Understanding the customer lifecycle is a huge part of building effective client retention strategies. Not only does a thorough understanding of your clients' behavior and needs help you in re-marketing to them, but it also helps you effectively target new customers. One of the best ways to truly understand an individual customer's lifecycle is through the Account Overview page in ServiceMonster.
Within a customer's account in ServiceMonster, the first page you see is the Account Overview. Basically everything you need to know is right there, including all contact info, memos, order history, invoices, and account tags. Think of this page as the hub of your customer's account. The Quick Create buttons at the top of the window even allow you to quickly and easily create a new order, activity, payment, and several other options directly from the account. Off to the side, the Account Newsfeed shows you every action taken on that account. Ever. That newsfeed is perhaps the most accurate visual representation of the customer lifecycle from prospect, to first-time customer, to repeat customer, and every single action taken in between.
The customer lifecycle starts with reach (or awareness). This includes all marketing efforts. Once you've reached a potential customer, and they have indicated interest in your service, they are considered a lead. If you use webforms or a third-party integration with your ServiceMonster account, as soon as a lead comes in an account is created for them. The account overview page will show that their account type is "prospect" and you will see any and all information that is available at that point. At this point, that potential customer has reached the lifecycle stage of acquisition.
The goal at this point is to get them to convert into a paying customer. Direct, personalized contact is crucial to this step and any all communication that you have with your potential customers will be shown in the account newsfeed if you choose to track everything. You can easily add a new activity to the account each time contact is made. Once the customer converts, they have reached the nurturing stage of the customer lifecycle. In this time period, your goal as a business owner should be to make sure the customer is satisfied with your work, ask for feedback, and set up re-marketing campaigns to keep them as a repeat customer. All of these actions, if done through ServiceMonster, will show in the Account Overview page. If this is successful, then they have reached the retention stage of the customer lifecycle and are now considered a repeat client (yay!).
Once the retention stage has been reached, the final step in the lifecycle is to get your repeat customers to become brand advocates. This is where offering a referral discount or some sort of referral program is HUGE! If you can get your happy customers to recommend you to their friends and family, your potential reach will greatly increase. Again, ServiceMonster helps you track all of this and every step of the process can be seen on the Account Overview page.
Why is all of this so important? Because knowing your customers is a crucial building block to a successful service business. Whether it's quickly identifying what stage of the customer lifecycle a particular account is in, or you just want to see how many unpaid invoices someone has, all of that can be done directly from the Account Overview page.