The very simple idea behind Customer Success is to help your customers achieve their desired outcomes using your product. And to do that, you need to know which customer needs your help, and for what. For instance, a new user may need some help to set up his or her account. And a more mature user may be interested in learning about advanced features to go a step further.
If you have a small number of customers, you may be able to follow each of your users’ situation manually. But as soon as your customer base grows, you won’t be able to keep the pace with manual inputs. That’s when customer stages will become essential in order to take proactive actions and drive success to your users.
In this article, we are going to cover how to map your customer lifecycleand how to use it in order to better know your users and take proactive actions.
How to map your Customer Lifecycle
All your customers go through a lifecycle that can be defined through four main stages:
- Trial: your customer discovers your product and starts using it.
- Onboarding: your customer gets accustomed to your product and uses it more and more.
- Adopting/nurturing: your customer starts using more functionalities.
- Expansion: your customer has been using your product for a while. Questions like renewal and upgrade arise.
(But you can also define your own stages to match the reality of your business.)
These stages are important to understanding your customer’s behavior. Indeed, they won’t use your product the same way if they started 2 days or 6 months earlier.
Most marketing automation tools let you schedule and send a sequence of emails to your users, based on the day they first used your product. And customer support tools give you information at user level too (reclamations, numbers of calls, …). But not all users can make the decision to renew their subscription or upgrade to a more comprehensive plan, or on the contrary to churn. What you want to have is an aggregated view at company level, in order to act proactively at the right moment.
Leveraging your Customer lifecycle
So, you’ve defined your different stages, what’s next?
With your Customer Lifecycle stages, you can:
1. Automatically compute a Customer Health Score
You can compute a different customer health score for each of your stages, as customer behavior depends on their stage of the lifecycle (onboarding, adopting, expanding, …).
2. Launch actions (to do’s, emails, …) based on defined playbooks
For example, for each customer in the “Onboarding” stage, you can decide to send a first welcome email, then 2 days later to schedule a personalized demo, and 5 days later to check out his/her usage information.
All of that can be automatized in Salesmachine, taking out mental space thinking about it and leaving you with more time to actually help your customers.
3. Define segments
You can go a step further to better target your customers by defining segments, based on a specific behavior. For example, you may want to call all your “administrators” contacts in the onboarding phase just before the end of their free trial. Or send a tutorial to all users in the Adopting phase who haven’t used a specific feature yet.
4. Set up alerts
You can also configure alerts based on stages, segments or a health score, in order to have a look at your customer’s profile and assess the situation.
For instance, setting up an alert when a customer’s credit card expires while in the renewal stage.
Defining your Customer Lifecycle makes a huge difference when it comes to acting proactively and providing the exact input or help needed to your customers at the right moment. In other words: to drive success to them. Are you already using one? Please share in the comments the different stages for your business and how you are leveraging them.
Start mapping customer stages to help your business grow → Salesmachine.io