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Why Bloggers Should Learn About The Customer Relationship Cycle

What Is The Customer Lifecycle?

In customer relationship management (CRM), customer lifecycle is a term used to describe the progression of steps a customer goes through when considering, purchasing, using, and maintaining loyalty to a product or service.
There are five distinct steps:
  1. Reach
  2. Acquisition
  3. Conversion
  4. Retention
  5. Loyalty
Simply put, this means getting a potential customer’s attention, teaching them what you have to offer, turning them into a paying customer, and then keeping them as a loyal customer. Keeping someone as a loyal customer in turn can urge other people to become customers, joining the cycle themselves.
 
The goal of effective CRM is to get customers to flow through the cycle again and again.
 
For bloggers, this may mean encouraging your audience to buy from your store, to come back and read more posts, or to encourage further engagement on social media. While the customer lifecycle is a typical model to be used with marketing a product in a store or whatnot, there are many ways a blogger can apply this knowledge in order to grow their blog or their online store.

Get Customers

When a physical product is on offer to your customers, you will begin to get customers through organic and paid media & traffic. You must create demand and drive interest, as just sending your name and/or product into the media is not enough, it needs to be attached to a value proposition to drive customer interest, and customers will then begin to consider the value of your product, which will then ideally lead to them becoming customers.
 
Someone does not become a customer until a purchase has been made. This is the opportunity to get a customer, keep and then grow.
 
This is where bloggers reach out to their audience and market their ‘brand’. If you’re not encouraging a purchase, a person does not become a ‘customer’ once they have fully engaged with you online. Get your reader, keep them and grow them.

Keep Customers

Once a customer has bought the product, you must figure out how to keep them. Keeping a customer is not about providing bigger and better products, it is about building customer relationships. 
  • Customer Satisfaction Surveys
  • Loyalty Programs
  • Customer Check-in Calls
Consider your churn rate during this phase. This signifies how many clients you have lost once you have reached this point. This is important as it affects your customer’s lifetime value
 
Build relationships with your readers and your audience. Engage with them online, talk to them on social media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram). Show your audience your personality. Some people may drop in just to read a post or two, but this is where you want to discover those who will be willing to engage further and become a loyal reader.

Grow Customers

The ultimate goal of maintaining your customers is to be able to ask them for referrals. To make it easier on the customers you already have, you should offer a product that is broken down into smaller parts.
  • Break down products into multiple offers
  • Up-sell products
  • Cross-selling products
These are opportunities to let referred customers get in without the risk and you can then offer them the full product at an ideal price. Cross-selling products means you are selling a product that is related to but not part of a product that a customer has previously purchased.
 
During this phase you will want to consider the following metrics:
 
Lifetime = 1 ÷ Churn Rate 
 
Lifetime Customer Value = (Average Monthly Payment x Gross Margin %) ÷ Churn Rate
 
As a blogger, you may want to consider:
  • Breaking down longer posts into easier to read, shorter chunks
  • ‘Cross-sell’ your posts by referencing them in other content and internally linking so they can easily move through your blog
  • ‘Up-sell’ your social media, encourage them to follow you elsewhere for more updates
  • Encourage comments, discussion or similar.
If you’re using paid promotions to discover an audience, this is where you would consider the above metrics but that is completely your choice. Discovering your audience, keeping them and growing them into an engaged community is the aim – whether you do that through organic or paid promotions is completely your prerogative! 

Vocabulary

WORD/PHRASE
DEFINITION
Value Proposition
Makes a case for why a customer should pick one product over another.
Churn Rate
How many clients you have lost once you reach a certain point, meaning you have secured a sale but the customer has dropped out of the life cycle.
Customer Lifetime Value
The prediction of a net profit that is attributed to your relationship with that customer. If your customers are making a single purchase before disappearing, the lifetime value of the customer is small.

 

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