From Lead to Loyal: Creating Engagement through Effective Customer Lifecycle Management
Gartner predicts that the CRM industry will reach $36.5 billion in 2017. This impressive growth can be attributed to a realigned focus by companies. After all, the idea that the customer is essential is nothing new — the motto “the customer is always right” was coined in the early years of the 20th century, and has been consistently in use ever since. However, with the proliferation of digital information technology, customers are finding that they have a real voice in how they are served, and successful businesses are starting to listen.
Modern CRM puts the client at the center of everything a business does. CRM allows organizations to track and gather information related to customer wants, needs, history, and preferences, and then use that data to provide a better customer experience. Of course, a superior customer experience isn’t a one-time option that a business can present to its clients and then forget about. It’s an ongoing process that needs to be implemented at every step, and for that, they need customer lifecycle management.
What is customer lifecycle management?
Customer lifecycle management is a tool or suite of tools that help ensure that leads and clients are receiving high-quality, personalized service at all times. As a marketing strategy, customer lifecycle management creates effective one-to-one customer journeys, promoting improved customer loyalty and better brand reputation, and tapping into the the motivations that help turn leads into brand evangelists.
Although different businesses define the process differently, most agree that the customer lifecycle management model can be broken down into several key steps:
Businesses locate potential leads, demonstrate the value of the product or service being offered, and show the leads how they can become customers.
The leads enter the sales pipeline. As they progress, businesses will need to be able to continue to demonstrate product value, while also addressing any concerns that may arise.
Leads that reach the end of the pipeline complete their sales and become customers. Businesses then focus on further developing that relationship, by following up with the customer and soliciting feedback.
As customers provide information, businesses analyze that data so that they can then create a more personalized customer experience. This may lead to further sales, often in the form of cross sales and up sales.
The end goal of the customer lifecycle is to create brand advocates who not only continue to do business with the company, but also promote that company on their own social circles.
CRM technology can improve effectiveness at each stage of the lifecycle.
In order to provide this level of service, businesses need to rely on certain technologies. Advanced CRM is naturally the best place to start. CRM empowers businesses to not only focus their efforts on their client base, but to also better handle their own data and communications. Likewise, just as the best CRM options are entirely web based, the best customer lifecycle management techniques take advantage of cloud technology to provide unfiltered access for sales teams, regardless of device, location, or time.
Organizations can use CRM to develop a more accurate picture of their target audience, allowing them to take advantage of targeted marketing efforts across multiple channels. This results in more qualified leads entering the sales funnel, and allows sales teams to more efficiently direct their resources towards leads that are likely to become customers.
As the leads enter the pipeline, CRM technology can automatically gather, analyze and store vast amounts of relevant data. Businesses can use this data to create highly accurate customer profiles, and to give sales teams a leg up on giving their leads what they really want. Lead tracking also begins here, giving sales teams the advantage of always knowing what stage the lead is at, and what actions need to be performed to help them progress forward.
Leads that complete a sale and become customers are an extremely valuable resource. Studies suggest that it is 4–10 times less expensive to sell to repeat customers than it is to acquire new ones, and that repeat customers generate up to 10 times as much revenue. An effective customer lifecycle management solution helps businesses retain valuable repeat customers by personalizing followups, presenting special offers and loyalty programs, and by strengthening the relationship through direct communication and reliable data.
By taking advantage of CRM technology to provide clients with a one-to-one customer journey, sales teams can cultivate continued interest in repeat customers — cementing customer loyalty, gathering and acting upon client insights, and helping them become brand ambassadors.
From lead to loyal, the right customer lifecycle management best practices can help ensure that sales teams are providing their clients with the individual, personal support that they need. Of course, with so many CRM and customer lifecycle management providers, many businesses are questioning how they can find the solution that works best for them. Salesforce provides the answer.
Salesforce keeps businesses focused on their clients.
Given that CRM is the driving technology behind customer lifecycle management, it should be no surprise that the world’s foremost CRM provider is also the most trusted choice for managing customer lifecycles. Salesforce CRM, in the form of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, empowers organizations to stay by their clients’ sides through the entire process. This means fewer dropouts, better sales, and more profitable, long-term customer relationships.
Every customer is unique. Salesforce Marketing Cloud embraces that uniqueness, by giving companies and clients a chance to take the customer journey together. By tracking customer behavior, guiding targeted email campaigns, aligning advertising across multiple channels, engaging in mobile messaging, and maintaining a coherent one-to-one customer journey in the process, Marketing Cloud places 100% of a business's focus on the things that matter most — the clients.
To accomplish this, Marketing Cloud relies on data analysis, automation, and even predictive artificial intelligence, so that every organization can give their customers what they want, every time. Salesforce Marketing Cloud is also entirely cloud based and completely mobile compatible, which means that sales teams will be able to share vital customer data across all channels, platforms, and devices, all without having to depend on expensive in-house hardware. Lastly, Marketing Cloud is easy to use, integrates fully with existing systems, and features full user support.
1-to-1 client journeys start with Salesforce.
Modern customers have a voice in how they do business, and companies that listen to that voice are discovering that a personalized customer journey is what they want. 89% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after experiencing poor customer service. Businesses that make the effort to show their customers that they care help ensure that they stay interested, committed, and loyal. All it takes is an effective customer lifecycle management tool.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud keeps the individual at the center of the data, so that organizations never lose sight of who is really important. After all, the customer lifecycle journey isn’t one that customers should be making alone. A one-to-one journey, made possible through Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s effective customer lifecycle management solutions, means that companies and clients get to take that journey together.
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