The LAER model is a customer journey framework that encourages businesses to invest in long-term relationships with their customers. The LAER model consists of 4 distinct stages: Land, Adopt, Expand, & Renew
This customer journey model has found widespread adoption and success in the XaaS industry where revenue models rely heavily on shared success strategies.
The LAER model’s customer-centric philosophy can be used by any business to increase brand loyalty and increase revenue.
Modern customers are drawn to brands that provide exceptional customer experience and deliver on the value that their solutions promise. Investing in your customers by designing engagements that ensure they achieve their value increases both revenue and loyalty.
Empowering customers requires that you understand their objectives and anticipate their needs throughout their journey with you.
Proactively addressing customer needs and streamlining interactions are the foundations of exceptional customer experience.
Customer experience is the new brand currency that drives business success.
“Loyal customers are five times more likely to purchase again and four times more likely to refer a friend to the company.”
The Value of a Customer Experience Strategy
Your customer journey is the story of how customers move through your business and engage with your brand. It is the complete customer experience across all interactions, channels, and touchpoints through the customer lifecycle.
As customers move through your organization’s journey—their needs, objectives, and emotions change as they reach specific milestones or stages.
A customer journey and CX strategy will help you recognize when and where these shifts occur. Enabling your organization to increase customer satisfaction by anticipating needs and reducing customer effort.
Brands that carefully curate and deliver best-in-class experiences reap the rewards of greater revenue, profitability, and customer loyalty.
Research by Econsultancy found that 50% of organizations have little to no understanding about their customer journey.
Determining the stages of your Customer Journey
Every business is different and should seek to create milestones or stages of their customer journey that best fit their customers’ needs and challenges.
At SequoiaCX, we use the LAER framework—and in most cases, we advise our partners to do the same.
The LAER model encapsulates the customer journey into clearly defined stages as follows:
The Land stage encompasses all the activities required to motivate a customer to purchase and the initial activities to implement the solution.
This stage includes a broad range of activities and likely involves multiple teams. This is when your relationship with your new customer is at its most vulnerable. Interactions with this customer are typically value-centric and emotionally communicated.
This stage ends when a customer is fully committed—no turning back now—and the solution is functional and in their possession.
The Adopt stage is where you begin to invest in your customer’s outcomes. The solution has been delivered, the customer has been on-boarded, and now the work of integration and proving value begins.
The purpose of this stage is to ensure the customer achieves their intended value—or return on investment (ROI).
While your solution may have many value propositions and features. You likely didn’t sell your customer on “everything” your solution provides. They likely had a specific need or pain point that your solution solved. The adoption stage is about ensuring they see that pain point removed from their lives.
“Adopt” activities typically include training, education, go-live, and standardizing the use of your product or service. When this stage is successfully executed—anxiety and resistance are worked through, working relationships are formed, and the value of the solution is realized.
Your ability to provide convenient and instant access to resources, personnel, and knowledge is a major influence on your customers’ experience and their ability to recognize their return.
This stage ends once the customer has achieved their intended outcome—or their stated ROI.
During the Expand stage—work with your customers to expand their spending and or the benefits of their purchase.
By integrating further into their processes and lives, your brand becomes more valuable and less dispensable. This is a delicate dance of making yourself available, addressing resistance, transferring knowledge, and championing customer success.
Successful brands make this a team effort and leverage their customer knowledge to suggest, motivate, and educate.
“Expand” efforts include: adopting new features, adding accessories, customization, adaptation, and purchasing additional products. Certain business models may recognize this as upselling or cross-selling.
Brand loyalty should expand in this phase as customers become advocates and further integrate your solutions into their lives and businesses.
This stage “ends” when it’s time for the customer to renew their business with you or succeed in achieving expanded ROI.
The Renew stage comprises the activities required to get your customer to continue doing business with you.
This stage is similar to Land. However, customers now have firsthand experience of your organization and well-formed impressions. Your relationship up until this point—as well as your customer’s achieved ROI—will determine this phase’s outcome.
Efforts during Renew are focused on reassuring the customer and demonstrating the value they achieved. There should be no surprises during this period.
This stage ends once the customer decides to continue their relationship with your organization—typically at a major milestone such as contract renewal, warranty period ending, major purchase cycle, etc.
Rinse and Repeat
Once a customer “Renews,” they return to an Adopt stage where new customer goals are established and pursued.
When successfully executed, the LAER model becomes cyclical—driving growth and long-term mutually-successful relationships.
To learn more about the LAER model, see TSIA’s website.
Choosing a Customer Journey Model that Works for You
Whatever model you choose, it’s important to recognize how your customer’s needs and objectives change as they progress through your journey. Effectively anticipating customer needs will help you create customer advocates and brand promoters that return predictable and increased revenue.
We advocate that businesses use the LAER framework when planning their customer journeys because it instills the importance of shared success. It reinforces the need to make investments to ensure that the customer achieves their desired outcomes.
It also stresses that customers can—and will—leave if or when their needs are not met.
Traditional make/sell/ship business models–with the only key milestone being “land”–are losing ground to organizations that focus relentlessly on their customer experience.
Organizations that ensure customers achieve ROI—while also providing carefully tailored experiences—see higher growth, profitability, and brand loyalty.
Are you adopting customer experience strategies that drive growth?
Learn more about the value of digital customer experience and how it leads to sustained growth.