Business commerce and tactics have been moving at the speed of light for the last several years. If you haven’t been paying close attention, you may not be aware of the new and exciting strategies and tactics businesses are using to attract new customers and investors into their ranks.
One of the most exciting strategies which has emerged in the last several years is ‘The Customer Cycle’, also sometimes known as the flywheel. This is an advanced method of workflow and customer engagement, which acts as a replacement for and alternative to the funnel.
Here’s a brief guide to businesses referred to as our “Customer Cycle”
WHAT IS THE CUSTOMER CYCLE?
A method of organizing a company and delivering an actionable customer experience which goes above and beyond in terms of engagement, growth, and delight. The Customer Cycle excels at onboarding customers and keeping them connected to your business no matter what changes you make or how you adapt to the changing times.
In terms of design, the Customer Cycle is energy efficient and is built with the resources of a company in mind. It’s meant to streamline your business strategy and release the necessary energy to propel your business into efficiency and customer retention. Unlike other models, customers are not treated as a destination; rather, customers and retention are emphasized because one drives the other. There are three phases in the Customer Cycle: attraction, engagement, and delight.
Although there’s no “starting point” due to the design of the cycle, it’s helpful to think of “attraction” as your first phase of customer interaction. In the attraction phase, companies use a variety of methods to draw in new customers and keep the cycle spinning early in the process. One of the most useful and popular methods of attractions businesses use is content.
Content is key to attracting your clients and growing your business because it eliminates barriers and helps your customers understand your business, both what it does and how it operates throughout its daily life and throughout the year. The key in this phase is to gain the trust of prospective customers and harness their attention.
Marketing and promotional materials are widely used at this stage in the cycle and are effective tools in gaining and holding the attention of your new customer base. Social media and paid advertising are also highly prioritized in this phase of the cycle.
Attracting customers is well and good, but the beauty of the Customer Cycle is its emphasis on retention and engagement. Simply attracting customers to your firm and abandoning them is old fashioned and an outdated way of thinking. Companies are doing everything in their power today to keep in touch with their customers and provide satisfactory service even when their customers are not directly using their product or services. The buying habits of consumers have always been messy, largely unknown, and variable. Human behavior is not linear and has digressed even more with the induction and proliferation of the internet. Navigating the messy middle’ and utilizing the Customer Cycle is a more streamlined way to nurture clients and turn customers into a loyal community.
Customer engagement is all about proactive action. That is, your company should glean as much input from your customers as it can, and it should do so before your customer even thinks of coming to your company with a complaint or suggestion. You can send out questionnaires, surveys, and other marketing tools to gather information from your customers, or work with a digital marketing agency to help you strategize and utilize customer feedback.
The “final” step in working with the Customer Cycle is delighting your customers. Although it sounds vague and nebulous, customer delight is achievable and definable. In fact, customer delight is defined as a “systematized and intentional approach to delighting customers and increasing engagement, loyalty, and advocacy.” Customer delight is a goal your entire organization should work toward, not just those employees in marketing and customer satisfaction.
When you do customer delight right, you’ll know it because it will produce a reaction of satisfaction and togetherness with your customer. Delight requires a personal and genuine touch because the foundation of the concept is made of trust and intimacy. After you’ve attracted and engaged with your customer, delight should stem from the intimacy and trust you’ve built with each and every customer who uses your company to meet their needs.
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