What are the steps of the customer lifecycle?
The customer lifecycle begins with recruitment – getting the customer in the metaphorical door. Then there’s the welcome phase, which may involve sending your customers personalized messages thanking them and introducing them for choosing your brand. Next comes activation, where you convince them to make a purchase, and then another purchase again since there’s a correlation between first re-purchase and long-term profitability.
After these steps, it’s the main event: the retain and develop cycle. These are the customers who have purchased from you in the past and intend to come back to you over a longer period of time. This part of the process is important, but too often brands only focus on this part at the expense of the beginning and end of the customer lifecycle.
Once customers just aren’t buying like they used to or they’re starting to look at the exit, it’s time for win-back, the phase where you can attempt to bring them back in. Perhaps they’re frustrated with something about your brand that you could change, or maybe they’ve just forgotten about you – it’s nothing personal.
Eventually, some of your customers will leave. Once they’ve been inactive for more than about 24 months, they’ve reached the exit phase of the lifecycle. You can’t win them all, but you never know, they might come back.