Customer Life Cycle and 6 Simple Customer Retention Tips
Regular customers are the three pillars of every business. They influence numerous business processes, thus affecting general metrics. For example, according to Review 42, the increase in the number of regular clients by just 5% results in a 25% growth in income.
It is the reason the retention of current customers and their conversion into “regulars” remain relevant. In this article, we are going to cover what a customer life cycle is and discuss several simple recommendations that will prevent it from being interrupted at the sale stage.
Customer life cycle
The life cycle is the way a customer covers from the first meeting with the product or service to becoming a regular client. Understanding and tracking this journey gives a chance to adjust the strategy for conquering the audience and enhancing conversion from potential customers into the active base.
A standard cycle consists of six stages.
Stage 1: Awareness
So, the first stage is building a connection with customers and informing them of a product or service. It can be made with the help of content marketing, social media, or organic promotion. But the actual set of channels can vary.
The key thing to rely on is the platforms your target audience chooses. Communicate with potential customers on their territory.
Potential clients get valuable information from enterprises. It affects greatly their loyalty to a brand, and, in the end, forces the decision to cooperate.
Upon expiration of this stage, a potential customer realizes that they have a need or desire that can be fulfilled by a product or service. It pushes them to a more targeted search and analysis of offers.
Stage 2: Interest
In the second stage, customers compare different offers to identify the one they see as the most competitive one. It is the reason companies should focus on building up from other market players.
One of the ways to do it is by discovering and formulating a unique selling proposition. Highlight your strong sides for potential customers to see a real benefit and value without zooming in.
Stage 3: Decision-making
At this stage, customers narrow their choices and come closer to making a decision on the purchase. Businesses must ensure the simplest access to a product or service and give the first simple action to begin cooperation. Offer a consultation, trial version, discount, or special terms for new clients. Also, pay attention to personalization. Try to create an impression that your offer is unique and addressed to your lead.
Offer a consultation, trial version, discount, or special terms for new clients. Also, pay attention to personalization. Try to create an impression that your offer is unique and addressed to your lead.
Stage 4: Purchase
Here, customers agree to buy your product or service. But it is not the time to relax: focus on service. Upon purchasing, customers form an opinion about your business based on interaction and communication. Therefore, customers’ expectations must be dashed.
What can influence the audience’s attitude and loyalty:
- Simple shopping. Customers must find things they need fast and with no problem. Too many complicated steps, iterations, communication, or difficulties in navigating your website may scare them off.
- Customer support. Companies can offer live chat, a phone number, or even a simple FAQ on a website. The key thing here is to make audience communication open and accessible.
- Good deal. Be it a discount, free shipping, or any other incentive, make sure customers understand what they get, and your offer has an evident benefit.
- Feedback. Keep in touch with a client after delivering goods. You can thus make sure that they are satisfied with their purchase and offer related products.
Stage 5: Customer experience
The customer journey does not end with the purchase. The real work starts at the following stage. Clients use your product or service and form their impressions.
Quality support and service guarantee a positive experience. Make sure the product keeps fulfilling the needs over time.
Stage 6: Loyalty
The final stage of the customer cycle is the formation of loyalty. At this stage, clients are satisfied with your product or service and are ready to recommend it to others.
They leave feedback, and sometimes even promote your business on social media. These users not only commit recurrent purchases, but also bring new clients.
Why you must retain customers
Not every client will stay after the purchase. However, it does not mean that there is no sense in retaining customers. The loss of recurrent clients may result in unpleasant consequences, such as:
- Missed business opportunities in future
- Brand image damage
- Negative effect on the final profit
- Lost share of the market
- Difficulties with returning ex-customers, and many more
To avoid it, you must get serious about creating a customer retention strategy.
6 recommendations to retain customers
There are several general recommendations that you can follow to increase customers’ lifespan after the purchase. Of course, every point does not work separately from others, and a complex approach is the only right. Do not forget that the cost of a client attracted grows constantly. To optimize marketing resources, it makes sense to pay attention to audience retention.
Recommendation 1: Explore customer behavior
Learning customer interaction with a company or product is an essential part of the sales funnel formation. If you thoroughly track the weakest links in the chain of interaction, you will have a chance to fix them and improve the correlation between one-time and regular customers.
How? Configure end-to-end analytics, use UTM tags and other mechanisms to monitor customer behavior. Do not neglect to ask about the quality of service and thoroughly collect this info. Know the reasons for refusal. Make effort, and do not let it go.
Recommendation 2: Pay attention to customer satisfaction
I have already broached the subject earlier, but I’ll repeat myself. Customer satisfaction is the measure of how much a company meets expectations. It is usually monitored with the help of questionnaires or other mechanisms of feedback.
Keep track of the level of audience satisfaction on all key aspects (the product itself, service, quality and speed of feedback, logistics, etc.). Regular contact with a client and interest in their satisfaction will be a sign of your indifference and become a strong foundation for long-term relations.
Recommendation 3: Impact customer relationship
Relationship marketing is a customer retention strategy focused on building long-term links. Investment in it may become a key strategy that allows to retain customers. It is especially essential in b2b, while in b2c this approach may significantly increase LTV.
Maintain current connections and actively solve potential problems to reduce risks of losing customers. When developing a system to keep track of clients after the purchase, you can ensure their satisfaction and prompt problem-solving.
Recommendation 4: Invest in training
Your team must know the values you share and understand how to act in certain situations. Besides basic scripts and behavior strategies, you should pay attention to the policy used when resolving conflicts and complicated situations.
The team must know the product and have enough knowledge and skills required for quality communication with customers. Investment in the training of your employees will bring great profit. These steps may reduce customer losses due to poor service.
Recommendation 5: Provide enough value
Customers deny a company when they do not feel that they get enough value for the money spent.
Put yourself in their shoes. You work hard to earn your money and want to spend them on a quality product or service worth investing in. Offer such quality. Make sure your clients are satisfied with your good.
Set fair prices. A good price does not mean the lowest. Focus on the price fitting the quality. And work on the presentation of your product — even the most delicious dish may look unappetizing.
Recommendation 6: Do not be afraid of technologies
When using modern mechanisms of integration and automatization of online instruments and channels of interaction, enterprises can monitor customer data, carry out smooth communication at every stage and ensure a high level of service.
The latest technologies can be used to automate routine tasks, such as mailing or polls. It helps employees focus on more essential tasks.
Start with simple things:
- CRM — monitors customer data and interaction.
- E-mail marketing software — automates mailing and polls.
- Web and product analytics — monitors customer behavior and preferences.
- Software for marketing automatization — automates marketing tasks, such as segmentation, lead generation, and management.
In fact, there is a tool for any process. If you notice a bottleneck at any stage, you can always find a solution or set of solutions that will automate and accelerate the problem-solving process.
Successful customer retention directly contributes to stable company growth. The strategy of scaling only by new customers is similar to pouring water into a glass with no bottom.
By making and implementing the right strategies, a business can build long-term relationships with its customers, resulting in enhanced customer loyalty. It allows for increasing significantly the predictability of growth and helps with transforming chaotic marketing into a predictable development process.
Want to form a seamless customer life cycle and enhance LTV? Choose any time slot available and book a consultation.