The ability to seamlessly manage customers across the entire lifecycle and thereby maximize customer value remains an elusive goal for most organizations. There are many reasons for this:
- companies have created artificial customer service demarcations and silos that require multiple departments to service a single customer;
- different customer specialists are required to receive then fulfill a given service request;
- or they simply don’t have the right software technology and business processes to match customer need and service ability at the moment of interaction.
As a result, organizations are only realizing a fraction of potential customer wallet share, experiencing high rates of churn and spending far too much time and money delivering repetitive information that only frustrates the customer. From the customer’s perspective, they experience doing business with disparate individuals and companies, rather than a single cohesive organization. Too often, customers hear the dreaded phrase, “I am going to have to transfer you to another department,” or “I am sorry, I am not empowered to do that, you are going to have to speak to someone who is…can you call back later when they are return to work?”. When customers interact with the company, too often they are starting from scratch with every interaction, unable to benefit from the context provided during prior interactions.
With social media customers are empowered to communicate all their experiences whether it is positive or negative. Negative become are more frequently posted. This makes it necessary to manage the customer across the lifecycle.
Experienced companies are segregate artificial and historic boundaries between marketing, sales and service. With this, any conversation with the customer can allow them to make an offer, sell new or additional services, fix an outstanding issue, or address a possible future issue.
A typical customer who walks into a mobile phone store may have an expiring contract on his/her existing phone and have received an offer for a new phone and renewed service. When he/she interact with store personnel, the conversation encompasses selling (find the right device that best matches that customer’s usage), setup (configure/update the account and all the critical information for that customer), and servicing (show the key features and functions of the device so they are ready use it right away).
In reality, many phases of the customer lifecycle do not happen within such a compressed time frame — they occur over time and across different channels, but the impact is the same. A customer calling for service represents an opportunity to sell additional value-added products. The on-boarding or set up process is the right time to align customer needs with best-suited products and to educate customers on recommended product usage, which in turn can deflect future calls to the call center and lower the cost of servicing the customer.
Calculate the financial worth of individual customers in the long term.
We all know that selling to existing customers is more efficient than acquiring new ones. But can you put a dollar figure on it? Customer lifetime value solutions – based on predictive modeling – enable you to do just that.
Establish when a relationship is over (or no longer beneficial) – and act accordingly.
How long does a customer have to be inactive before they are no longer classed as a customer? How many times should a prospect receive a catalogue before concluding that it is a cold lead? Customer lifetime value solutions start to answer these questions. They also identify unprofitable customers that cost you more to service than the revenue they generate.
Don’t underestimate the power of personal and professional networks.
As word of mouth marketing is most dominant on social media, customers that may not be actively buying the brand on a regular basis may still be recommending others to their professional and personal network – which you can monitor for greater customer engagement.