The customer lifecycle describes the various stages a customer goes through before, during and after a purchase.
We think of the customer lifecycle in these 5 stages:
By understanding these 5 stages and how they apply to your business offerings, you can start to understand your customers’ buying behaviours and begin to apply any necessary fixes.
For example – if you have a customer retention problem, then you’ll want to look at your fulfil and delight stages. Perhaps your customer is frustrated with your product and doesn’t know how to use it properly.
Let’s dive deeper into each stage below…
This stage is centered around brand awareness and getting people to understand what you do.
- Goal: Convert visitors to leads
- Activities: Advertising, content marketing, PR
- Example: Deliver a lead magnet after someone fills in a form on your website
This stage is centered around getting a lead to actually purchase something from you.
- Goal: Convert leads into paying customers
- Activities: Email marketing, retargeting ads, calls, demos
- Example: Purchase a membership subscription or a product you sell
In this stage you’re working to encourage product adoption and continued use of the purchased products.
- Goal: Convert a customer to a consumer
- Activities: Tips and tricks email, membership site modules, onboarding, phone calls
- Example: Build an onboarding sequence to guide people on how to start your program
Now that we have successful consumers of our products, it’s time to offer additional products and services. Positioning is everything in this stage.
- Goal: Turn consumers into repeat buyers
- Activities: Live events, ‘member only’ masterclasses
- Example: Host a free live event to encourage community building and add more value
This is possibly one of THE most important stages that can help your business grow exponentially. If you offer a great product and have delivered on the above 4 stages, then you’ve created natural brand advocates.
- Goal: Turn repeat buyers into brand advocates
- Activities: Referral programs, Joint Ventures, Certifications
- Example: Offer a referral incentive for those who refer customers to you
Here’s an example of how a business coach’s offerings would fit into the customer journey and the automation funnels that would support this.
- Attract: A free piece of content that delivers value and makes the consumer aware of your services
- The automation funnel: Lead Magnet Delivery Funnel
- Convert: Host a free 1 hour strategy session with the goal to convert them into your core offering
- The automation funnel: Discovery Call Funnel
- Fulfil: Build a membership site for continued education
- The automation funnel: Onboarding sequence with access given to membership site
- Delight: Host a live event for existing customers with tailored workshops
- The automation funnel: Build an event registration sequence to send out invites, reminder emails and manage ticketing
- Refer: Ask satisfied clients to share the program with their friends
- The automation funnel: Build a referral program that tracks referrals automatically and sends commissions based on each referred sale
Now that you understand the 5 stages in the customer lifecycle, you’re ready to create action from insight!
- Write down the stages of your business and where they fit into the customer lifecycle
- Think about the different marketing and automation funnels that you can develop that support these stages
- In your automation software (we recommend Ontraport) build out your first campaign (we recommend starting with the attract stage!)
Lindsey is an Ontraport Certified Consultant and founder of Smartify My Biz. She’s a digital strategist devoted to transforming and streamlining businesses using marketing and sales automation. Her goal? More profit for your pocket plus a business that runs like a well-oiled machine.