The cost of customer maintenance is lower than the costs of obtaining and building a relationship with a new customer. That is why it is so important to effectively convert one-time buyers into loyal users of our product. To do this, it is useful to know how the customer lifecycle looks like, the process from the moment of first contact with the brand, to building loyalty towards the company.

In the colloquial language, the process in which a company actively accompanies the customer and quickly responds to his needs can be called a journey. From the way we treat the customer, or rather how we take care of him, depends whether this customer will participate in the subsequent journeys (purchase of new products, use a full range of services) and whether he’ll recommend our brand to people in his environment.

In the past, companies focused on the product and its advertising. Currently, CRM systems have revolutionized the way we accompany the customer from the first contact through sales to service. The product was taken from the spotlight and it is the customer was put in its place. The customer lifecycle involves managing relationships at each stage of this path. And managing relationships, in the context of its lifecycle, is nothing but proper communication and ongoing responding to the customer’s needs.

 

Salesforce extensions that improve communication with the customer

The customer lifecycle begins when we get his attention. First clicks appear when you run an ad, e.g. on Facebook or Google Ads. However, not all of those clicks will have the same value. And here comes the Salesforce platform, which in addition to addressing the needs of our customers, allows you to integrate many tools that will complement and expand the range of standard capabilities. These solutions are easily integrated within the platform and support the sales department in everyday duties.

 

Acquisition and management of leads

Bizible – collects all data from the conversion of advertising campaigns and aggregates them in the Salesforce system in a way that enables you to efficiently drawing conclusions from reports. Bizible distinguishes between paid and organic reach and leads from partner programs and even event marketing.

Sales Lead Scoring – is a free tool that helps you determine which customer is ready to buy, and which one needs additional incentives before he becomes convinced to your brand. You can set up 200 rules in Sales Lead Scoring to properly categorize the obtained leads.

 

Negotiations and signing the contract

The next stage of the customer lifecycle is typical sales activities such as: offering, negotiating and signing contracts. Here we can use dedicated solutions.

Sales Activity Dashboard – is a free tool to monitor the efficiency of your salespeople. It easily allows you to expand Salesforce standard dashboards, visualize the effectiveness of salespeople’s actions and quickly response to disturbing trends..

DocuSign – if your customers sign documents digitally, it will shorten the entire process. Thanks to it, you can digitize documents and receive signatures from any place and device. The solution fully integrates with Salesforce. It allows you to work from one system instead of jumping between multiple applications.

WorkflowMax – is another tool that integrates with Salesforce and streamlines tasks related to accounting. You can issue invoices from it, pay for orders and send orders, without continuous logging in and switching between accounts. This solution greatly improves work if you work with many customers and various projects.

Einstein Discovery – is a tool that uses embedded data analysis models supported by artificial intelligence. It enables identification of patterns and dependencies in the collected data, without the necessity to build advanced statistical models, and thus allows you to make decisions based on data in a quick and simple way

 

Contact and maintaining customer relations

Desk – is a Salesforce tool for increasing the efficiency of communication with customers. You can handle messages from customers from various sources, including telephone, e-mail, website or social media. In addition to receiving messages, it enables the automation of responses. From the agent console, you can send automatic responses or publish in different channels at the same time.

Qualtrics – is a tool for surveying customer reviews. Configurable forms are structured so that you get the most valuable answers, and the results are presented in a clear form of charts.

 

Will data analysis help increase sales?

By analyzing data from CRM and using the knowledge about the customer lifecycle, we will avoid, for example, sending the same messages to one customer. Our salespeople will not call the same customer to present the same offer. When one salesperson has made such a conversation, the system will immediately show appropriate information visible to the remaining cells in your company. And most importantly, Salesforce allows you to minimize the need for manual data entry, thanks to which we can automate the entire process to a large extent.

Data from CRM also enables building an accurate image of the target group. With this knowledge, you are able to better plan marketing activities in different channels. As a result, you will get a greater conversion of valuable leads.

Data stored in CRM allows you even to create an accurate customer profile. More information about the customer – his needs, questions asked, reported complaints, dates of contact, etc. – is the basis for providing better service. The system will also inform you when you should contact the customer again, for example when he did not make purchases for a long time, and a product complementary to the one that was purchased half a year ago was launched, or the guarantee expires soon and it is worth renewing it. This will protect you from losing valuable customers and allow you to sell additional services or products on a single transaction.

 

Case study

An example of using the customer lifecycle is the purchase of a car. The customer finds the website thanks to the marketing campaign. He sends a request for quotation and after receiving an offer he makes a transaction – he buys a car from a company that also helps him to finance this purchase. If necessary, he uses the service, and when the car ages, the company offers him to replace the car with a newer model.
Thanks to the use of CRM, the company was able to fully manage activities responding to the customer’s needs during the entire lifecycle. Based on the data from each previous activity, the company could tailor the offer to increase the likelihood of a purchase.

Another example of accompanying a client in a “journey” are the services of one of the exclusive hotels in Asia. The managers have set four goals:

  1. Increasing customer loyalty thanks to a more personalized approach.
  2. Creating experience based on emotions.
  3. Improving the opinion on TripAdvisor.com and in a survey about the whole group of hotels.
  4. Adapting facilities for guests, considering their geodemographic origin.

After analyzing various data, the hotel has created a loyalty program, which could be easily accessed – it was enough to book three nights. The more reservations a client made, the better offer he got from the hotel. In order to motivate customers to rest in their hotel, time constraints were applied, i.e. if within two years the customer did not pass to the next stage of the program, his points would expire and he would go back to the previous stage.

The above example shows how important it is that every hotel employee knows the history of a given customer. As a result, they can prepare personalized messages about current promotions or events tailored to the needs and stage of the customer lifecycle.
All activities carried out by the hotel were aimed at improving the quality of provided services by offering ever better, personalized facilities to customers. The hotel could quickly identify the group of the most valuable users and focus its activities on maintaining the high level of loyalty of this group, which quickly brought both image and financial effects.

When we know at what stage of the customer lifecycle a specific consumer is, we can better plan the budget and slowly “seduce” the customer to gain his loyalty and transform him into the ambassador of our company.

 

Introduce similar solutions in your company

If you do not have a CRM system yet, learn why it is worth implementing CRM. And if you already have a customer relationship management system, it is worth investing in migration to Salesforce to be able to take full advantage of the latest technologies and power hidden in CRM.

According to Salesforce, sales for regular customers are 4 to 10 times cheaper than acquiring new customers, and regular customers generate 10 times more revenue. That is why it is so important to manage the communication with customers well, depending on their stage of the lifecycle.

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