How to Optimize Customer Activity Cycle? 10 Strategies to Implement

How to Optimize Customer Activity Cycle? 10 Strategies to Implement cover

When done properly, learning how to optimize customer activity cycle can build lasting relationships and drive growth.

But what strategies can you follow to boost product engagement at every stage of their journey?

Let’s explore the customer lifecycle, its role in SaaS, and the key strategies to enhance each stage of the cycle.


  • The customer activity cycle (or lifecycle) represents a customer’s complete journey with a product or service, from initial awareness to eventual advocacy or departure.
  • Customer lifecycle management helps you sustain growth by building a loyal customer base over time. It can improve customer retention, lifetime value, revenue growth, and product development.
  • Now, let’s go over each stage of the customer lifecycle:
  1. Awareness stage: Capturing interest and making a memorable first impression through marketing and social media.
  2. Sign-up/acquisition stage: Converting interest into action with a smooth sign-up process to start building a relationship.
  3. Onboarding stage: Providing upfront support to solidify the decision to stay, making the learning curve easier, and enhancing the initial experience.
  4. Adoption stage: Guiding users to integrate the product into their routines, personalizing the experience for deeper engagement.
  5. Retention stage: Keeping customers engaged and feeling valued over time through support, updates, and loyalty programs.
  • Once you understand how the cycle works, you need to learn good strategies you can apply. We explored 10 of them, and they involve:
  1. Conducting customer research to understand customer behaviors and needs through surveys, interviews, and testing.
  2. Diversifying acquisition channels based on customer research to reach potential customers where they are.
  3. Offering a free trial or demo to showcase product value and encourage sign-ups.
  4. Collecting customer data with welcome surveys to segment users and personalize the onboarding experience.
  5. Implementing interactive walkthrough to enhance onboarding and reduce time to value.
  6. Introducing additional features to re-engage users who adopted the core product.
  7. Providing exceptional customer service by offering 24/7 support through in-app resources and optimizing customer experience.
  8. Collecting feedback at every stage of the cycle with in-app surveys and addressing issues quickly.
  9. Analyzing customer behavior with feature tags and event tracking to identify and address friction points.
  10. Implementing loyalty programs to reward users who provide feedback, reviews, and referrals to boost retention and advocacy.
  • Here are some tools you can use to optimize the customer activity cycle:
  1. Userpilot: A tool for creating in-app experiences, collecting user behavior data, and offering advanced analytics to optimize the lifecycle.
  2. ActiveCampaign: A marketing automation platform for engaging customers with personalized campaigns throughout their lifecycle.
  3. HubSpot: Integrates with Userpilot for personalized marketing campaigns based on in-app engagement, enhancing lifecycle management.
  • If you need to enhance the product experience throughout the customer lifecycle, why not book a Userpilot demo to see how you can implement all these strategies without coding?

Try Userpilot and Take Your Product Experience to the Next Level

What is the customer activity cycle?

The customer activity cycle (or lifecycle) represents a customer’s complete journey with a product or service, from initial awareness to eventual advocacy or departure. This cycle involves many stages, each leading to a strong, lasting relationship between customers and the brand.

Understanding and optimizing the customer lifecycle helps you offer a delightful experience that builds brand loyalty and drives product growth.

Why is customer lifecycle management important?

In SaaS, managing the customer lifecycle helps you sustain growth by building a loyal customer base over time.

This is possible by elevating the user experience at every stage with personalization, in-app guidance, and targeted messaging.

The benefits of this are many and include:

  • Improved customer retention: Engaging customers reduces churn and increases loyalty.
  • Increased customer lifetime value: A better experience leads to customers staying longer and spending more.
  • More revenue growth: Loyal customers are more likely to purchase additional services and recommend the brand to others.
  • Easier product improvement: Feedback gathered throughout the lifecycle can help you fix friction points and guide product development.

What are the stages of the customer activity lifecycle strategy?

The customer activity lifecycle strategy outlines the journey a customer takes with your brand, starting from the moment they become aware of the product until they become loyal advocates.

That said, each stage plays a role in guiding the user to the next stage and cultivating a strong customer relationship, so let’s go through each of them:

how to optimize customer activity cycle
The customer activity cycle.

Awareness stage

In the awareness stage, potential customers first learn about a product or service. And it’s crucial for capturing interest and attracting potential customers.

The role of this stage is to spark curiosity and lead prospects to seek more information. So, you should aim to stand out and make a memorable first impression, either through marketing campaigns, social media, or word-of-mouth.

Sign-up/acquisition stage

In the sign-up/acquisition stage, interest transforms into action as prospects sign up for a trial or make their first purchase.

This stage is necessary for converting awareness into tangible engagement, setting the foundation for a lasting customer relationship.

That said, the focus here is on making this process as smooth and inviting as possible to minimize barriers to entry—incentivizing more product engagement.

Onboarding stage

The onboarding stage is the process where new customers start learning, adopting, and perceiving value from your product. Its role is to solidify the customer’s decision to stay with your app by providing support upfront.

Effective onboarding simplifies the learning curve, enhances the initial experience, and encourages product usage—reducing the chances of users dropping off and churn.

Adoption stage

During the adoption stage, customers begin to integrate the product or service into their daily routines and business processes.

That said, this stage is about guiding users effectively, demonstrating continuous value, and personalizing the product experience—leading to deeper customer engagement and satisfaction.

This way, you can encourage users to adopt your app and stay with your brand for longer.

Retention stage

The retention stage focuses on keeping customers satisfied and engaged over time.

This stage is more about nurturing the relationship, making customers feel valued, and rewarding their loyalty. This can be done by providing ongoing support, constant updates, effective communication, and loyalty programs.

10 strategies for effective customer lifecycle management

Once you understand how the customer lifecycle works, you need to learn the best practices and strategies that you can use to optimize it.

That said, let’s explore 10 strategies that any SaaS can apply to optimize the customer activity cycle:

1. Conduct customer research to identify different buyer personas

Conducting user research is essential to understand how your customers behave at every stage of the cycle.

This involves collecting insights directly from your target audience through different channels such as surveys, interviews, talking with your sales team, and user testing. The goal is to understand their needs, preferences, pain points, and behaviors so you can build insightful user personas.

This way, you can adapt your product development, digital marketing strategies, and user experience to their needs.

how to optimize customer activity cycle with user personas
User persona example.

2. Acquire new customers through different channels

To acquire more customers, you need to meet them where they are.

Diversifying your acquisition channels allows you to reach potential customers in the spaces they frequently visit the most.

One way to do this is using customer research to identify the platforms where they hang out. So whether it is social media, online forums, or content marketing, you can adopt those channels in your marketing to put yourself on their radar.

For example, you can start hosting webinars if your target audience is into learning more about their JTBDs. Or you can start helping your community on Reddit or Quora by providing insightful answers to their questions.

how to optimize customer activity cycle with different channels
Userpilot’s webinars designed to acquire and engage customers.

3. Offer a free trial or demo to increase customer base

Free trials and demos can serve as a crutch to boost the acquisition stage. It can become an opportunity to demonstrate the value of your product to your prospects while dealing with their objections during the process.

To do this well, incorporate a trial method that fits your business model. These can be opt-in free trials, opt-out free trials, freemium plans, or live demos. The goal is to showcase key features relevant to customers, answer questions that prevent them from committing, and guide users through the product step by step.

This experience won’t only educate users about your product but also build a deeper relationship from the start—increasing the likelihood of acquiring more customers.

how to optimize customer activity cycle with trials and demos
Userpilot’s demo page.

4. Collect customer data to create personalized experiences

A personalized onboarding experience can significantly enhance the user’s impressions of your brand.

For this, you can use a welcome survey to collect information from free trial signups and segment them based on their roles, goals, pain points, and jobs to be done (JTBD).

Then, you can trigger a personalized onboarding flow designed for a specific target audience. This way, you can ensure users see the value of your product in the context of their specific needs and are more likely to advance through the cycle.

how to optimize customer activity cycle with personalization
Editing a welcome survey with Userpilot.

5. Trigger an interactive walkthrough to shorten TTV

Interactive guidance is a great way to make the onboarding stage more smooth. It helps users navigate and understand your product better—reducing the time to value and leading to faster upgrades.

Kommunicate is a great example (check their case study), as it makes the onboarding process easy and interactive with a sequence of tooltips.

That said, instead of showing a generic product tour that users are likely to skip, you can implement an interactive walkthrough to:

  • Guide users step-by-step with progressive onboarding.
  • Respond to in-app behavior in real time.
  • Avoid overwhelming users with information they won’t retain.
  • Enhance the user’s learning experience, as they can grasp how to use core features while interacting with the product.
how to optimize customer activity cycle with interactive walkthroughs
Kommunicate’s interactive walkthrough.

6. Announce additional features to engage existing customers

Once users adopt your product’s core features, introducing them to additional features can reignite their interest and provide new value.

Well-timed announcements or tooltips can guide users to these features at the optimal moment. For example, you can offer a library with more professional templates to users who used a basic premade template during their onboarding.

To do this, trigger specific announcements or tooltips that introduce these features to users who have completed their primary onboarding process. This way, new customers will be more likely to explore your entire product, achieve more success with it, and stay as customers for longer.

how to optimize customer activity cycle with announced features
Creating feature announcements with Userpilot.

7. Provide exceptional customer service to optimize the customer experience

A great opportunity to optimize the customer lifecycle is by providing exceptional support 24/7.

One way to do this is through an in-app resource center, as it prevents users from leaving your app to solve their issues (experiencing friction in the process). Thus, customers are more likely to stay engaged with your app.

The process for creating an effective knowledge base is simple:

  1. Identify common issues that make customers drop off and disengage.
  2. Survey your users, review your support tickets, and examine your usage data to see what’s causing friction and pushing customers away.
  3. Create help resources in different formats to directly tackle these challenges. It can include FAQs, tutorial videos, step-by-step guides, or help articles.
  4. Organize your resources in content modules so users can find resources that are relevant to them (instead of having to browse through messy documentation).
  5. Include launch messages for announcements, updates, and patch notes to keep customers informed 24/7.
how to optimize customer activity cycle with customer service
Building an in-app resource center with Userpilot.

8. Collect customer feedback at all customer lifecycle stages

In-app surveys serve as a quick channel to collect user feedback from every customer lifecycle stage, spot issues in your app, and fix problems that can hinder the user experience.

To do this, it’s important to blend open-ended and closed-ended questions at specific touchpoints of the customer journey.

This means using these surveys post-engagement as a way to obtain immediate and honest responses (think of triggering a CSAT survey after a feature use or a customer support interaction).

This way, you can identify and address issues at top speed, prevent churn, and ultimately enhance user engagement across the customer activity cycle.

how to optimize customer activity cycle with surveys
Creating in-app surveys with Userpilot.

9. Analyze customer behavior to remove friction from the customer journey

Behavioral data is essential to building a customer management system, as well as understanding and optimizing your customer activity lifecycle.

It helps you identify friction points across the different stages and address them. This can involve tracking in-app events, tagging features, mapping out the customer journey, and paying attention to key engagement metrics like churn rate, session length, and user activity.

For instance, you can perform funnel analysis to identify stages where users are experiencing friction and dropping.

This way, if there’s a substantial drop in engagement during the onboarding process, you can know immediately that you need to streamline your onboarding process to make it more user-friendly or interactive.

how to optimize customer activity cycle with funnel analysis
Conducting funnel analysis with Userpilot.

10. Implement loyalty programs to boost customer retention and advocacy

One way to build customer loyalty is to reward your customers for leaving feedback, writing reviews, and bringing in referrals.

This could involve setting up a loyalty program where customers are awarded points each time they take a desired action, and those points can be exchanged for credits, free months, etc.

To encourage participation, communicate clearly about what’s in it and ensure that the process is straightforward. Also, don’t forget to follow up regularly to remind them about what they can get with their points, current offers, etc.

how to optimize customer activity cycle with loyalty programs
Editing a loyalty program message with Userpilot.

The best customer lifecycle software in the market

No matter what engagement tactics you wish to execute, you’ll need software to set them up, trigger them, and retrieve data.

So let’s go over the best tools for customer lifecycle management:

Userpilot – product growth tool for all customer journey stages

Userpilot is a product growth platform with the ability to create, design, and trigger in-app surveys for user research, either from scratch or by using any of the multiple templates available.

This tool brings more than the ability to trigger in-app experiences. You can also create onboarding flows, collect user behavior data, and analyze product analytics data—everything to nurture product growth.

userpilot flow
Creating a new flow with Userpilot.

Here’s how Userpilot can help you optimize the customer lifecycle:

  • Get a deep user experience understanding with analytics charts such as funnels, trends, and paths. Plus, the analytics dashboards intuitively display important metrics.
userpilot product analytics
Userpilot’s product analytics.
  • Use feature-tagging and event-tracking to analyze user behavior and identify friction points.
  • You can segment your users based on their data and personalize the customer experience.
  • Analyze feature usage with feature heatmaps to understand product adoption and which areas of your product bring value to your users.
  • A/B tests different in-app flows to see what kind of content generates more engagement.
  • Build an in-app resource center to offer self-service support 24/7.
  • Collect feedback for your research using a great variety of in-app surveys such as CSAT, CES, and NPS surveys.
  • Use advanced survey analytics to tag and filter user responses based on recurrent themes and keywords and save time analyzing responses.
userpilot survey templates
Userpilot survey templates

ActiveCampaign – marketing automation platform

ActiveCampaign excels as a marketing automation platform that enables businesses to engage customers throughout their lifecycle with personalized, intelligence-driven campaigns.

Its features go beyond email marketing, including CRM capabilities, machine learning for optimal send times, and detailed segmentation tools. You can create highly customized marketing strategies that resonate with each segment of your audience, driving engagement throughout the customer lifecycle.

ActiveCampaign’s email flow builder.

HubSpot – customer relationship management software

HubSpot stands out as a powerhouse in the realm of marketing automation. It allows you to craft personalized marketing campaigns based on extensive customer data, using features like detailed segmentation, behavioral triggers, and comprehensive analytics.

Additionally, the integration with Userpilot enhances HubSpot’s effectiveness by importing in-app engagement data, enabling triggers based on specific user actions within your product. This synergy ensures that emails are timely and highly relevant to the user’s stage in the customer lifecycle.

HubSpot reporting.


Mastering how to optimize the customer activity cycle is essential for building strong, enduring customer relationships that drive business growth.

By implementing strategies like conducting comprehensive customer research, personalizing the user experience, and implementing loyalty programs, you can significantly enhance customer engagement, satisfaction, and loyalty.

So if you need to enhance the product experience throughout the customer lifecycle, why not book a Userpilot demo to see how you can implement all these strategies without coding?

Try Userpilot and Take Your Product Experience to the Next Level

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