What's the difference between Lifecycle and Journey?

DanaSoza Member Posts: 3 Seeker
First Anniversary Photogenic
edited October 2023 in CS Org Conversations
What do you think is the difference between a Customer Lifecycle and a Customer Journey? Do you think there's a difference?  Do you use them interchangeably? Do you follow whatever your company defines them as, have you chosen a definition based on what you've heard/researched?

If you're certain the difference, then your definition that delineates the main differences...or, even better, an image of how they work together would be great!

I'm close to publishing part 2 of my eBook, and I discuss this topic.  After speaking with Dan Steinman he suggested I pose it to our community!  I'd like your input to vet what I've written.  Would love your 2 cents!



  • Sana Farooq
    Sana Farooq Member Posts: 23 Thought Leader
    First Anniversary
    edited April 2021
    Customer lifecycle: internal designation of the BDR > AE > Setup > CSM > Support handoff
    Customer journey: the same handoff experience but sitting in the seat of the customer. I usually use the term "journey" if I'm referring to an entire year as well (from renewal to renewal)

    I like to see them as two separate things with two completely separate goals. The lifecycle is a lot more focused on having our ducks in a row: systems, process, tools, etc

    Customer journey is more focused on the customer, our people, the value we're bringing, and end-to-end quality assurance and consistency. 

    Happy to chat in more depth on this @Dana Soza! Interesting topic.
  • William Buckingham
    William Buckingham Member Posts: 39 Expert
    5 Insightfuls First Anniversary First Comment Name Dropper
    edited April 2021
    @Dana Soza great topic and question.  I think it really is a difference that gets ignored, and there's so much value lost when the lines blur between these two. 

    I'll second what @Sana Farooq stated.  I think she broke it down really simply and accurately.

    One thing I will add is that I typically encourage teams to start with the Customer Journey.   Define and draw out what the Customer Journey should be, and then go build the Customer Lifecycle around that.  If you try and fit the Customer Journey into an already-defined Customer Lifecycle, you are likely to miss some key customer-perceived milestones.  However, if you build out and define a great Customer Journey first, you'll more likely build a Customer Lifecycle which facilitates those key customer-perceived outcomes.

    Hope this helps. You should share your e-book here when complete!  Best of luck. 

    Will Buckingham

    Customer Success Operations Manager, Enablement


  • George Hamm
    George Hamm Member Posts: 1 Navigator
    edited April 2021
    Great insight on the two and the differences between the them. Once the two are defined and well mapped they bring tremendous value to the customer relationship. Thanks for sharing!