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Why Every Business Needs a Customer Lifecycle Strategy and Framework

kokou adzo

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As every businessperson knows, customers are one of the most critical factors to watch for. They are the ones in need, the people that triggered why you opened the business, and as hard as a pill to swallow, customers are the ones who determine your business’s fate.

After all, without customers, the business would be nowhere to be found, right? 

This is precisely why you must build a strategy and framework to make your customers stick like glue to your business. Building healthy customer relationships is one of the most crucial steps you can take and definitely one of the most effective ways to achieve longevity and more significant revenue.

Of course, connecting with your customers doesn’t start with small talk! 

A planned and detailed marketing approach is known as the “customer lifecycle.”

Customer Lifecycle: Not a Science Lesson

I know you’ve heard of the frog or butterfly lifecycle when you were a kid, but here’s another one: the customer lifecycle. And no, they do not undergo metamorphosis. 

The customer lifecycle refers to the stages a buyer undergoes once they interact with your brand and make a purchasing decision. To give you a glimpse of this cycle, we’d like you to remember this: Finders Keepers.

Imagine this: A customer comes across your product in an online shop. Your product is good, remarkable, and fits right in with what the customer wants. They ordered it and paid immediately without any questions. Now, using the concept of the customer lifecycle in this situation, you would like to build a long-term connection with this particular customer, so you’ll reply to them, update them about their order processing, and treat them nicely. With this action, you already gained one customer who would order again.

That is how the customer lifecycle works. Like many lifecycles, there are also stages in this loop that may vary between companies. However, the process typically involves a customer contacting a product, engaging with the business, and becoming a loyal consumer.

To give you more perspective, here are the five stages of the customer lifecycle:

1.Awareness – A potential client comes across your product or service, making them one of your prospects.

2.Consideration – The prospective client marks your business as one of many that could supply their needs or wants. This is sometimes crucial, as prospects compare your brand to others at this stage.|
3.Purchase – This is where the buyer officially makes a purchase under your brand and determines if they’ll become one of your loyal customers or not.

4.Retention – When customers find joy in their purchase, they will continue to buy products and services, becoming one of your faithful ones. That’s right; you’ve finally gained followers!

5.Advocacy – Well, here’s the fun part. Once a customer becomes one of your biggest supporters, they will recommend your brand everywhere, increasing your visibility.

Finders keepers, right? If you play your cards right, a customer will find a product and become one of your “keepers”.

However, even if we say this, The customer lifecycle is non-linear. With the number of brands, products, and services a person can access on the internet, there is no straight path to guarantee a prospect becomes one of your business’ loyal customers.

But don’t lose hope! This is where we use another strategy that would help you garner dedicated buyers.

Have you heard of the MEDDIC sales process? This process will help you determine whether or not to exert effort on a prospect before your eyes. It filters them out and lets you focus on who matters for the business.

MEDDIC stands for metrics, economic buyer, decision criteria, decision process, identify pain, and champion, which is basically your checklist to help your business qualify prospects and prevent you from wasting time on unwinnable sales.

Customer Lifecycle: The Whys

As mentioned earlier, the customer lifecycle is never linear, requiring you to combine strategies that will work best for your business. Here are some benefits that you will gain while implementing a customer lifecycle strategy:

Higher Revenue Growth

It’s cheaper to maintain customers than to acquire new ones. A customer lifecycle strategy allows you to boost lifetime value and deliver value-added products or services simultaneously, increasing revenue. Spend less, earn more—is there a better way to do business?

Sustain customers for the lo run.un

Since customer lifecycle strategy and MEDDIC allow you to focus on fostering long-term customer relationships, your buyers are more likely to stay. 

Boost customer satisfaction.

A customer lifecycle strategy would allow you to focus on retaining your customers at every stage rather than attracting prospects everywhere. Personalized content, products, and other services will definitely boost your customers’ experience and turn them into advocates who’ll be the ones to recommend your business to people they know. It’s like a domino effect with you on top of it.

Better customer insights

Your customers will become the apple of your eye once you incorporate a customer lifecycle strategy into your business. Tracking and analyzing customer preferences and their feedback will allow you to make data-driven decisions that will impact and improve your business, products, and overall customer experience.  

Customer Lifecycle: The Hows

As things may seem now, you are ready to implement a customer lifecycle framework that will work best for your business. Here are some steps that might aid you in making a strategy for your company. Remember to be creative and add some personal touches as you see fit!

  • Determine who your customer is.

Before anything else, remember that you’ll always start with your customers. Take time to get to know them, establish personas, and filter who’s who. You can use metrics and categories in determining these, such as psychological, behavioral, and demographic characteristics. 

  • Transform your business to become customer-centric.

Take note of the lifecycle stages that future customers will encounter. Your content and messaging must match the customer’s preferences and foster a client-prospect relationship.

  • Use technology to your advantage.

Tracking your customers can get you into a coma if done manually. Embrace technology and use customer lifecycle software to automate and improve your strategy. These software tools include Salesforce Marketing Cloud, EngageBay, and Bottom Line.

Customers are essential to businesses because they can’t simply run without them. Without a need, companies cease. 

Step up your game and keep an eye on your customers, filter them out using MEDDIC, and maintain them using a personal customer lifecycle strategy and framework.

 

Kokou Adzo is the editor and author of Startup.info. He is passionate about business and tech, and brings you the latest Startup news and information. He graduated from university of Siena (Italy) and Rennes (France) in Communications and Political Science with a Master's Degree. He manages the editorial operations at Startup.info.

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