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The customer lifecycle has blown up into a myriad of consumer interactions and decisions
What happened to the good old customer lifecycle? Do you remember: We considered the customer lifecycle to be a linear thing? The pre-digital consumers used to be so predictable. They were made aware of the goodies of a brand and were invited in with a trial offer. Next came the friendly openings to make a repurchase. This was followed up by ongoing upselling and cross-selling campaigns. Loyalty and brand ambassadorship developed along the way. This ultimately resulted in solid customer lifetime value and a reassuring return on investment.
Customers evolved from linear puppets to digital masters of chaos
Acquisition? The customer is in control!
Present-day marketeers face a totally new challenge to acquire new leads and convert these into customers. Why? Because we now understand the customer journey better and found that customers don’t choose products and services in a linear fashion. Every individual creates his or her own decision path. They can do so because they have immediate access to a large array of information channels: online search, recommendations from peers, social and digital media, brand websites, mobile devices, traditional media…
Switching brands is so easy in our digital age. Comparing prices and offers and exchanging recommendations has become a natural thing in our networked ‘always-on’ world. So how do you create loyalty in such a volatile environment? A good idea is to look at the new big winners in our world. Look at Amazon with its obsessive focus on putting customers first with truly relevant customer experiences. Loyalty starts with the first interaction, even before a single sales transaction takes place.
How to mend the broken customer life cycle?