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The Role of SMS in Customer Lifecycle Management

Updated: 6 days ago


Customer lifecycle management

Customer Lifecycle refers to a series of interactions that take place between a company and its customer which ultimately leads to a purchase and how to maintain continued business with the person. It’s an important determinant of a company’s customer relationship management strategy. Today, we delve into the stages of the customer lifecycle and how SMSs perfectly complement Customer Lifecycle Management.



Stages of Customer Lifecycle


Customer Lifecycle consists of various phases between a customer’s communication with the brand. It could be in person, two-way, unilateral, or just exposure to the brand’s products through advertisements. These experiences shape up their outlook towards the company and influence their behavior and purchasing patterns. Hence, it is vital that companies stay in touch with the customer throughout the entire cycle and make sure that they win their business. For that, let’s take a look at the stages of customer lifecycle:



Awareness


A person’s journey to becoming your customer begins with them getting to know about your company and the products or services. The primary aim in this stage is to reach maximum potential customers and increase traffic to your website. Companies use strategically placed advertisements, influencer marketing, content marketing, and SEO to make sure they occupy the prime spot in customer preferences.


Unlike other advertising means, SMS reaches customers directly. It is not a hit and miss which might or might not catch the eye of the customer. SMS can be used to promote the company’s products and services through targeted campaigns to increase awareness about new launches and upcoming events.



Engagement


Following awareness, the next stage is engagement. Customer engagement refers to customer interactions in a way that suits the business or is mutually beneficial to both parties. At this stage, the company actively engages potential buyers. They create a customer data repository by analyzing their purchase or product browsing patterns, providing chat support and human touch points in order to make sure that the customer is most exposed to their products or services.


71% of customers opted in to receive texts from businesses in the past year. That vast majority can be better reached through SMS. With 98% open rates, you are sure about the fact that customers will at least read the messages that are sent to them. From push notifications, enticing call to actions, chatting with customer support executives, or gathering feedback, SMS can be used to draft personalized and effective engagement strategies which would result in the customer becoming more interested in purchasing your products. The best way to turn a customer into ‘your loyal customer.’



Conversion


The most crucial part of the Customer Lifecycle is the conversion. It is the stage which demands to be the most frictionless with a plethora of options for the customers to choose from. The time taken and the steps from ‘Buy Now’ to order confirmation mail must be short and as smooth as possible. It should also contain all the information about refunds, returns, and pricing. Transparency is an important factor at this stage and you must be honest about any charges that the customer would have to incur.


Conversion is made relatively easy when companies use customer service solutions to utilize valuable customer data to personalize the shopping experience and entice the customers with the right engagement offers based on their previous purchase patterns or the things that they’ve left in the cart.


Right from welcoming a customer to your community to sending them order details and updates, SMS is the best way to envelope them into the fold. SMS facilitates smoother conversion as people tend to respond better to personalized notifications from companies. Some of the most common ways in which the company converts interest into sales is by offering products browsed by the customer at an offer price or bundling it with other products that might interest them.


Facilitating easy interaction through two-way texting is a way in which you can assure the customer that their problems will be handled promptly. Using keyword replies is an easy way to resolve issues which arise frequently. SMS interaction is also an easy way to upsell or cross-sell products/services. Most companies also prefer sending proactive messages which serve as reminders about any abandoned service bookings or purchases that a person hasn’t gone through yet.



Retention


This is when the relationship between a customer and an establishment begins. Now that they have made their first purchase, your aim is to make sure that there are repeat purchases and for that, customer satisfaction is a deciding factor. A great onboarding experience and continued support make sure that the customer will stay loyal to the brand.


Right from welcoming a customer to your community to sending them order details and updates, SMS is the best way to envelope them into the fold. SMS facilitates personalization to a large extent while adapting to customer behavior patterns. You can send messages to each customer depending on when they’re most active.


Another important aspect of retention is the customer trust which you can retain by keeping them updated about their account-related updates. It’s vital that they know they are appreciated through gift cards or bonus points. For people who regularly engage with your social media posts or generate user content, it is always important to segment them and retain them for the repetitive business and the brownie points that they bring with their engagement and conversion.



Loyalty


The final stage of a customer’s lifetime with respect to a company is the loyalty that they exhibit towards the brand. This includes them becoming unofficial brand ambassadors and spreading the good word about your products and services. They will buy products repetitively and encourage other people such as friends and family to try out your products or services. Your prime motive in this stage should be to make sure that the customers turn into loyal brand advocates.


With SMS, you make sure that be it loyalty programs or points programs, you make sure that they get to know of any developments in the first instance. Besides, for referral programs, it is easier for customers to use SMS and spread the word out than use any application. One of the best practices companies have been adopting is personalized messages. A simple and personalized ‘Thank You’ message goes a long way with customers, especially if they’ve been associated with the company for a long time.



Customer Lifecycle Management - Best Practices


Map customer journey


It is vital to know what a customer would be going through or what their journey would look like, in summation, to predict their decision. Mapping out this journey will help decide on operational objectives and identify the segment of customers that you wish to target. This narrowing down helps identify touchpoints and what matters most to ‘your’ potential customer.



Data unification


To manage a customer’s association with the company, it is important to coagulate their interactions, patterns, purchases and engagement with the company over all the offered channels. This data unification leads to your sales team and support team being better prepared while in communication with the customer. Utilizing a well-equipped Customer Relationship Management software with routinely updates customer information will go a long way with Customer Lifecycle Management



Segmented offerings


Once you understand the customer segment which is most suited for you and map out what their prospective journey will be like, you can proceed to develop offerings that are made specifically keeping such customers in mind. The obvious advantage would be that the customer would respond and appreciate the personalized effort. The other point being that such offerings are a way for the company to expand and capitalize on their product line. As part of their customer outreach, several companies tailor promotions, discounts, new products and relevant tips and solutions through their content.



Customer touchpoints


Touchpoints are extremely useful when it comes to gauging the public perception around your brand and company. Omnichannel Support allows you to have customer touchpoints which makes it easy for them to gain access to any support that they might, whenever it’s most convenient to them. Some of the most common ones are social media engagement posts, feedback, referral programs, live chat and self-service kiosks.



Optimize CLM using artificial intelligence


Self-help centers are an optimum way of creating resources to equip customers in dealing with and deriving maximum value from a company’s product/services. The knowledge base created helps build a community which is enhanced by employing artificial intelligence in live chat and other customer touchpoints. It helps make data-driven decisions and make speedy and effective resolutions. It also lets agents focus on high-priority and value tasks which in turn boosts productivity.


Customers sustain a business and their goodwill lends it legitimacy. While it is not an easy task to manage each customer’s relationship with the company from the start to the end, it is even more difficult to influence or shape up these interactions. With an effective strategy in place and the power of SMS marketing, Customer Lifecycle Management has become relatively easy to manage. Get started with Customer Lifecycle Management to build long-term relationships and accelerate your brand image.

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