Customer Relationship Lifecycle Best Practices

When I first saw talk about the customer relationship lifecycle, I groaned. I expected this to just be another one of those cases where there are ten buzzwords that mean the same thing. I expected this to be just another term for the customer experience, and the two lifecycles it can undergo.

However, the customer relationship lifecycle genuinely is something different. The problem is, however, that it’s a bit more of a confusing concept than the customer experience lifecycle. I kind of see this thing as a bit unnecessary to be honest with you, because while it is indeed a different thing from the customer experience cycle, the experience cycle expresses all of the data that this thing does.

Since you have to map your experience cycle anyhow, I really don’t see the point to this one, unless you’re just that fastidious with planning and recording states for historical snapshots to make overblown forecasts.

I guess what I’m ultimately saying is, while I usually more than show enthusiasm in methodologies I explain and review here, this time is different. I don’t like this thing, and above all, I recommend not bothering with it unless you’re requires to.

However, you may have no choice in having to work with this thing, so let’s take a look at it, and what to bear in mind for each phase.

Most of the charts of this form a clockwise circular trace, with the inside being divided into three sections portraying the corresponding role of CRM during that part of the cycle. It looks like a weird peace sign usually.

The first phase of this is the acquisition of the customer. This goes from the consideration and research phases of the customer experience, and the actual initial purchase of products or services. Along with this is growth, which is to bring interest into more things offered as well.

CRM, during that phase, must concentrate on marketing and control over the research phase.

Following this, it goes into retention and further growth. During this time, CRM works on building values for shareholders, those being stock shareholders and committed customers.

Finally, it goes into an extended phase where CRM works with IT and social network dynamics to cultivate a greater sense of community among your customers, so that you have a cultural movement within society.

Honestly, there’s no more advice to give on this beyond that, and in understanding the consequences of these points as you encounter them. It’s pretty simple and straightforward, but I honestly think the customer experience lifecycle more than accounts for these same stages and concerns, so this really is a bit of a vestigial concept.

However, if you have to use it due to circumstances, then the above advice has you understanding and properly working with the customer relationship lifecycle quite well. I do advise that you look around at some of the diagrams after this, and get a sense of how the thought behind this works, before you go trying to use the concept too tightly, though. Beyond that, as of finishing a read of this, you really know all there is to know about this concept. Good luck and god speed.


Matthew is the Lead Author & Editor of CXperience Blog. Matthew established the CXperience blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Customer Experience.