24 Best Practices for Optimizing a Customer Lifecycle Communication Program

Your organization is supported by talented and passionate people who want to deliver the best possible customer communication.

There’s a lot to say. You want customers to renew their subscription or buy more stuff. You’re responding to customer service and tech support questions. There are statuses, receipts, and acknowledgments to send. Satisfaction survey results to gather.

A/B testing helps you improve open-rates and click-throughs, but there’s more to think about when creating a holistic communication strategy that nurtures, engages, and motivates customers to take action throughout the entire lifecycle.

Here are 24 principles to consider as you continue to build out your customer lifecycle communication program:

1. Tracking & Measurement

Understand how communications perform in order to provide a better overall customer experience. Consider how even one-to-one communications could be tracked and measured.

2. User Experience

Deliver clear, concise information. Provide self-service tools. Use a consistent design and voice across all communication. Consider the entire user experience — from email to landing page to action to confirmation and  on and on.

3. Personalization & Segmentation

Only send communication that is relevant and personalized. No email blasts.

4. Awareness & Engagement

Promote and engage customers with support services and tools. Help customers help themselves.

5. Communication Tools

Find the best ways to communicate with customers — email isn’t the only channel.

6. Automation

Automate communication based on timing and customer behaviors.

7. Quality Assurance

Ensure all data and information is 100% accurate before it’s communicated to customers. Make sure all links work, images load, and layouts respond down to mobile as expected.

8. Customer Success

Create content that educates and informs customers about how to be successful using your product.

9. Communication Timing

Send the right communication at the right time.

10. Collaboration

Collaborate with other teams to ensure all communication is aligned (and not redundant or contradictory).

11. Visibility

Give customer-facing teams access to every communication sent to customers so they can better serve them.

12. Content Management

Update, share, and organize existing content for other internal teams to leverage.

13. Customer Service

Ensure support teams are a visible, accessible, and approachable support system to customers.

14. Advocacy

Teach and provide tools to raving fans so they understand how to champion your product. Tell them what else they can do to support you besides referring a friend or retweeting.

15. Staffing

Hire enough staff, and then train them with the right skills to most effectively support your customers.

16. Program Management

Use a formal process to develop and manage communication strategy and execution.

17. Automated Risk Detection

Flag at-risk customers for human intervention to prevent them from falling through the cracks.

18. Profile Management

Update customer contact information in real time, across all systems.

19. Preference Center

Customers can opt-in to only the communications they want and in the channel they want.

20. System Integration

Maintain and support integration between technologies and data.

21. Compliance

Ensure all communication adheres to ADA requirements, and email adheres to the CAN-SPAM Act.

22. Coaching

Provide ongoing coaching to customer-facing teams so they can better communicate with customers.

23. Customer Insights

Fill in knowledge gaps about customers to better support and communicate to them.

24. Community Development

Help customers connect and support each other.

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Author: Kristine Remer

Kristine Remer is an independent UX researcher & strategist in Minneapolis. Connect @ https://twitter.com/kristineremer