Customers are drowning in generic offers, mass email blasts and one-size-fits-all, in-store experiences.
It’s time to resuscitate the customer experience.
To breakthrough the noise, reach customers and retain them, marketers need to develop a focused lifecycle management strategy to guide customers through an ongoing (hopefully, never ending) journey with their brand. In addition to calendarized campaigns around tentpole events like holidays or product launches, brands need to design and deliver personalized experiences throughout a customer’s lifecycle that are relevant for each customer based on his or her behaviors, preferences and relationship with the brand.
Lifecycle management focuses on building loyalty and increasing engagement throughout an entire customer experience. It’s designed to guide and nurture relationships with customers based on their evolution, meaning brands need to monitor progression to best serve their customers. To do this properly requires an investment in tools that merge, filter and ingest real-time customer data across all channels (in-store, ecomm, in-app, customer service, etc.) to understand each customer and serve the next best engagement.
From the first welcome email through each sequential milestone, no two customers should have the same experience on their journey. With the proper software, brands are able to manually send calendarized communications, while also setting up hundreds of evergreen, event-triggered campaigns based on real-time events that may signal possible upsell, cross-sell or retention opportunities for a brand.
A Customer Lifecycle Journey
Samantha is a working professional based in NYC who is very particular about her wardrobe. She has been a member of a retailer’s loyalty program since its inception. Although she is a high value customer (LTV $25,000), she historically only buys dresses.
The retailer sets up an always-on campaign for high LTV customers within a certain radius of retail locations. Based off of historical data, multiple offers are created and triggered to customers who have the highest likelihood to engage.
Samantha opens her app to browse dresses. She gets a push notification that she can earn double points on dresses when she buys shoes. You don’t want Samantha doing what she always does, buying what she always buys, just paying less. That just hurts margin. You want incremental behaviors.
Buying shoes is not new for Samantha. Buying them here is. Hopefully, it becomes a habit and entirely new merchandising doors are flung open.
She heads into the store the next day and buys some shoes while also identifying a new dress she can purchase with her double points. Her unique offer is recognized at point of sale, the points applied, and her profile is automatically updated to reflect the new dress purchase but also a new category of purchase as well. She’s on her way with new shoes and a new dress.
What does it look like?
The benefit to customers?
An experience for every customer, with messaging, offers and digital experiences targeted based on their personal history, preferences, predicted needs and location. Customers receive more relevant messaging and offers making them believe a brand “knows me” and delivers the best possible experience for “me”.
The benefits to an organization?
In addition to reaching your customers for tentpole events and planned communications, brands are able to deliver personalized campaigns and offers for each customer to motivate behavior change, frequency and spend throughout the year. Fueled by real-time data and analytics, these always-on campaigns deliver generative (vs. dilutive) offers and enable teams to reduce costs while increasing relevant touchpoints with customers.
An entire organization has to put each customer at the heart of it to deliver. When a customer engages with any part of the organization, every part of the organization has to know and be ready to respond appropriately– from checkout to customer service. High-touch, personalized interactions results in greater customer loyalty as measured in greater frequency, larger baskets, and higher customer advocacy.