Customer lifecycle is a well-known term holding high importance for any business. Customer lifecycle can be defined as the stages a customer goes through before, during and after the transaction while taking your products or services. It describes the progression of the customer relationship with your business through the various stages.
Being one of the key metrics to measure the business growth and success, every business aims to increase the customer lifecycle value (CLV) and optimize the overall customer lifecycle.
How to Calculate Customer Lifecycle or Lifetime Value?
The Stages of Customer Lifecycle
A customer lifecycle generally consists of five stages as follow-
Reaching to your customers is the very first step of acquiring them. This step involves the activities related to reaching out to the audience through multiple channels such as social media, emails, SMS etc. Also, word-of-mouth promotion can be the way to reach your target audience. This is the very beginning stage of the customer lifecycle which defines the association of your brand with the audience or potential customers for the very first time.
Customer acquisition is a very important stage of the customer lifecycle where the aim of your business is gaining new customers who are or can be interested in your brand, products or services in the near future. This is the stage where the customers get to know about your brand and offerings in greater detail. Companies often use various strategies to make this stage effective such as letting the customers test the products or take a demo. As the brand and customer association deepens in the acquisition stage, communication plays a vital role here.
Conversion is the much awaited phase of the customer lifecycle for any business. It implies that the customer does a transaction for the first time with your business, like purchasing a product, taking a subscription or service etc. For a successful conversion, it is important to position your offerings based on the present market conditions so that your business can have competitive advantages. At the same time, it is important to have a positive long lasting impact on your customers in this stage. And most of the leading companies focus on the customer engagement, experience and service apart from the product quality.
Customer retention is the ultimate goal and purpose of the previous stages and hence every business strives to improve their customer retention. Customer retention represents the ability of a company to convert the one-time customers into the repeat or permanent ones. More the customer retention, more the recurring revenue, and overall profit of the company.
Customer loyalty is what determines how strong the relationship between your brand and customers is going to be in the long run. While customer retention denotes the repeat customers, customer loyalty determines the likeliness of the customers being the permanent ones.
As you can see, every stage of the customer lifecycle is equally important as one leads to the other. The moment you start working on the customer acquisition, your focus should be on improving the customer lifecycle value. From the point when a customer first interacts with your brand, you should ensure that your brand creates value and makes the right impact.
In order to help in improving CLV, customer engagement often plays a significant role. In each stage of the customer lifecycle, consistent customer engagement is often considered as the key to lead the customer to the next stage of his/her journey. This also helps in brand recall instead of letting them forget about your brand shortly.
To know more about how to improve the customer lifecycle for your business, read the first blog of our series-
Guide to Improve Customer Onboarding for Your Online Business.
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