Stages in a Typical CX Lifecycle
Posted By: DSG
In order to truly understand Customer Experience (CX) and clearly define a customer journey, brands need to reflect on the stages that their clients travel during a purchase process. All brands should design a CX journey from a user’s perspective.
Divided into 3 phases, the Customer Experience lifecycle typically follows a progressive journey through Pre-Purchase, Purchase and Post Purchase. Each phase encompasses a number of sub-phases which the client will move through during the purchase decision and customer experience lifecycle.
Steps in the Pre-Purchase Phase
1. A Need Arises:
The customer identifies a need or problem that they seek to resolve.
It is during this stage that the customer will couple a product to their need in order to resolve the conflict/ angst.
In an attempt to locate the relevant product that might solve a consumer problem, the customer embarks on a journey of research and discovery, hunting for and gathering as much information about suitable options and solutions available in the marketplace.
It is during this phase that branding, accessibility and effective communication through applicable customer touchpoints should be available for consumption.
After collecting an adequate amount of information relating to products and brands that offer solutions to the impeding consumer problem, the customer considers all data gathered and sorts prospecting solutions from the unlikely ones.
Once a prospective solution to the consumer’s angst has been identified, the customer takes the first tangible step towards making their purchase. Investigations are represented by the submission of lead forms and purchase enquires.
Steps in the Purchase Phase:
5.Negotiation and close:
The negotiation and closure phase is the discussion and conclusion phase of the actual purchase process. It is during this phase that the purchase decision has been made and the 1st step toward procurement is taken.
Fulfilment represents the actual acquisition of goods or services following the closure of the purchase. This phase is characterised by the actual receipt of goods or delivery of procured services.
7.Customer service / aftersales:
While customer service and the after sales experience in the CX journey can be somewhat obscure it is a critical phase in the Customer Experience lifecycle that may be the best kept secret to CX Success. Through offering unwavering customer service and aftersales follow-ups may very well be the deciding factor that current customers refer to when returning or referring.
Steps in the Post Purchase Phase:
8.Retention, upsale and cross sale
Classed with the same reputation as the customer service and aftersales function during the purchase phase, the preservation of a converted customer base is critical to a successful customer experience strategy. Customer retention can be further supported by identifying unique opportunities to upsell to an existing client base as well as cross selling complimentary products and services once the prospecting client has been converted.
9.Advocacy and word of mouth referrals
Achieving brand advocacy and having delivered a service worthy of word-of-mouth referrals, is the most effective measure of how impactful and unforgettable a customer experience has been. Sales that ensue from a referral carry twice as much consequence that will see the referring customer affirmed and the referred customer converted.