April 25 2017
Customer life-cycle is a term used to describe the progression of steps a customer goes through when buying. The life-cycle involves considering, purchasing, using, and basically the measurement of multiple customer related metrics that are analyzed over a period of time to gauge the business performance. But measuring interactions and buying patterns, as well as conversion paths, are often more complex in a multi-channel world and require a more sophisticated approach.
Since the customer’s progressive buyer journey is not linear and funnel models don’t match with an increasingly complicated behavior, there is a need for an integrated marketing 2.0 approach. The solution lies with the more integrated and evolved cloud-based CRM that can cater to this level of complexity. Let’s analyze the various stages of customer life-cycle that need to be managed within the CRM and see how a cloud-based approach can benefit your business:
1. Reach: The reach phase of the life-cycle aims to get the attention of your target customers. This involves creating brand awareness among your audience, identifying the market segments and reaching out to them with information using various media. The goal here is to pique their curiosity and encourage them to seek out more information. It requires a well-defined brand strategy and omni-channel marketing approach – using social channels, websites, content marketing and so on.
2. Acquisition: Once you have established your reach, comes the acquisition phase. That is attracting and drawing in the target customers to the influence sphere of your organization. Various communication channels are deployed to do so: such as emails, sales calls, telephone calls etc.
3. Conversion: In the conversion phase, you convert the potential lead into your customer. This is owned by the sales team where they take the onus of convincing, persuasion and pricing negotiation. As the leads are converted to opportunities they become a ‘new’ customer in the database.
4. Retention: The retention phase is perhaps the most challenging of them all. Only a satisfied customer will stay loyal and bring in recurrent revenue. A constant flow of communication and feedback loop are essential to learning about the requirements, gaps in customer expectation and integrating the knowledge into your business processes. As a result, your business decisions are more collaborative and keep the customers engaged and satisfied. Retention also involves more business generation with the possibility of selling further (cross-selling and upselling).
Endorsement or Loyalty: The best advertisement is a happy customer. Satisfied customers are loyal partners, brand advocates who promote your product into their own social networks generating more interest and leads.
It is crucial to understand your prospects and customers through this entire cycle and be aware of the journey in all contact moments and touchpoints between the customer and your company. The customer life-cycle has remained the same but the ways in which to reach, acquire, convert, retain and gain loyalty have undergone a sea-change. This is also true about business intelligence and measurement of these phases. This is one of the reasons why marketing automation and cloud-based CRM have gained so much traction.
Modern cloud-based CRMs such as Dynamics CRM break away from the silo-based approach and drive your marketing success rates through social insights, business intelligence and advanced campaign management. Here are some benefits of cloud-based CRM for customer life-cycle management:
CRM and cloud-based CRM solutions in particular, upend the traditional models, radically cutting costs and reducing risks. In fact, 92% of SMBs are now using at least one cloud business solution, and 87% already use at least one cloud infrastructure solution. If you want to derive more value from your effort, then it might be time to consider an on-demand CRM solution. Consult with professional Dynamics CRM development services to understand how it can enhance your CLM (Customer Life-cycle Management).
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