As a business owner you must have your own strategies for managing the relationship with the customer, but to do so you have to understand them and know the customer’s life cycle to be able to create effective strategies and earn their loyalty.
Let’s learn more about this metric and how to track it.
What is the customer life cycle?
In terms of customer relationship management it describes the different stages a consumer goes through before, during and after completing a transaction. Simply put, it is the journey from Point A to Point B that a customer takes until he makes the final purchase.
Stages of the customer life cycle
The phases that a customer goes through in the course of an ongoing relationship with a brand vary depending on each case, but there are usually five basic stages of the customer life cycle:
Marketing materials and content should be in places where consumers find them. Knowledge is the first step in the life cycle because it develops consciousness immediately.
Reaching potential customers won’t mean much if you can’t offer relevant content or messages. Understanding your brand, the products you offer and the type of person who will buy them will help you with the acquisition. Contacting them directly with personalized communication improves the chances of a future conversion.
Once the first purchase is made, your company must maintain contact with the customer. This is where you develop a relationship with the buyer, ensuring that they are fully satisfied with the initial transaction.
You can also use customer analytics to predict what they might like best based on what they bought the first time. Asking for opinions also helps develop the relationship; Customers like their opinion to be valued.
If you are able to continually send relevant and meaningful messages to a customer, the chances of them coming back and making another purchase are greater. Retention begins with meeting the consumer’s needs, taking care of them, and cultivating the relationship.
If you can take a customer’s opinion and use it to improve a product or service, you make them feel like they are part of the process. Conducting customer feedback analysis is critical to finding actionable insights that can lead to a stronger customer relationship. This type of trust is valuable for customer retention.
Once the retention phase of the lifecycle is reached, you want these customers to become advocates for your company’s brand. If they are truly satisfied, they probably will have no problem recommending your products or services to their friends and family.
Once a customer is loyal to a brand, it’s easy to make it known in social circles, and if you continually spread positive recommendations, your network of contacts is more likely to convert as well.
Importance of the customer life cycle
Understanding the customer lifecycle is essential to a company’s continued success and growth. The life cycle must be monitored as a whole and not segmented into silos.
Companies can use metrics to measure the success of each stage. For example:
- Awareness : Impressions, brand searches, website visits.
- Acquisition : Contacts, requests for information.
- Conversion : Lead conversion rate or opportunity closing rates.
- Retention : Renewal rate.
- Loyalty : Net Promoter Score (NPS) or customer satisfaction score (CSAT).
These metrics can be tracked over time, for example, quarter by quarter, year by year, through a dashboard. Comparing business metrics to those of competitors can also help address competitive gaps in product or service offerings.
Customer retention is the ultimate goal for developing strong brand loyalty. The customer lifecycle can help your company maximize the revenue potential of each customer who makes a purchase.
Once a customer has become a brand advocate, the potential for upselling increases. New product features, launches or exclusive offers are also a good way to move consumers through the lifecycle.
As you can see, this is an important metric for your business, you can include it in your customer experience dashboard to be able to track it and act immediately in the event of any eventuality.