CLM Strategy (Customer Lifecycle Management) isn’t just for enterprises. While it may have a different look than customer lifecycle at enterprises, it is still very important for small and medium businesses to map out their customer journey and build a plan to cater to their needs at various stages. This will help SMBs retain their customers, drive customer satisfaction and encourage brand advocacy.
Creating a CLM strategy involves mapping out the customer journey, understanding customer needs at various stages on the journey and then associating them with individual metrics. Small businesses can then measure and track these metrics and get a 360-degree view of overall customer satisfaction.
A CLM strategy ensures that nothing slips through the cracks when it comes to keeping your customers happy. It ensures that your business understands customer needs.
Let’s start by understanding what customer journey means. A customer journey is a complete experience a customer has with your company. It starts with the first moment he interacts with your company and continues till he remains a customer.
The visual representation of this journey is called a customer journey map. It tells you the way a customer generally engages with your company across all touchpoints. Mapping the customer journey helps business leaders gain key insights into common customer needs and pain points to better optimize and personalize the customer experience.
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For small businesses, having a CLM strategy can be a key competitive differentiator in the present times when sales are dropping, sales pipelines are shrinking, and acquiring new customers is tough due to the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. In today’s time, the need is to engage with your existing customers and get more business with them. Getting business from existing customers would be far easier and cost-effective than acquiring new customers. Also, the competition is increasing and if your company is not able to keep the customers happy then they may switch to your competitors.
That’s why small businesses must pay attention to the Customer Journey Map and Customer Lifecycle Management to fix or control customer issues before they become a problem and the customer drops out.
Mapping out customer lifecycles and tracking various stages is a great way to assess customer satisfaction and where relationships stand. It is also an excellent way to know how customers rate your company against the competition.
You can start your CLM program by first creating a Customer Journey Map. The Customer Journey Map is the first step towards understanding customer interactions and engagements. It is also helpful in ensuring all your employees and departments are on the same page when it comes to keeping the customers happy.
After drawing the Customer Journey Map, you can then associate each touchpoint or lifecycle moment with customer goals and needs, your business goals, your company’s response to customer needs, people responsible to meet the needs, and specific metrics as shown in the ‘Customer Journey Map’ graphic above. These metrics can then be monitored and measured regularly to assess the success of your customer lifecycle management strategy.
CLM is a complex and continuous process. And small businesses don’t have the luxury to build a specialized team for managing it. More so, in the present business environment, when companies are working with reduced staff and lower budgets.
A CLM software allows businesses like yours to manage entire business operations- Sales, Marketing, Billing, and Customer Support- from one platform. It will help you track the entire lifecycle journey of a customer, right from his first engagement as a lead/inquiry to becoming a customer and beyond. A customer lifecycle management software can help you execute your CLM strategy with minimum effort and costs.
ConvergeHub is a complete CLM software that allows small and medium businesses to execute their CLM programs with ease. It automates several repetitive tasks to help you run your programs with minimum labor and with low investments.
We are also offering a 14-day free trial where you can set up ConvergeHub in your business and test it for real life scenarios. Get the free trial here.