Customer lifecycle

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What is the customer lifecycle?

The customer lifecycle can be defined as the process of customer journey starting right from a customer’s awareness of the product, then making purchase of that product, and being a company’s longtime customer.  

In simpler words, customer lifecycle is a customer’s progress in a sales funnel where the marketing, sales and customer service teams can see how the customer’s journey is. All those cross-functional teams can have a single picture of the customer’s progress as they move towards the end of their journey and find areas which need improvement.  

Measuring customer lifecycle progress can benefit your teams as you can leverage the lifecycle to deliver efficient customer experience and appeal to the customers at every stage.  

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What are customer lifecycle stages?

The customer lifecycle happens in stages, as discussed above, from awareness to loyalty. You need to have a knowledge of what those stages are in order to gauge customer journey and its issues. Hence, the customer lifecycle stages are as follows: 

1. Awareness  

In this very first customer lifecycle stage is where the customer first comes in contact with your brand. This is when they first come to know about the existence of your brand and products/services you deliver.  

Although, as per a study, a customer sees about an average of 362 marketing messages each day, out of which they only notice 86 of them. So, when it comes to making the customer actually aware of your brand, they have to come across your brand marketing message at least 7 times before they make a consideration about your products and services.  

Whereas in today’s world, doing so isn’t a big deal thanks to the excessive use of social media platforms and lots of influencers marketing your brand and products. Apart from this, word of mouth seems to be working faster. Customers always like to hear about how good or bad the brand is from someone else before they buy from it.  

2. Acquisition  

Customer acquisition stage can depend on the channel of customer contact. This is where the customer first tries to interact with the brand. If they are calling over the phone, you might have to be attentive and answer their questions about the brand. Since the customer is new to your company, you need to educate them on what products or services can best suit them for their problems and also give them insights on various other beneficial services you provide.  

Similarly, if they come across your website or social media pages, they should find all the necessary help like product pricing, brand information, other products and services, blog posts, etc. The main factor here is the live chat. Even after giving all the necessary information, customers might still want to contact the brand for customer questions, in such scenarios your live chat agents should be active and provide immediate help. Remember the first impression is the last. So, when customers first make contact with your brand, make sure to assist them with everything they need. 

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3. Conversion  

Conversion of an audience into a customer happens when they feel content with what they see and finally make a purchase. At this point, you have a new customer and you need to show them the value and quality you provide. When a customer first makes a purchase, your focus should be to look at them as an asset and make sure they have a good experience henceforth.  

In this third stage, you have cracked the audience to see how good your brand is. Now you have to focus on how to make sure they keep seeing it. This is called retention.  

4. Retention  

Customer retention refers to keeping the existing customer. And to do so, you need to always be on top of what your customers want from you. Make sure to interact with them about their latest needs and requirements regarding your products. Not only that, but also ask them about how they feel about various competitors and their products, look out for suggestions and make them feel that they are a part of this brand too.  

It is always advised to focus more on customer retention than acquisition, as per a study customer acquisition takes up 5-25% more of the revenue than customer retention. As a business directly serving the audience, there are various angles to look at the market from, the latest trends, best customer service and what other values businesses are providing out there which attracts the customers more.  

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5. Loyalty  

In this last stage of the customer lifecycle, a customer becomes loyal to your brand, which is the most any business can wish for. These loyal customers then vouch for your brand on social media platforms and give positive reviews about your products and services on shopping apps. These reviews will help other potential customers who are in their awareness stage.  

Customer loyalty is precious for any organization who knows how hard it is to earn loyal customers through constant supportive customer service and updated products/services. Your customer has gone through the above four stages and now chooses to stick to your brand. This kind of loyalty needs to be nurtured and preserved. 

What is customer lifecycle analysis?

As we talked about earlier, all the cross-functional teams in a company have their way of looking at the customer lifecycle which concerns them about our department. For example, let’s talk about the marketing team. The authorities will have to analyze their advertisements and marketing campaigns and think about how to better make the message reach its audience.  

On the other hand, the customer support team will be concerned about making customer service even more helpful and efficient for the customers throughout their journeys. They will try to understand what each and every customer had trouble with the support system, get to know them and work on it for betterment. All these departments need to pay attention to what customers are drifting away and try to make their experience better to keep them.

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Customer analysis is a process driven by data conducted to understand how your customer interacts with your brand, how they do it and what actions/steps they take. Customer lifecycle analysis mostly focuses on customer behavior and the understanding of their purchase decisions. You can measure customer behavior at each stage of the customer’s lifecycle and use it to enhance the customer experience of your brand.  

Using customer lifecycle analysis, a business can come up with informed business decisions and retention strategies which will ultimately help in enhancing revenue and reduce customer churn. Apart from this, it also lets you update your products and services and overall business workflow to improve overall customer experience. 

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