusers by analyzing their value, investing market dollars in the source that recruited superusers, enhancing your onboard procedure, incorporate an mentorship opportunity for them, and educate your colleagues on the importance of having superusers.
"Superusers are the ideal customer and then some," says Baxter. "If you want your brand to excel, explore the ways you can incorporate your superusers as the flywheel for your business growth. You might just unlock some substantial hidden value, resulting in more customers, better insights, and greater loyalty."