Customer lifecycle management helps brands grow by managing various customer journey stages – reach, acquisition, conversion, retention, and loyalty. It facilitates brands to expand their clientele and enables them to gain a wealth of information. KPIs serve as a barometer of their success in operations and paves the way for continuous improvement.
The practice of CLM was done some way or the other during various phases of digital transformation. Customers’ buying experience has also gone through a sea change as the digital transformation was unthinkable a couple of years ago. Now, brands have understood the urgency to develop a personal rapport with customers to build a loyal customer base.
A satisfied customer is worth more than acquiring a new customer. Therefore, brands have initiated various practices over the years for an effective customer relationship cycle. For instance, omnichannel customer support where customers can seamlessly communicate with their brand across all touchpoints and get timely and personalized solutions to their issues.
Brands have also started gathering key inputs from customers to measure the success of their operations. Then again, some brands have deployed AI-enabled customer service tools like Siri or Alexa that can receive voice inputs and provide customized solutions to the customers.
The latest trends in Customer lifecycle management 2021
Let’s take a look at some trends organizations have adopted so far in order to stay ahead in the long run rather than falling behind:
Omnichannel customer support
Customer engagement has always been a critical component of a company’s existence and ability to stay ahead of the competition. However, a brand’s ability to keep in touch with its customers, respond to their queries, and provide assistance is challenging. Too frequently, brands are unable to meet the demands of their customers or comprehend their questions no matter how they reach out.
As a result, organizations today provide omnichannel customer support to ensure a successful customer lifecycle journey. They can connect with their customers, respond to their questions, give consistent assistance, and provide high-value customer experiences across all touchpoints.
Companies that use omnichannel customer services can retain around 89% of their clients. (Source)
The goal of omnichannel customer service is to provide a seamless & integrated client experience that is unrestricted no matter how a consumer interacts with the brand. It provides for a smooth transition between multiple channels and a consistent experience throughout their journey.
AI-enabled tools are now being used by businesses to better manage their client interactions for a successful customer life cycle. It creates customized agents that determine sellers’ essential requirements and goals for automated help by using machine learning. In addition, AI has enabled conversational tools like chatbots and voice assistants.
Chatbots allow customers to contact the brand at any time to get their questions answered. Brands can provide 24/7 customer assistance at scale by automating these interactions, which have become highly efficient in building brand loyalty.
Key metrics in customer lifecycle management are the indicators of the success of a brand’s operations and its effectiveness of the business strategy. Key metrics are measured through a set of KPIs during a customer’s transition through different stages of the customer life cycle. Here, the actual data is compared with standard or expected data, and its outcome provides a rich source of information.
It helps brands formulate an effective strategy for improving their bottom lines regarding business volumes and revenue. In addition, an analysis of these metrics provides clarity of purpose to the brand to move in the desired direction.
For instance, KPI measures acquiring new customers or measuring the churn rate that will help the brand reshape its strategy. At reducing the churn rate and making efforts towards their retention. It also provides the brand with the customer’s usage pattern, i.e., how much customers upsell or cross-sell gives some insights into their buying behavior.
Net promoter score is calculated by subtracting % detractors from % promoters. It is the level of satisfaction that customers derive from the usage of a product or a service. Here, respondents are asked to rate their experience on a scale of 0 to 10, where the brand gets to know about detractors, promoters, and passives.
This scale allows brands to convert passives to promoters. As far as product usage is concerned, detractors will give negative feedback of a brand’s product, advocates will speak positively, and passives will neither give negative nor positive feedback. Therefore, brands can proactively try to convert passives to promoters.
Customer segmentation is the sectionalisation of individuals on some standard parameters like age, gender, demographic profile, income level, buying methods, etc. Such segmentation provides brands valuable inputs to craft an effective marketing strategy that will cater to the demands of these segments. So that products and services can be customized as per their requirements and usage. Customer segmentation during the customer lifecycle journey is done not only for acquiring new customers but also helps in better understanding existing customers across the different stages. It also helps to provide the customers customized and personalized solutions.
As the standard of customer service and customer expectation rises, social media has become the main subject. With individuals cooped up and one-to-one interactions stifled, digital methods became the go-to for everything from grocery shopping to providing comments about the brand. In terms of speed and convenience, digital platforms are the go-to for everything for the customers.
For instance, with the help of social media platforms, brands can easily connect with their customers in real-time and quickly build brand equity.
Brands increasingly realize that to ever-expand their customer base and enhance their buying experience across their transition through different stages of the customer lifecycle, digitalization of operations, AI, and ML plays a significant role.
Customer self-service (CSS) tools empower customers to address and resolve their difficulties immediately, from anywhere globally, without the need for a customer support representative. These tools are menu-driven, where the client selects the appropriate alternatives that address their issue. There are also FAQs with pre-programmed answers that are stored in its system. In addition, dealing with self-service tools is becoming more like interacting with a human agent because of AI and machine learning in CSS that can receive a voice command, a text message, or a pattern.
Digital revolution, artificial intelligence, and realization on the part of brands to be more proactive towards retaining their existing customer base have brought about a paradigm shift. In terms of formulation of strategies for customer lifecycle management. Each stage of a customer during their transition across different stages of the customer lifecycle calls for a different set of strategies that vary from brand to brand and evolve.
Considering the brand’s bottom line of maximizing revenue and expanding customer base calls for providing customized solutions to customers to enhance their buying experience. In addition, with time, customers’ desires and aspirations are ever-changing, so it becomes imperative for the brand to come up with its ambitions.