The Customer Lifecycle
Basically every business will have customers, from one time, to new and even loyal customers. But not every business knows about the customer lifecycle, there’s five stages that a customer will go through whilst interacting with your company.
The first stage is referred to as ‘reach’, as this is the time where the potential customer would search for the product or service, and would reach you. They would see what you offer and become interested if it suits them.
This stage is where marketing and SEO will come in most useful, as having a great outreach would make it easier for potential customers to access and reach your business and see your offer. Being successful in this stage is piquing the interest of the customer to begin contact.
When the potential customer makes that first contact, whether that will be emailing, calling or entering your website, they’ve entered the second stage – the ‘acquisition’ stage.
Depending on the way they’ll contact you, this stage will vary the most, someone entering your business’ website could access the information they need, whilst if they call, you can answer any of the questions they may have there and then.
Whatever the route the potential customer takes, providing them with the adequate information they need, and having persuaded them to make a purchase, they will move to the next stage.
At the third stage, known as the ‘conversion’ stage, the potential customer has made their purchase, and is now officially a customer. At this stage, you want to make sure that the new customer is happy with their purchase, and you can now move to the fourth stage in an attempt to keep them as a customer.
With the previous stage, you have gotten a customer, however at this point they are a one time customer. The fourth stage is called the ‘retention’ stage, as the name suggests, this stage is about retaining the customer to keep their business.
You can do this many ways depending on the service, you could send a follow up email after the customer has made the purchase to see how they enjoyed the product, or if they need any help with the service. You could even offer incentives for them to return and buy another product or service at a discount.
Doing so can lead to the next stage, and turn your one time customer into a loyal customer.
The final stage is the ‘loyalty’ stage, at this point you’ve successfully created a loyal customer, whilst it’s not a quick process, a loyal customer can be a great benefit to your business. A loyal customer will trust your product or service over others, most likely will come back for said product or service when they need it again, and are more likely to recommend your business to people they know, effectively becoming free advertisement.
Having a loyal customer, in turn, can make more customers, and even more loyal customers, so attempting to create some loyalty is important for a business.
The Customer Lifecycle itself is something very important that you should know about, you may have heard it before, or even know of it, but it is something that you should always keep in mind.