Marketers keep track of the customer lifecycle to better align processes according to customer experience. The specific parameters include customer behavior such as purchase history, purchase cost, frequency of purchase, frequency of availing support, and more. Customer lifecycle management (CLM) is the measurement of such multiple metrics over a period, aimed at tweaking business processes to improve such metrics. CLM is roughly the same as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) with the element of time thrown into the mix.
One tends to assume that CLM is viable only for big businesses, which have the time, resources and workforce to undertake such analysis. However, in today’s highly competitive age, where pampering and retaining the customer is of paramount importance, small businesses too can use CLM effectively to please their customers better, and enter into customized and personalized relationships with them. CLM is critical for small businesses for the following five reasons:
Successful marketing requires reaching out to customers proactively, at the right time, with the right message, and for the right reason. Analyzing the various customer related data from CRM platforms, order-processing systems and elsewhere, to identify what is topmost in the minds of most customers would allow marketers to reach out accordingly. CLM allows such businesses to codify “best practices” that work, and make effective sales pitches that address customer needs accurately. The rich insights also make it possible to develop customized campaigns that resonate with the targeted prospects and customers. Through such interventions, small businesses can hope to retain their customer base, and match the services offered by big firms.
Accenture’s 2013 “Global Consumer Pulse Survey“ reveals that 85% percent of customers become frustrated when dealing with a company that does not make it easy to do business with them, 84% of them are frustrated by companies that promise one thing but deliver something else, and 58% of them are frustrated with inconsistent experiences from channel to channel. Having a robust CLM in place helps the marketer under customer expectations better and thereby pre-empt customer frustrations. Every satisfied customer generates and saves revenues that may otherwise be required to acquire new customers or coax more purchases out of existing ones.
Many small businesses can compete with big names when it comes to making sales, but falter when it comes to providing crucial after-sales support, or sustaining the relationship. A good CRM system in place helps businesses not just identify up-sell and cross-sell opportunities, but also highlight potential problem areas before they become too big to handle. An effective CLM helps the business keep track of and uphold promises made during the sales pitches. It even becomes possible to woo back lapsed customers by pitching to them the right way.
Marketing interventions, especially based on CRM analysis, very often make the difference between the success and failure of a small business. Applying CLM metrics to measure the Return on Investment of the CRM interventions, by measuring CLM before and after such interventions, allow enterprises to gauge the percentage of change, and thereby measure the success or failure of an intervention. The measurements could manifest in questions such as whether the customers purchased more frequently after the intervention, whether they made large overall transactions, whether the total cost of acquisition per customer increase or decrease, or more. With small businesses hard-strapped for resources that they would rather spend on their core business operations, such tools become invaluable to determine the effectiveness of an intervention.
Insights thrown up by CLM help the enterprise identify the products that have reached the end of its tether, allowing them to stock new products at the right time, without being stuck with dead stock. CLM also helps to identify high-risk products, products without service agreement or warranties, products that may frequently break down and cause customer discord, or products that simply take too much of the businesses’ time to yield rich dividends.
Most small businesses are taxed when faced the task of monitoring each and every customer interaction for CLM purpose, and even when they do it, they end up with information overload. The solution? A simplified and automated CLM solutions offered by Conneqt. Conneqt Business Solutions offers solutions that allow maximizing value from existing customers, retaining them for longer, and make up-selling and cross-selling easy. Want to learn more about our CLM Solutions for SMBs? Do get in touch with us.