Customer activation

Customer activation is when customers transition into the next stage of the customer lifecycle, typically after engagement and before retention. It’s the process of a consumer realizing the value of your product and service and learning all the benefits, leading them to actively engage. It also includes re-activation, known as encouraging existing customers to begin logging into their accounts more regularly or realizing the full potential of your product. Remember, it’s too early to celebrate when customers sign up for your service or notifications. At any point, they can leave for a competitor or become confused about what you offer.


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Why is customer activation necessary? 

As equally as important as customer onboarding and engagement is customer activation. Customer onboarding, engagement, and activation should all complement one another to move customers further into the lifecycle and help you reach your bottom line. 

Common examples of a customer that’s not activating is a user that adds something to their shopping cart but abandons it, signs up for your service but don’t use it, receives your emails but don’t open them, or peruses your website but don’t return. Without activation, you face customer dissatisfaction, high churn rates, low conversion rates, and a product that doesn’t market its value as well as it could.

But it’s not all bad news if you face low activation rates. You can turn it into an opportunity to improve your product and gain valuable user feedback on what isn’t working. Maybe your website navigation isn’t as straightforward as you think, or the chatbot is distracting and repetitive. Or maybe your CTAs are too discreet. 

To activate customers or your target users, connect with them consistently to validate that you’re providing meaningful customer support as they become regular product or service users. By leveraging usability testing, you’ll discover what makes active customers more loyal and what makes them become advocates.

How to boost customer activation in financial services 

  • Make your first impression count. Send a welcome email to new customers soon after sign-up and reiterate the value you’ll provide. 
  • Go paperless. If you’re promoting digital services, diversify your messaging with SMS or email notifications, and find ways to personalize the experience. 
  • Educate customers early on. Emphasize your value with how-to videos, knowledgebases, tooltips, artificial intelligence, or a community forum. For instance, some financial institutions offer opportunities to chat with financial advisors or resources for specific demographics, like small businesses. Hear from your customers on their learning preferences and offer diverse options to accommodate different tastes. 
  • Reward loyalty. Many financial services offer referral bonuses for existing customers who spread the word. This perk gives customers incentives while reassuring your organization that your customer is satisfied and happy. 
  • Leverage surveys. While surveys may not provide equal value to qualitative research or human insight, they can offer helpful, overall feedback on how your product is perceived.