Extending the Customer Experience Lifecycle
Many companies have already started looking to create a consistent customer experience at all their existing touch-points, but the customer experience lifecycle starts far before and ends long after the relation covered in the classic customer lifecycle model.
The challenge and immense opportunity for companies is in extending their presence in the customer experience lifecycle by providing value beyond the standard company touch-points, and beyond the product or service. This can be done a few ways.
- Through new touch-points within the standard customer lifecycle
This means providing value to the customer to support the selection, purchase and use of a specific product or service through new touch- points.
- Additional value not related to the specific product or service
This is done by providing additional value not directly related to the product or service within the customer lifecycle.
- On a wider scale, outside of the standard relationship
This means providing value to the customer far before she is even aware of the company’s products or services, and far after the life of the product or service.
Here are a few examples that, although focused on only one touch-point, are not part of the usual customer lifecycle relationship;
- Helping customers make better decisions by providing non-biased peer reviews in store or on a Web site could be considered outside the normal scope of the customer lifecycle, but provides value to the customer’s purchase experience;
- An airline that provides airport maps with the tickets provides value at a touch-point that is normally not their concern (wayfinding in the airport) and enhances the traveler’s experience.
- A car rental company that provides customers with parking passes for key downtown locations, or public transport tickets, provides additional value to the product;
- A credit card company that provides emergency cash and passport renewal assistance in case of loss or theft overseas provides enormous value beyond the normal relationship;
- A gym chain that provides a Web site with a wealth of personalized exercise, nutrition and other health information provides value to the fitness experience beyond the gym.
Extending the customer experience lifecycle first requires being able to map out where the experience starts and ends, and to uncover areas where new and relevant value can be created.