There are different stages in the customer life cycle and there are various methods to define them. One approach is obviously that of Jim Sterne and Matt Cutler, as published in 2000 in a paper called "Ematix for Business Economy". There are also different ways of calculating the customer life cycle value (CLV). An introduction.
In the mentioned paper, Sterne and Cutler divided the phases of the customer life cycle (later other elements were added that were more based upon the customer interaction) as such:
- Reach: trying to get the attention of the people we want to reach.
- Acquisition: attracting and bringing the reached person into the influence sphere of our organization.
- Conversion: when the people we reach or have a more established relationship with, decide to buy something from us.
- Retention: trying to keep the customers and trying to sell them more (cross-selling, up-selling).
- Loyalty: we would like the customer to become more than a customer: a loyal partner and even a ‘brand advocate’.