What is the customer lifecycle?
Customer lifecycle comes from the practice of CRM (customer relationship management) that punctuates a customer's relationship with a company. It describes various stages a customer goes through, from exploring a product, service, or solution to buying a product. Simply put, it's the journey a customer takes from Point A to Point B until they decide to finally purchase the product.
What is customer lifecycle management?
Customer lifecycle management allows merchants and retailers to assign a key metric or number to the different stages and events of the customer lifecycle to manage, monitor, and evaluate the effectiveness of the marketing and sales efforts in acquiring and retaining customers. The primary objective of customer lifecycle management is to measure the business performance related to customer loyalty and satisfaction.
You can view customer lifecycle management as an arc that starts when a customer first learns about your company and products and march towards the final goal: customer loyalty.
The customer lifecycle has five stages:
Reach: In this stage, companies try to capture customers' attention who are searching for goods and services to solve a problem/need. This stage is successful if a customer amongst your competitors reaches out to you for more information.
Acquisition: Companies try to entice visitors into becoming customers in this stage. Remember, leads who have inquired about your company are not your customers yet. They are on your website, exploring your offerings, but you need to give them valuable information via content, pricing page, and blog posts to help them fulfill their needs. In case of any query, your customer support services should be on point to address every matter that can help visitors make their decision.
Conversion: Once your visitors have all the information they need about how your products and services can be of value to them, the prospects will purchase if they are satisfied with the information they have. Once they've made a purchase—they have converted and turned into paying customers. But this doesn't end here. This is just the beginning of a long relationship that you have to nurture to retain the loyalty of your customers to ensure they keep coming back to your store.
Retention: Customer retention is one of the most important aspects of long-term business growth because acquiring new customers is more expensive than retaining existing ones. You can ensure the loyalty of your customers by finding out how they feel about the products they bought or the services they received. Gather periodic customer feedback through scheduled customer surveys and measure your customer satisfaction score. Reflect upon your customer feedback to improve your product portfolio and optimize customer response times.
Loyalty: When all of the stages mentioned above work in perfect sync, your business earns the loyalty of your customers. A successful customer lifecycle earns you the advocacy of your customers. You will have brand ambassadors who will come to your website for products and services they need and recommend you to their families and friends.