Identify Your Target Audience
The first step in managing the reach stage of your customer lifecycle is to identify your target audience. Determine how your hypothetical ideal customer hears about your brand, then design a targeted ad campaign to reel the person in. Metrics analyzed at this stage can include click-through rate and impressions, and you can compare the reach of your advertisements versus website visits to determine which campaigns are working most effectively.
Share Relevant Content
Also part of managing your reach stage is sharing relevant content on your website, blog and social media platforms with your customers. Content can include industry-specific information, templates, infographics and even online courses. Gather data on what aspects of your communication are working by tracking interactions with different website pages. How much time is spent on each page? Are videos watched through, or do they remain unplayed? Are internal links from one page to another often clicked?
Provide Self-Service Resources
When managing the acquisition stage of your customer lifecycle, you want to provide self-service resources for your customer to make them more likely to continue connecting with your brand. Creating FAQs or even full “knowledge bases,” a centralized database of articles, blog posts and more can give your customers a chance to learn about your company’s products or services and trust your brand as a resource for reliable information.
Use Proactive Customer Service Techniques
Customer service should not start after purchase, but instead should be another facet of managing your acquisition stage. Offering not only self-service tools but also full customer support options even before purchase will help establish relationships with potential customers and help familiarize customers with your products. Tracking those customers who reach out for support via phone, email or live chat to see if they convert to customers can also give you insight into the effectiveness of your sales team and customer support reps.
Remove Friction From the Purchase Stage
The conversion stage of your customer lifecycle should be managed by making purchasing as easy as possible for your converting customers. Create a simple, online ordering system that makes the process intuitive and easily understandable at each step. The most important data work at this step involves the proper collection of a new customer’s data. You can use this data to fine-tune the customer experience—not just for this one buyer, but for all your current and future customers.
Provide Support Options During the Purchase Decision
Also important at the conversion stage is providing significant support options during and immediately following a purchase decision. Purchasing your product should not invoke buyer’s remorse, so make sure to offer live chat, phone and email customer support to keep your new customers happy and ensure they feel taken care of. Does your product require instructions? Is your service something that requires scheduling? Provide links on a purchase page and email instructions. Call to schedule or send a reminder email with properly formatted calendar attachments.
Personalize the Customer’s Experience
Make sure not to forget about your customers once they’ve made a purchase. The key to managing the retention stage of your customer lifecycle is to make your customers feel cared about. Send a thank you email offering discounts on other items your customer viewed, or give them an early heads-up on coming sales. Converting a customer again can give you further insight into what is and isn’t working for your brand.
Invest In Automation
Personalizing your customer’s post-purchase engagement isn’t hard when your customer base is small, but as you get bigger, you’ll need to up the ante. Automating the process of managing and connecting with your customers is another important part of the retention stage. You can send emails that check in on your customers and their new product one week, one month or one year after purchase and ask for feedback or encourage product review engagement.
Invite Customer Reviews and Encourage Referrals
The final step in managing your customer’s lifecycle is making sure they stay loyal to your brand. Invite customer reviews and encourage referrals to push your customers to continue engaging with your brand. Examine how you continue to engage with current customers via exclusive offers, discounts and birthday gifts. Make referrals easy and rewarding and encourage customers to post about their experience with products online—then re-share those posts and remain engaged with your customers online.