The Benefits of Research Throughout the Customer Life Cycle

I often help my clients review the various points in their customer’s life cycle where they should be gathering customer input.  By regularly doing customer research, companies have the information they need to wow their customers and ensure that customer loyalty is high.  High customer loyalty is directly linked to higher profits.

There are two clear beginning and end points where it’s beneficial to tap into customers’ (or LOST prospects’/customers’) perceptions:
  • After they have made a go/no go decision about product or services
  • After they have stopped using products or services
The kinds of input we can get at these critical points in time include:
  • What their perceived alternatives are to their provider’s product/service
  • Their perception of how their supplier’s offerings compare to those alternatives
  • Their perception of the service/support an organization provided to them
  • And more!
That covers the crucial beginning and end of a company’s relationship with a customer.  There is other input to gather from customers during their relationship with a company.  This helps companies get the benefit of their ‘real life’ experience with them and their products, allowing them to fine-tune their offerings in a timely manner:
  • Product feedback: Helps prioritize future product revision plans.
  • Customer satisfaction feedback:  Helps monitor customer loyalty and identify any critical areas to address to ensure good customer retention.
The graphic above shows these various opportunities.  You should regularly assess which kind of research can best help you accomplish your key goals, especially when planning your annual research budget.

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