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3 Customer Lifecycle Touchpoints That Determine The Fate Of Your Customer Experience

The post 3 Customer Lifecycle Touchpoints That Determine The Fate Of Your Customer Experience appeared first on Social Media Verve.

Today, depending on the quality of your product, most customers would find you and learn about your Business with little efforts of marketing on your side.

User-level awareness of business operation has reached the crescendo, thanks to access to information and company’s records that exists today more to people.

The tactical maneuvers to achieve speedy growths have become expedient in a company goal, depending on the quality of relationship they have been able to build with their customer base.

Digital customer experience

Users are more aware of the value of money spent, so the business choice has to be taken diligently and targeted at which business the value can be ascertained.

On the business side, the battle for customers is not yet won until there is certainty all the specific requirements have been met for those customers. From contact to awareness to decision, efforts must be made to ensure the right message is given at each stage of customer journey. Without that, it is easy for a business to deviate from their customer acquisition efforts at a very important stage.

Stories that showcase how their experience with a business can help them can be a good start in customers acquisition. The use of customer reviews and testimonials can also play a key role at this stage.

But more importantly, the  business will need to understand their intending customers very well for this to really work, which is why having a full customer lifecycle mapping done from the very beginning is necessary for a business to achieve its key goal of positive customer experience. 

So what is this customer lifecycle mapping, or simply customer lifecycle, and why should you care about it as a business?

We cannot continue talking about customer lifecycle without talking about the merits of using a customer lifecycle to a business organization, which include the following:

  • Helping you see which stage of customer journey will necessitate certain response of interest.
  • Coordinating your sales efforts around diverse teams that specialize in a particular level of customer relationship.
  • Showing the gaps between a desired customer experience and the one actually received.
  • Allowing you to work with real actionable data with your sales development team.
  • Identifying whether the customer journey is in a logical order.
  • Helping you concentrate efforts and resources on what matters most to achieve returns.

These are some of the benefits of using a customer lifecycle but the case might be a little different for business organizations based on their specific sizes, markets, and the products they sell. We can deduce from the above merits by saying a customer lifecycle is an active effort of sales and marketing teams that is driven and organized to achieve certain progressive results.

In essence, a customer lifecycle is a process in which potential customers are segmented into different stages for easy management by the sales teams. Because customer conversions happen in stages, this allows their progress to be monitored and improved along the company goal.

It isn’t uncommon that customer lifecycle is a common subject that comes up when discussing business development as related to lead generation and conversion. To this, people often mistake customer lifecycle for customer journey or vice versa. While both terms are related in many ways, they are not interchangeable for each other.

Customer journey on the other hand is the process which describes all the itineration which a customer has with a business from their first contact up to the point the decision is made. In most cases, this can be grouped in three stages: awareness, consideration and decision.

At awareness, customers have realized the need which they have at hand, so they start looking for solutions to unravel this. When they get to the consideration stage, they have started comparing the solution to their found need with the other options that are also available to help them arrive at the best conclusion. When they get to the decision stage, customers will try to solve their need by making use of the best available option they have, so they will search for detailed information that will help them make active decision.

In comparison, customer lifecycle is the continuous effort of sales and marketing teams to maximize sales returns. Typically, this can be divided into 3 stages, though with more specific subdivisions.

  • Acquire
  • Engage
  • Retain

Acquire

This can be subdivided into Awareness and Conversion. In the awareness stage, potential customers have become aware of the possibility your product might help them in terms of meeting their existing needs, so they decide to conduct a research about it. At conversion, potential customers have opted in to your product and made some connection with it that indicates serious interest from them, but more efforts still need to be made to regard them as qualified leads. A similar case is when your potential customers visit your landing page or subscribe to your email opt-in.

Engage

By Engage, it means your customers are now in your radar through some very important actions they have taken. Words like Purchase and Activation are common at this stage to describe the activities of your customers. By purchase it means your customers have taken some actions which have allowed you to realize some business returns, these actions could mean when they buy your product, make order for your service, or even decide to subscribe for a premium service. However, the work does not end here as you will need to provide onboarding experience to allow for easy navigation of product use by customers. 

Activation stage, as more businesses move from an one-time payment to a subscription-based model, it is never about closing a lead to cement a business relationship with a customer. Today, customers have the flexibility to leave and go to your competitor if they can no longer find a value in your product. This is why it is required of you to proactively provide helpful resources and support for customers to fully utilize your products and services. This can be in form of common FAQs embedded on your products page, a knowledge base, explainer videos, live chat or third party references to showcase the value in your product. Keeping these in line will not only provide the needed value to customers but also drive supports with human feel around your business which allow you to give a sense of assurance to customers.

Retain

Customers at this point have become ascertained with their purchase activities but more works still need to be done to retain them. This stage can be grouped into Renewal and Referral. Renewal is the effort put behind your business to make sure that your customers renew their contract with you. As earlier mentioned, in a subscription-based model, contracts need to be renewed for continuous access to a service. Businesses are not just looking for a big one-time sale but also to build a consistent and loyal customer base. Proactively providing supports in terms of customer relationship service will help you overcome the roadblocks which may lead customers to churn.

Finally, the referral stage is an ideal scenario if you work in SaaS. It also shows that your customer acquisition and retention strategies have been only effective. When you have built a committed customer base, customer advocacy is only a matter of spontaneity. But incorporating a referral program into your business will show customers that the process can be streamlined for them. Whether it’s through a word of mouth, online reviews, customer testimonials, or a commission-based affiliate, happy customers who are eager to share their joy is only great for business. And this is when you can boast of unravelling your customer lifecycle.

Final thoughts

Three customer lifecycle touch points that determine the fate of your customer experience highlighted above. But one thing led to the other for you to be able to get your customers thus far. Without the success in one stage, it is almost impossible to reach the next one. From customer acquisition to engagement to retention, everything has to be in order to make sure your marketing message can achieve its goal. 

One thing is that the customer journey has to be modified and improved to achieve the success. The more understanding you are able to gather about your customers through their activities, the better your chances of success. This happens when you can identify the top 20% of your customers (which are more likely to drive 80% of your sales) and understand the identifiable traits which make these customers to be so successful.

In other words, the Pareto optimality principle 80/20 can be helpful to pinpoint the key aspects of your business which are most impactful to drive customer success. 

Some quick insight: Italian economist, Vilfredo Pareto, discovered way back in 1906 that 80% of the land in Italy was owed by only 20% of the population. This led many people to believe that the same scenario in which 80/20 distribution is found happens quite frequently, so the term Pareto principle was adopted.

For instance, you could apply this in your business and ask the questions: which 20% of your time is responsible for 80% of your success in terms of results with customers? What are your top 20% customers (which as described earlier contribute 80% of your sales)? Should you concentrate most of your marketing messages on 20% of your sales copies that make most of your sales? And so on.

Understanding the Pareto optimality principle towards your business strategy can help you to pinpoint the key areas or traits that distinguish your most profitable customers from others so that you can target similar customers like them in your marketing messages.

The Pareto principle is also known to have exponential power, that is within the 20% of customers that represent 80% of sales are also other top 20% of customers represent 80% of sales. This can be helpful to narrowing down your most valuable customers to the last few whose specific qualities can be easily studied.

Understanding and perfecting this logic can help you to serve the right message fitted at a particular time, tone, and place to your customers 

However, before you focus all your energy and resources to convert more customers like your top 20%-ers, you should also know that the other 80%-ers contribute to your company sales too. Understanding why these people don’t convert like the other group may give you some valuable insights on what your company needs to do to get more people to convert.

That’s it,

What is your experience with mapping a customer lifecycle and how is your customer journey fitted into company objectives, could you describe those things you have found most important to your customer experience?

3 Customer Lifecycle Touchpoints That Determine The Fate Of Your Customer Experience
Akinade Eniolabi



This post first appeared on Social Media Verve: Helping Business Suceed With Online Marketing, please read the originial post: here

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