Customer Engagement

Rethinking customer lifetime value: more personal, more powerful, and more profitable

By Liz Roche, Director, Product Marketing Customer Engagement Solutions, Pitney Bowes

While customers are the lifeline of any business, meeting each demand of every customer isn’t realistic for most organizations. As a result, many companies become unable to keep up with changing customer relationship needs, ultimately to the detriment of their bottom lines. But while there are numerous avenues businesses can take to create a more fulfilling customer experience, the key components of a valuable client relationship tend to be the same across industries.

Put heart into bills and statements

Despite more ways than ever to get in touch with a client base, the number one method of communicating with a customer remains through bills and statements, according to research from BI Intelligence.

Although findings show that roughly 95 percent of consumers will view their statements anyway, this pivotal point of interaction represents a great opportunity to reflect a more compassionate business-consumer relationship that is often overlooked.

Whether that includes vibrant colors, fonts and layouts or the inclusion of more thoughtful, personalized language, how you present billing and statement documentation can open or close the door on a valuable customer relationship.

Bring the call center up to date

The customer engagement center, another holdover from before the digital age, still remains invaluable to client relations. By giving employees within these centers the resources they need to act fast – not to mention accurately – a negative interaction can be expedited or avoided altogether.

Not only will an employee be more productive as a result, they will have more time to promote solutions with a customer rather than apologize for failure.

Allow the customer to take the wheel

Sometimes, too few options for customer self-control can lead to a sour relationship. When online functionality isn’t available, for instance, in order to make a payment or research a simple query, the alternatives may be too time consuming to explore. As a result, delinquencies could start to run rampant, customers will fall off the grid and updates to services or notifications may go ignored.

Determining which customers to prioritize in applying these concepts is as much art as science. Real Customer Lifetime Value (rCLV) is an indicator of customer profitability used to aid firms in customer acquisition strategies, targeting, and retention.  It can allow marketers to increase precision of targeting efforts, and empowering customer experience professionals to connect with customers through more relevant interactions.

Even if you think that your business is doing everything right to engage their customers, there are always ways to improve your strategy to get the best returns. For more information on improving customer lifetime value, download our new Forrester research "Making customer lifetime value real."

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