Maximizing customer lifetime value through the lens of March Madness

by Andrew Wimmer | April 15, 2021

A pair of hands cutting down a basketball net during a championship celebration.March Madness is a time when Cinderellas are born, legends are made, nets are cut down, and David Barrett’s One Shining Moment plays on millions of televisions across America. There’s also the tradition of filling out your bracket (you only submit one, right?). You may strategically make your selections for which teams will “survive and advance” through each round, but you know from experience that the ultimate goal isn’t about perfection — it’s about maximizing cumulative points throughout the tournament.

Successfully navigating the customer experience bracket

For your organization or brand, customer touchpoints can be likened to March Madness matchups, a customer journey to a tournament bracket, and the entire customer experience to the whole tournament. You may win or lose at various touchpoints along different journeys. Still, these cumulative events combine to form and influence the entire customer experience, impacting your mission to maximize customer lifetime value.

Many, myself included, just hope that our brackets aren’t completely busted after the first weekend. I may make some upset picks based on research and intuition, but I avoid risk early on with a lot of “chalk” selections to remain in the game. Organizations and brands must take the same approach: avoiding early elimination or losing big at any point in the relationship should be of utmost importance.

Customer experience play-by-plays and upsets

Every touchpoint influences the perception of your organization or brand. Good experiences either improve or reinforce that perception — and every bad experience degrades it. All of this happens within the context of the organization or brand and in the context of the customer’s alternatives.

I recently had a negative curbside pickup experience at a home improvement store. After an unsuccessful check-in experience using their app, I had to call the store twice to have my purchases brought to my car (they actually forgot I was waiting in the parking lot). Am I as likely to buy from this store, use this service again, or recommend it to a friend? No. Conversely, a smaller home improvement store recently exceeded my expectations for order placement and curbside pickup. Upset alert!

A friend recently replaced two automotive batteries. For the first battery, the store could not install the battery for that specific model but allowed him to use their tools to save a trip home. He went to the same store in search of the second battery. When he arrived, their system was down, and he could not complete a purchase. He turned his vehicle off before knowing this, and it would not restart. They gave him a jump, and he returned home only to call another company the next day to deliver and install the battery at his house. My friend will keep both stores in his consideration set for auto parts, so both will compete to retain him as a customer. This one's going into overtime!

Understanding customer experience and making your game plan

As March Madness goes on, each round of the tournament comes with more pressure for teams to perform and correct mistakes made in their recent games. In customer experience strategy, you should also consider customer touchpoints in terms of where they are in the customer lifecycle and which ones should be prioritized for the biggest impact:

  • Journey triggers: Where, how, when are buyers triggered? What are key motivators?
  • Pre-purchase brand considerations: What are the touchpoints that inform pre-purchase brand consideration?
  • Channel choice considerations: How are channel and store choices made?
  • Point of purchase brand choice: What are the purchase conversion barriers? What are the critical point of purchase touchpoint influences? What is the brand/SKU decision tree?
  • Post-purchase experience: How successful was the purchase and delivery experience? Does the product or service meet expectations? Is the appropriate support available?
  • Brand experience and advocacy: How do brand experiences influence the next purchase cycle? Did you create an advocate (or was the play call ineffective)?

Bellomy has the tools to understand customer journeys and touchpoints, measure each stage’s impact, and prioritize action steps to improve your positioning and enhance the experience you deliver to your customers... segmentation, panels and communities, user experience research, social media listening, text analytics, and our suite of customer experience tools support our relationship measurement, case management, and reputation management offerings. Every program is designed to maximize customer lifetime value.

You win or lose at every touchpoint

NCAA basketball bracket on fire.You play to win, but you can’t win if you don’t earn the opportunity to play. Thinking about maximizing customer lifetime value, organizations and brands need as many opportunities as possible to win with their customers.

Don’t let your customer experience bracket get busted

Your immediate goal is to survive and advance, but the ultimate goal is to be the last one standing. Bellomy can help your organization or brand navigate your customer experience bracket to maximize customer lifetime value and be the one cutting down the nets.

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