Customer Value Optimization: 8 Steps to Building a Successful Customer Relationship

couple sitting watching the sunset


Oooh, the trials and tribulations of dating.

The act of pursuing a love interest or romantic partner can be both exhilarating and frustrating, regardless of gender, nationality, sexuality, or age.

Although the details may vary, oftentimes, the act of dating follows a designated sequence of steps.

From getting to know someone…

To asking him or her out…

And, if things go well, growing the relationship over time.

Whether you’re currently in or out of the dating game, if you’re a business owner, you could benefit from applying the same steps of successful relationship-building to your customer value optimization strategy.

And no–I don’t mean literally asking a customer out on a date.

Downloading Tinder or asking your friends to set you up on blind dates is a better bet if romance really is what you’re seeking.

When it comes to customer value optimization, there is more than one lesson to be gleaned from the practice of healthy human relationship development. Because the foundation of customer acquisition is just that–developing a relationship.

Most people know trying to kiss a complete stranger or asking someone to marry you on a first date typically doesn’t end in success.

In the same sense, skipping over more than one step in the process and convincing someone to buy your products or services won’t provide you successful results.

If you want to avoid giving prospective customers a reason to run for the hills, I suggest you read the rest of this post.

Read on to discover the eight stages of the customer value journey, which you’ll find is, in many ways, similar to the practice of dating

#1: Build Awareness

couple on a date talking


The awareness stage is where a prospect first hears about you, typically via an ad, Google search, or referral.

In the dating world, the comparison could be walking into a party and making eye contact with a man or woman sitting across the room. They know you’re there, and they know you’ve come out to mingle.

In this stage, you’re not going to walk straight up to the man or woman and ask them for a kiss. In the same sense, you’re not going to create an ad that’s trying to make a high-dollar sale off the bat.

The key is to build interest and intrigue–catch their attention and flirt with them a bit.

#2: Engage

In a nutshell, the engagement phase is when a glance become a stare. You’ve captivated a prospect’s attention, and they are committed to learning more.

Perhaps your prospect has clicked through to your website from an ad, and decides to read a blog post featured on your landing page. Or, he or she watches a video you’ve posted on your Facebook page featuring customer testimonials.

You’ve increased the prospect’s level of interest and commitment to learn more about what you have to offer.

#3: Subscribe

If a prospect reaches the subscribe stage, it means they’ve decided to opt in to gated content–such as a lead magnet.

In simple terms, the prospect is willing to give you his or her contact information with the permission to follow up.

Sound familiar? It’s not unlike a man or woman giving you his or her phone number after you meet for the first time at a party.

In this phase, it’s important that your offering and the associated copy are deemed valuable enough to the prospect that he or she will give up a little privacy in order to receive your offering.

Once your prospect has subscribed to your business, you will have a direct channel to access the prospect and continue to develop and grow the relationship…so don’t blow it!

#4: Convert

2 people on a date sitting at dinner


In the dating world, if you want a partner, something has to happen to begin to transform your love interest into more than just an interest. Essentially, the time has come to ask him or her out on your first date.

Likewise, in the business world, if you’re looking for customers–your prospects can’t remain prospects forever.

It’s time to turn the dial up and encourage your prospect to make a first purchase or commitment of time.

That said, I’m not telling you to sell a prospect on a high-dollar product.

You’ll want to take baby steps–therefore, encouraging a low-dollar purchase or commitment (such as signing up for a demo) is your goal at this stage.

#5: Excite

Getting someone to say “yes” to a first date is only half the battle. You’ve actually got to impress them on the first date–or you won’t be hearing from them again.

In this phase, the emphasis is on getting your new customer excited about the purchase he or she made. This is why post-purchase email sequences and other forms of engagement with a new customer are so important.

The more positively your customer feels about the buying experience with your business, the more likely he or she is to ascend.

Which brings me to my next point…

#6: Ascend

rice being thrown on a couple at their wedding


In ascension, you have the opportunity to move your customers through a series of upsells, resulting in the purchase of higher-dollar products and services.

These are the real profit-generating sells, so getting to this stage is terrific.

However, all too often, businesses will try to jump the gun and take prospects from awareness to ascension.

What they don’t realize is that all of the steps I’ve listed between awareness and ascension are necessary to make ascension even possible.

Again–you wouldn’t propose to someone on the first date (hey, not saying it’s not possible, but most people won’t react well to that), so don’t do the same in business.

#7: Advocate

A happy customer is one of your greatest assets in securing more customers, and inevitably growing your business.

Utilize customer testimonials and case studies as a way to get more prospects’ interest, which you can transform into buying customers through the customer value optimization journey.

#8: Promote

Similar to the advocacy stage, you can try to convince someone of how amazing you are, but at the end of the day, others’ opinions can weigh more heavily in the decision-making process.

You know how effective it can be for your friends to pull someone you’re dating to the side in order to explain what a great person you are–the same is true when it comes to marketing your products and services.

Reaching the promotion stage is incredibly valuable–you’re receiving free and effective promotion from past customers to new customers. If you’ve reached this stage–you’re in great shape.

If you consciously and successfully employ these eight stages to your customer value optimization journey, you will begin to see your numbers rise and your revenue grow.

Although dating and sales can both be complex and arduous processes, if you’re successful, the pay-off (whether it be finding a partner or growing a business) will be extremely rewarding.

Become a customer value optimization ninja–learn more about the seven steps to successful optimization here!


    07 Jun

    The Key to Your Online Success

    Whether you are in the market for a new car, planning your next vacation, getting your dose of the daily news, or researching an expensive purchase, most likely you...

    10 Jun

    Frequency Marketing Tips

    Tips to keep in mind when creating a frequency-marketing program: Be creative Find the most effective way to bring revenue into your company while satisfying the customer Survey customers...

    12 Jun

    Email and Social Media Spending Expected to Rise

    According to a May 2008 eMarketer report, social networking and email spending is expected to increase in the next three years. The survey, conducted by Eloqua, reports that: 74% of...

    13 Jun

    Why Hiring a Ghostwriter is Beneficial to Your Marketing Strategy

    Ghostwriting is extremely beneficial for any business. Ghostwriters will take your idea about a book, article, or blog and write a clean and thorough form of this idea on...

    16 Jun

    A Credo of Values Is Essential in Any Successful Business

    One of the greatest strengths a company can utilize in order to gain new customers and keep current ones is through strong company values and a clear credo. Websites...

    23 Jun

    Drive Traffic With an Ezine

    Ezines are a great way to drive traffic to your website. Writing ezines can establish credibility because it shows your target market the span of knowledge you have toward...

    04 Oct

    Economic Crisis: How to Succeed in Difficult Times

    Recent economic scares have placed fear into the minds of all business owners, big and small. It’s important during these times to think positively and put your best foot...

    04 Nov

    Ezines and Free Reports: Powerful Marketing Vehicles

    Sharing free tips and information about your industry to consumers is a great way to illustrate your professional expertise. Reliable information and tips can benefit consumers’ lives, helping them...

    12 Nov

    Interactive Marketing Spending: The Future of Marketing

    According to a recent Forrester Research study, interactive marketing spending will more than triple by 2012, reaching a high of $61 billion. Interactive media is an extremely beneficial vehicle...

    09 Apr

    The Best Marketing Tip I Can Offer

    Things, they are a changing at Michelle Salater Writing & Editorial. As our clients’ needs and wants change, so is our company. And we couldn’t be happier with the way things...

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


    Jalen Davenport 5 hours ago / Reply

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nam viverra euismod odio, gravida pellentesque urna varius vitae, gravida pellentesque urna varius vitae. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nam viverra euismod..

    Jorny Alnordussen 6 hours ago / Reply

    Gravida pellentesque urna varius vitae, gravida pellentesque urna varius vitae. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nam viverra euismod..

    Marcus Farrell 7 hours ago / Reply

    Nam viverra euismod odio, gravida pellentesque urna varius vitae, gravida pellentesque urna varius vitae. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nam viverra euismod..

    Post a Comment

    Your comment was successfully posted!

    Search This Blog


    Latest Tweets

    Follow @writtenbysumer on twitter.

    We Recommend

    [wp_social_sharing social_options='facebook,twitter,googleplus,linkedin,pinterest,xing' twitter_username='arjun077' facebook_text='Share on Facebook' twitter_text='Share on Twitter' googleplus_text='Share on Google+' linkedin_text='Share on Linkedin' pinterest_text="Share on Pinterest" xing_text="Share on Xing" icon_order='f,t,g,l,p,x' show_icons='0' before_button_text='' text_position='' social_image=''] Close