Data Analytics

Using Customer Analytics to Create Lifetime Value

Becky Staker

June 22, 2023

customer analytics in the palm of a business man's hands

Moving clients from being one-time customers to doing business with them for life is the ultimate goal for organizations. It’s what ensures ongoing success and profitability. Your products, services, and business priorities can change over time, but one constant is the need for loyal customers.

Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) is a measure of how valuable a customer is to your business throughout your entire relationship. CLV provides an expectation of what a customer is predicted to spend on your brand if you deliver the right experiences.

The process of successfully building lifetime customers starts with analyzing data at every step along the customer journey. You’re probably already using a data-driven approach to engage, reward, and retain customers. Here are ways to build on what you’re already doing to support a customer-for-life strategy:

Know Everything About Your Customer

All customer strategies—reducing churn, using targeted selling, creating customers for life—require you to know everything you can about the customer. This entails creating a single view of your customer by integrating all relevant customer data from all available sources for a complete 360-degree profile. From there, you can uncover deep insights into customer behaviors and buying patterns, then predict what customers want next so you can meet their emerging needs.

The ability to accurately identify customer wants and needs is essential to creating customers for life. It represents a significant shift in traditional customer-centric strategic visions. That’s because it takes a forward-looking view to understand what customers want before they tell you, instead of a rearview mirror approach that explains what has already happened. While past behaviors are important and help predict future actions, performing analytics across all relevant customer data is needed to forecast how customer preferences are changing.

Staying ahead of customer wants, needs, and challenges will inspire customers to trust your brand. But don’t expect to “find” customers for life. It’s up to you to nurture and reward current customers, and then cultivate successful relationships that ensure loyalty. In other words, you have to “create” customers for life.

Engage and Delight Customers at Every Touchpoint

Creating customers for life is an ongoing process that requires consistently gathering and analyzing data to ensure current insights. Customer behaviors and needs can change incredibly fast and with little warning, which makes real-time data essential.

Your organization must have the ability to integrate, manage, and analyze all required data, including data from new and emerging sources. This helps you spot early indicators of changing trends or behaviors, allowing you to shift your customer experience strategy, serve up timely offers that meet customers’ current needs, and build long-lasting customer relationships.

Once someone makes a purchase from your company, you have an opportunity to entice that customer with the next best action—whether it’s a limited-time discount, exclusive access to a product or content, or another special offer—to drive a second sale. A repeat purchase puts them on the path to being a customer for life.

Have Full Confidence in Your Customer Data

Data needs to be trustworthy and easy to use to deliver the insights needed to understand your customers and guide their purchasing decisions. This includes customer data such as transactional details of when, where, and what products a customer has already purchased from your business. You also need the ability to integrate other relevant data, such as demographic information to help with segmentation, and behavior data, which offers insights into how customers responded to previous marketing campaigns and their past buying behaviors.

Analyzing the data can reveal which customers have the highest potential lifetime value so you can focus on ensuring they remain customers—you do not want to let these customers switch to a competitor. The analytics process must start by bringing together data for a single, current, and accurate view of each customer, including their purchase history across all channels—in-person, online, and via third-party resellers—to understand their habits and preferences. These insights are key to providing a personalized, nurturing experience with targeted offerings that lead to life-long customers.

The Actian Data Platform can offer the data and analytics capabilities needed to create customers for life. It integrates seamlessly, performs reliably, and delivers at industry-leading speeds to drive your customer strategy and maximize customers’ lifetime value.

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About Becky Staker

Becky Staker is Actian’s Vice President of Customer Experience, focused on improving customer experiences, impact and outcomes across the business. Her career intersects marketing, sales and customer relations, and leading CX for brands, SaaS startups and professional services firms. She has held leadership roles at Deloitte, EY, and Publicis Sapient.