Customer life cycle is a term used to describe the progression of stages a customer goes through from considering a product, service or solution, to an actual purchase, to usage and then maintaining loyalty to the brand (in the form of repeat business and referrals).
According to a paper published by Jim Sterne and Matt Cutler relating to this topic, “E-Metrics, Business Metrics For The New Economy”, there are five phases to engage customers through the cycle. They include:
Reach: the potential to gain the attention of your target audience.
Acquisition: bring them into your sphere of influence.
Conversion: turn them into a registered and/or paying customer.
Retention: keep them as a customers (cross-selling, up-selling).
Loyalty: turn them into a company or brand advocate.
The more customers you are able to get into this cycle, the less work you will have in marketing your product or services. When you have a strong customer life cycle, your customers will come back and bring their friends.
An onsite navigation system will enhance your customer life cycle by having an impact on a number of these phases. How do you use onsite navigation to improve this cycle? Let’s break it down and examine each of the phases:
Reach - to increase online your reach, you need to cast a large net. This is done by establishing real estate in a variety of locations including a search engine optimized website, social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest etc.), local business directories (Google Business, Yelp, Yahoo Local etc.), industry publications (for published articles and blogs) and any other relevant online resources. You may also need to consider PPC (pay per click) or other paid advertising to increase your reach.
Acquisition- Now that you have caught the attention of your audience, you have to reel them in. This is where you take the stage to teach the customer what you have to offer and show your value. You need to stand out from the competition and present your brand in a way that is clear and easy to understand. An onsite navigation system will help you to present a clear message, ensuring that your visitor is able to navigate your site easily and delivering relevant calls to action.
Conversion - This is where an effective website and marketing strategy comes in. Increasing your conversion rates is largely dependant upon a great website user experience, a seamless conversion process and getting the right message across. The more you are able provide a personalized experience which responds to the actions or questions your users have, the more you will reduce attrition and cart abandonment. A personalized walkthrough or guidance platform addresses all of these points to create a more impressive overall user experience and higher conversion rates.
Retention - Even if you have a great service or product, if you don’t deliver your customer a great experience, they will likely not come back. Make things easier for return customers by delivering information based on their user behavior and history. Give customers a reason to return to your site by providing valuable content and create a relationship by reaching out through email marketing and social media. You can create onsite guidance for return customers to help them navigate account information on your site or direct them to relevant follow-up purchases.
Loyalty - In order to create brand advocates you need to establish trust and form a relationship with your customers. You have to impress with the whole package from A-Z, - from over-achieving customer service and user experiences, to high-quality products or services, to customer friendly policies. Personalized onsite guidance improves the customer’s experience while reducing customer service requests. Creating an easy and clear process will make happy customers that will happily send their friends your way.