Five Customer Relationship Stages for Full Engagement

Five Customer Relationship Stages for Full Engagement

Five Customer Relationship Stages for Full Engagement

By William A. Lederer, Chairman and CEO, iSOCRATES®

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For years, we’ve described what we do as a means to improve the marketing ROI for our clients. As our clients juggle new channels, new technology and new media, we realize that their relationships with their customers and prospects have to be 24/7 and “always on.” How we help them with analytics, strategy and marketing technology today goes beyond just the marketing process, and allows them to deliver a consistent and relevant brand experience across the entire consumer relationship.

Five Customer Relationship

Beyond acquisition and retention, we think about how to optimize every stage of the customer relationship to improve the overall value of the customer. The methodology is the same – analyze the customer, use insights to fine tune strategy and then use technology to streamline the interactions. Utilize this methodology with the following five stage approach and you can effectively manage the “always on” relationship:

1. Share. Before your prospects ever make a purchase, they are likely talking about you with their friends or researching your products online. Ensure a strong social presence that shares often and links to content that is applicable to all potential clients. When any could-be-client is researching your brand they will inevitably stumble across a relevant blog, case study, or eBook etc.

2. Attract. Understand the source of each prospect: how customers heard about you and what drove them to your brand isn’t nice to know – it’s something you need to know! Evaluate each source to inform the most relevant content to share and, in so doing, attract the prospect to your company’s brand.

3. Convert. Know the cost of the sale and the lost opportunity when prospects fall out of your pipeline without finding what they were looking for. Be ready with automated messaging and outbound support as soon as this happens. Finding your conversion problems and fixing them with automated communications can often deliver an excellent return on investment.

4. Retain. Understanding your retention or attrition rates can be the highest revenue generating research you can do. Try to think about retention in terms of cohorts – many companies lose first-year customers at much higher rates than customers who have stuck around for longer. If you understand what the triggers are in the first year, you can make much better decisions about what’s worth investing in to turn a one-year customer into a two-year customer.

5. Grow. Some of your customers will happily grow their relationship with you and others will deliver less opportunity. Use the same kind of analytics to find growth opportunity as used in the initial sales opportunity; the payback may be much higher.

Each of these five stages deserves smart, targeted and personalized strategies to deliver a consistent, satisfying relationship for your customers. If you want to truly create an always-on relationship, stop focusing just on acquisition and retention and discover the terrific return on investment opportunity across relationship stages.


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