This month as we examine the customer experience lifecycle, there's no doubt that we'll ponder the marketer's most pressing, philosophical question -- when does a customer become a customer? Just as the 24-hour news cycle has impacted the way users stay informed, the 24-hour always online lifestyle of users has impacted the way they learn about and engage with brands. The potential customer is always on the look out for new brand experiences and their word of mouth is louder than ever. So how can organizations make sure that they attract new customers and keep the ones they have?
The Customer Experience Lifecycle
Conceptually the infographic we created isn't hard to understand. All the elements make sense, but because for most brands, each one of these customer touch points is orchestrated by a different department there are lots of moving parts, which if not perfectly aligned can undo the entire process rather swiftly.
As well, thanks to the power of social media, whether your customer experience process works or fails, other potential customers are likely to know about it right away. Therefore, your customer experience process, like a Rube Goldberg, has only one chance to make it work before things go completely berserk.
It Starts With a Need, It Ends with Loyalty, But It's All About the Experience
Need & Awareness
Lots of companies have cool products, but their utility is not always clear. How many times have you ever said to yourself (or another) "that's cool, but so what?" The 'so what' should align itself to a specific need the customer has, whether it be business efficiency or personal convenience.
Once the customer has a specific need, the product or service will likely come into focus. It happens all the time -- "how did I not know this existed until now?" -- it's because they weren't paying attention until they had the need to look for the solution.
Once a solution is found to a need, the customer is likely to kick the proverbial tires. That most likely means a visit to a website or Facebook page. If that initial experience isn't easy or inviting, the interaction ends and they're onto to find another potential solution.