Monthly Archives: July 2013

The customer lifecycle isn’t

There’s a lot of talk about the customer lifecycle and the benefits of paying attention to it out there.

A typical customer lifecycle goes like this: A potential customer discovers our offerings, learns about them and our value proposition, buys our offerings and thus becomes an active or current customer, and finally stops buying our offerings and thus becomes a former customer.

But is this really a typical customer lifecycle?

I don’t think so anymore. I think this more typical: A potential customer is born, grows up, lives through adulthood, grows old, and finally dies.

Obviously, this is quite coarse-grained and could be detailed by adding many significant events.

The first lifecycle above really describes the relationship between a customer and a business (and this only in a very limited way).

Paraphrasing Chris Potts, businesses need to decide how they want to appear in their customers’ activities, experiences and lives. I think this a lot easier to do when taking the second perspective on the idea of a customer lifecycle.

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Digital experiences: journey first or content first?

Both. Sort of.

Recently the topic of whether to take a journey-first or a content-first approach to delivering digital user experiences came up. The former seems to be favoured by more “traditional” user experience designers while the latter is favoured by many content strategist. No surprise here.

For now, my take is this:

I think I want to start with the customer experience in a conceptual, coarse-grained and probably channel-independent manner. A concept map (or a service ecology map, despite this grandstanding name) is a good basis from which to start mapping a customer journey.

Digging into more detail, increasing the focus on content seems useful, both in terms of detailing the content model and the actual content.

In turn, the content model as well as representative content elements can be an effective basis for designing the actual user journeys for a digital service.

Thoughts, please? Thanks.