Gone are the days when customer service used to be a one-time deal. These days, it is more like a mutual relationship, entitling to a customer lifetime value. Simply put, these customers are going to stick around with the company. And that is why brand loyalty is of high pertinence, especially when it comes to customer life management.
For instance, in the beauty industry, there are many brands that sell almost similar models for various uses. But only a few of them attain the highest customer stickiness. So what makes that difference? Why is it that people prefer, say, Lakme or Huda Beauty more?
Let us begin by understanding what is meant by the term customer lifecycle first. The customer lifecycle outlines the steps undertaken by a customer as they progress with the company through sales or marketing. Having said that, it draws a clear-cut picture of the customer’s journey with you. It describes the various stages a customer goes through during their course of interaction with your brand.
Needless to say, customer life management provides marketers a detailed framework for interacting with the clients at every touchpoint for seamless communication. Start personalizing your brand for your customers and see how to stick around. These are the stages of how one can delve into the same.
The Stage of Discovery
This is namely the first stage in a customer life cycle. This starts when a customer begins to look for a particular product. For example, let’s assume you as a customer would wish to buy a new smartphone. For that, you might get a kick-start with the features that you want in your set. Then you will most probably set to compare these features across various competitor brands.
Once you are done with that, you will read related customer reviews and decide the highlights, the pros, and the cons. After all that, you will be ready to go with a certain brand with has all the facets as per your need.
The Stage of Enlightenment
Once you are through the first stage, you would have discovered what is it that you want to buy. Now when you reach out to a certain brand, you might have some queries or concerns related to your product. To impress you as a customer, the brand will do its best to enlighten you with the best of plausible answers as well as offer you tempting services.
They will inquire more about your needs and then educate you on the uses and advantages of those products or services. No brand would like to lose a customer, that too to another competitor. Who knows, you might end up with a special discount or coupon too?
The Stage of Purchase
After you have successfully crossed the stage of enlightenment, you will witness the stage of a purchase. Once you have finally decided that this is the final product that you wish to go with, you make a payment transaction.
And once you are through the purchase phase, the company is most likely going to render you a feedback survey. The survey would mostly be about how well the product has suited your needs or is there any issue in the product, etc.
The Stage of Post Purchase Engagement
In this stage, the brand will use information directly from the customers who bought their merchandise or seek the help of the social media platform to know how well is that product streaming in the market.
The company will strive to revamp the product to be as user-friendly as it can be. All that matters at the end of the day is to generate a seamless customer service experience. Customer retention is yet another factor that massively counts.
Build a simple transaction system where a customer can just add items to a cart, add card information, and hit ‘submit’ to complete a purchase. On top of that, you can add some support elements on your website. Consider live chat pop-ups that link them to a particular customer representative.
That way they can easily sort their questions if any during a shopping experience. Better yet, pair them with your customer base and CRM and turn it into a personalized account.
The Stage of Advocacy
In the final stage, you may have to look for happy, satisfied customers to share their experiences in a simple manner. To have a positive influence on others, customers generally post on social media about the experience with the brand. What you can do here is you can email them small and quick surveys, you can link them to your Google review page or at best offer them discounts for every referral they give away.
This process can be very fluid. These days, with the advent of social media into our lives a customer can easily come to know about a brand in several manners. Be it social media, or advertisements, or via friends or family or even through personal research.
For each of the stages mentioned above, a company can chalk out the best ways to strategically lead strangers to do business with them. And that is why it is critically essential for a company to be aware of the customer life cycle and most importantly, customer life management.
Finally, it can be concluded that at the introductory stage of brand discovery, the marketing teams capitalize on the given opportunities to enlighten their clients as much as they can. Once they do that, they encourage purchase decisions and strive to strengthen customer retention. This lately fosters customer stickiness, better relations and advocacy for the brand.18
Simran hails from the content marketing backdrop with extensive knowledge in blogs, articles, and technical whitepapers in the non-fictional domain. She uses her ‘gift of the gab’ to explore new possibilities on her way and to make an exquisite impact on her readers. In her spare time, she likes to read journals on artificial intelligence or play with her cute kittens.
Published May 29, 2020, Updated March 23, 2021