The relationship between a customer and a brand can last for years, even decades. During this time, it changes and goes through many stages, this development process is known as the customer life cycle. It’s important for e-commerce businesses to be able to track their customers as they move through the customer journey and keep customer relationships strong over time. Customer lifecycle management is all about tracking and maintaining how both prospects and existing customers interact with your brand. The longer your customers stay, the higher their lifetime value will be. Turning one-time shoppers into loyal shoppers by understanding the customer lifecycle is a great way to generate strong and consistent revenue
What is customer lifecycle management?
Customer lifecycle management refers to the process of aligning marketing strategies (and the overall customer experience) for the five different stages of the customer lifecycle.
Knowing where a particular customer or customer segment is on their customer journey helps your marketing, sales, and customer service teams reach their full potential.
For example, your customer service team can increase customer retention if they know if they’re talking to loyal customers or first-time buyers.
Likewise, customer lifecycle management gives you the ability to create targeted marketing strategies, because understanding the different stages a customer goes through means you can better respond to their needs with each and every message.
Five stages of the customer lifecycle
Having a good customer lifecycle management process means treating the different types of customers that visit your store (i.e. leads, new customers, repeat customers,…) to the right customer lifecycle stage.
At this stage, the client is aware of a problem in their life that they want to solve. This problem can really be anything from a health issue to simply needing a new suit.
Most people start looking for a solution as soon as they realize the problem they are having. They can do this passively, by keeping an eye on a relevant ad or news story. Or they can actively look for a solution using a tool like Google or by talking to a friend about the problem. Each of these search solutions provides an opportunity for potential customers to learn about your brand. Perhaps they will come across one of your ads or one of your existing customers might recommend your brand. Your goal here is to make your name a potential solution to people’s problems.
This customer lifecycle stage occurs when a customer begins to seriously consider a purchase. Perhaps they have started comparing different products (considering features, price, and other factors) to decide which option is best for them. However, this is not always the case. an easy decision. That’s why it’s most helpful for customers at this stage to view buying guides and other informative content. If you can clearly explain the key benefits and unique features of your product, you’ll give people a reason to end the consideration phase and start the buying process.
This stage in the customer journey is fairly straightforward. That’s when the customer decides to buy. From a customer experience perspective, it is extremely important to ensure that the purchasing process and online ordering system are easy to navigate and user-friendly. This step needs to be smooth because you don’t want the customer to get here and then exit your sales funnel because they’re having trouble making a purchase.
4. Hold your feet
The retention phase is about building lasting relationships with your customers. Your goal should not be a one-time sale. Instead, you want to extend the customer lifecycle so that your customers make multiple purchases. After all, customer acquisition is a significant expense, once you actually acquire a customer, you want to maximize the revenue they bring to your store.
When you’re trying to nurture a lifetime customer, you want to make sure the customer experience is the best it can be. This means that you should provide a personalized service so people feel valued, and invite customer comments so people know you’re paying attention to their opinion.
Email is a great communication channel for sending thank you emails, while social media platforms are a great place to ask for feedback on your new product. You can send personalized offers or discounts to keep customers happy and coming back.
During the advocate phase, your customers may have loyalty to a wide variety of brands. They are used to buying your product or service on a regular basis. In fact, most customers at this stage are so loyal to your brand that they actually become brand ambassadors. They may post on social media about their good experiences or refer you to their friends and family.
Customer lifecycle marketing for each customer stage
As you can see, people at different stages of the customer lifecycle have very different needs. And this is where customer lifecycle management comes into play: you need to meet these needs to keep customers moving through your sales funnel to purchase and become advocates for your brand. your. Here are a few ways to do that
Marketing, customer lifecycle management for each stage
1. Help consumers find solutions to their problems
When customers are in the awareness stage, you need to get your name out there with a great marketing strategy. Your ads should be helpful and provide relevant content that helps them better understand their problem and exactly how your product can solve it. This will make them trust your company, so when they decide to do more research (and eventually make a purchase), your company will be the first thing they think of.
2. Help customers make decisions
During the consideration phase, you need to help the client narrow down his choices and make a final decision by providing as much information as possible. This is an important stage in the customer journey as potential customers are choosing between your brand and your competition. You can create comparison pages that highlight the unique benefits of your product. FAQs address customer concerns and anything else that helps you stand out. You also need to provide customer support so they can contact you if they have any questions.
3. Provide a smooth experience
A website with a great user experience is essential at the buying stage. You need to make sure that your checkout page is easy to understand, easy to use, and has all the credentials your customers want to see. Great customer experience is key to creating lasting customer loyalty, which should start with the first purchase.
4. Provide a personalized experience
Once a customer makes their first purchase and enters the retention phase, you can’t just ignore them. Stay in touch by setting up automated emails thanking customers for their purchases and asking for product feedback. However, a great customer lifecycle management system goes beyond this by providing a personalized experience: it means communicating with your customers in a way that responds to their behavior, interests, and preferences. their likes and past purchases.
For example, you can recommend additional products based on a customer’s previous purchases or offer special discounts that meet their interests.
5. Encourage referrals
Customers at the advocate stage are your best customers, so make sure to take good care of this customer segment. Encourage them to share their experiences on review sites, social media, or with their friends. Creating a referral program that makes them easy is a good idea at this stage. These programs not only help you attract new customers, but they also encourage loyal customers to buy more (adding lasting value). You should also reward these customers with special offers through a loyalty program or early access to new products. Essentially, anything that makes these users feel special and important is great, helping to increase the lifetime value of this important customer segment.
In today’s customer-centric economy, your users expect care from the start. This means personalizing the customer experience as much as possible so that there are no barriers to customer loyalty. Customer lifecycle management can provide useful insights for every part of your operations, from sales to marketing to customer support. When everyone on your team has the customer data they need to address visitors by their customer lifecycle stage, you lose fewer customers throughout your sales funnel.