The customer experience lifecycle is a series of sequential stages that customers go through before they become loyal advocates of the product. The customer experience lifecycle provides an outline of needs to address at each stage so that customer segments can be understood in a much better way. The blog discusses the different customer experience stages and their importance in the retail sector.
What is Customer Lifecycle?
The customer lifecycle is a structured process where the prospects became aware of a product, make a purchase, and ideally become the company’s long-term loyal customers. It is an iterative process where organizations are continuously improvising their monetization and business strategies to get better going forward. Let us try and understand the different stages of customer experience. You might add or remove phases depending on the business model, sales strategy, or other factors.
This is the first stage where the prospective customers identify a business need and begin to research different products or services based on their specific requirements. This is where the businesses can be proactive and need to attract customers and convince them to get started. During the initial stages, it is all about identifying the right target customers so that they become aware of the company and the specific products or services that are being offered. You can capture the attention of the customers using different marketing tactics – social media reach, content marketing, referrals, etc.
It is all about building the right connection with your customers so that they can make more informed decisions.
The next stage is all about acquiring them. Here, the potential customers are identified, and they will evaluate whether this product or service will meet their needs/requirements or not. Retail brands should focus on nudging prospective customers toward the conversion – making them complete a purchase, view an online product, or even download company resources online.
The acquisition of customers can vary from domain to domain depending on the specific product or service that is being offered. If you can understand the customer pain points and help to address them, it takes very little time for acquisition.
This phase is all about converting your potential customers into actual ones. It is all about connecting well with your customers so that they feel valued, and if they do, the sales will happen automatically. Organizations must ensure that they can eliminate friction i.e., in terms of contract handling and negotiation, pricing terms and conditions, or even a clear understanding of the services offered.
The flexible payment options can also be a great option so that customers can pick and choose the desired option based on their convenience.
This phase is all about retaining your customers so that they continue to pay you for the specialized product or services that are being offered. You need to be proactive and work hard to retain the customer base. This can be done in the following ways:
- Regular Follow-Ups
- Staying in constant contact
- Delivering top-notch customer experience and sales support
- Identifying new opportunities for adding more customer value
Build Trust and Loyalty
This phase is building the trust and loyalty factor so that your customers continue to stay for years to come. It is about building a relationship by making a conscious effort to understand the customer’s needs so that improvements can be made. For example, in the retail sector, you can send out surveys or questionaries to the customers and identify the pain points during the different touchpoints. The focus should be on quality and providing delightful experiences so that customers are connected emotionally with the brand.
There are instances when customers are no longer using the services or products because they are dissatisfied. The organizations must ensure that they have re-engaging strategies in place so they can attract customers with new features or enhancements. You can also improve your existing branding strategies to improve the existing customer base.
The customer experience lifecycle is all about aligning with the customer mindset and making every interaction meaningful. If you can understand the specific customer requirements, you can easily convince them to stick with the overall journey. You can also use the customer experience lifecycle to measure specific customer-related metrics over a specific period. This can not only improve the existing customer experience but can improve business growth in the long run.