Many sales and marketing professionals look at customer engagement as a series of individual interactions rather than part of a process. Understanding the logical progression of these interactions can improve customer engagement strategies, resulting in increased ROI and customer lifetime value.
The Customer Engagement Lifecycle provides organizations a framework for brand interactions. Each of the four stages (Discover, Engage, Transact, and Grow) have their own particular best practices and tactics that, when optimized, drive conversion rates, increase spend per transaction, and reduce cycle time.
During the Discover stage of the Customer Engagement Lifecycle, the customer is seeking information about your products and services. At the same time brands are seeking information about the customer, specifically their needs and engagement preferences. Your marketing messages should contain engagement offers that maximize flexibility for time, place, and type. This is both best practice for customer experience but also begins to build a profile of customer preferences that can be used throughout the lifecycle.
Not every engagement results in a transaction, but when it does, tracking those transactions is critical. The actual engagement associated with the transaction can give you critical insights into how you might generate more in the future (What was the engagement type? How long did the engagement take? What was the initial inquiry), but the preceding engagements can provide insights as well. Analytics can discover patterns in the engagement paths so you can optimize your messages for revenue, tips on product utilization, or improved customer service.
Converting from a non-customer into a customer represents an important milestone in the customer journey. It is after this milestone that engagement calls to action can change. At this point you should offer educational events, product coaching, loyalty programs, and/or personal advisory services. The goal is to turn customers into loyal brand advocates. Tracking user engagements at this stage can give you insights into who your potential brand advocates are, which you can then use to further personalize outreach around product previews and feedback.
The Cycle Continues
Notice that the Customer Engagement Lifecycle is presented as an endless loop. That is because customer can re-enter the Discovery stage at any point. In fact, the customer might be in different stages relative to different products and services at the same time. This is why the Analyze and Optimize category wraps around the entire lifecycle; utilizing this framework should provide you rich data of customers’ engagement preferences that you can use to build further personalization for wherever the customer falls in the lifecycle.