In your journey as a brand, your goal is to curate products that cater to the needs of your audience and bring sales. And to do so, you have to go through various stages such as brainstorming, ideation, development, etc.
Just like the way you follow a process for developing a product, your buyers also go through various stages in their purchasing journey.
This process is known as the customer lifecycle.
The customer lifecycle can be defined as a collection of stages that a prospect goes through. The first checkpoint is the discovery phase and the last is conversion.
Modern brands are now utilizing online communities to make their products more discoverable, nurture prospects at every stage of their buying journey, convert leads, and create brand advocates.
But what are these stages, and what are the right tricks to analyze the impact of the customer lifecycle in online communities? Let’s explore!
Customer Lifecycle: The 101 and the Relevance in Communities
The customer lifecycle refers to the various stages that a buyer goes through as their relationship with your brand advances. It consists of six stages, and each stage is related to an action that the customer performs. After which, the customer advances to the next stage in their buying journey.
Through online communities, brands get the opportunity to engage with their prospects in a more humanized and consistent way. By communicating with them regularly, they can connect with their prospects on a deeper level and nurture them to take the next steps in their journey.
The Six Stages of Customer Lifecycle
Now that we know what a customer lifecycle is and the role of communities in every stage of the customer lifecycle. Let’s take a look at the six stages that define the customer lifecycle.
The completion of the customer lifecycle depends on each of these stages. Even if one stage remains incomplete, your prospect will not be able to move ahead in their journey.
Understanding the Role of Online Communities in Customer Lifecycle Management
Speaking from the perspective of the customer, they will first become aware about your products and services.
Communities serve as a key medium to keep your users informed about your products, new launches, announcements, and a lot more. You can do this in the form of videos, GIFs, animations, blog posts, articles, infographics, and a lot more.
In the next stage, as you prove true value for investment to your prospects, you win their trust, and they start to consider your product as a potential option. To help them move to the next stage which is the purchase, you need to ensure that you’ve won the confidence of your prospects. You can do this by maintaining a relationship with them via your online community.
Next comes onboarding. Now that you’ve converted the lead, you would want them to stay loyal to your brand. That’s where you must offer incentives to them in order to onboard and retain them.
Advocacy is the last stage in the customer lifecycle. Once your customers are satisfied with your offerings, they become true advocates of your brand and help bring in more customers.
In many industries, having a vibrant and dynamic community is just as important as the product or service itself. This is why your online community is an important marketing asset.
To make the most of your customer lifecycle, all your teams must work in synchronization. If not, you might lose valuable leads in the middle of your journey. Your online community is a goldmine of information that you can leverage to draw a better understanding of your customers. Ensure that you cement a strong relationship with your customers to keep them moving through all the stages of the customer lifecycle.
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