Relationship Marketing is simply a strategy employed by business owners to boost the relationship between the business and the customers.
Relationship Marketing means that you build trust, satisfaction and loyalty between your business and its customers and then use it to understand their needs.Click To Tweet
This means that you build trust, satisfaction and loyalty between your business and its customers and then use it to understand their needs. Relationship marketing is an important part of any business that is seeking to increase their sales and expand business opportunities.
What is Relationship Marketing and Why Does Your Business Need It?
True understanding of your customers and using it to your advantage will be a useful tool in growing your business and creating other business opportunities for yourself in the long run. Below we have highlighted how relationship marketing can give room for your business to expand.
It Helps You Know Your Customers
To truly maximize your business you need to know and understand your customers. Know what is important to them and useful to their business. Learn about their interests and business needs and then give them information that is useful in solving these needs.
To effectively get through to clients you need to know what works for each of them and then tailor your assistance to suit each of their various needs.
Ask yourself; ‘Who is my intended audience?’
If you use a generalized approach in reaching to your audience you may end up not really reaching any in particular. For example, if you need to pass across a message to a bunch of teenage customers, you may want to use a blend of interesting pictorial and graphical representation of your message instead of plain old text only. This is because you would be able to reach a larger number of them that way than if it were only black words on white pages.
When your customers feel like their needs are truly understood and catered for, they are more likely to become loyal customers.
It Reveals How You Can Match or Possibly Exceed Their Expectations
One of the aims of Relationship Marketing is to know how to leave your customers extremely pleased. As much as possible, never leave a sour taste in your customer’s mouth after they do business with you.
Many a time disappointed customers resolve to take their business elsewhere if you cannot deliver good work. Always strive to do such a good job that they want to keep coming back.
Take an assessment of the job done after you have completed business with a customer.
- Were they pleased?
- Were there complaints?
- If you were a customer would you patronise your own business?
If you come up short in the delivery of great and exceptional services, strategize on ways which you can do a better job and improve on your business delivery.
If you steadily keep your customers happy, they keep coming back to do business with you and they may likely refer your business to others.
It Helps You Keep in Touch
As a business, you should never assume that your customer always has you in mind even when you don’t keep in touch. With a billion and one other things for them to think about, it is unlikely that you would be a top priority in their mind, unless of course, you make it so.
How? Regularly remind them about your existence!
- Send them emails
- sales alerts
- loyalty coupons
- anything to keep them reminded about your business and why they should come back to do more business with you
- vital pieces of information
- blog posts
- other items that are useful for their business
You improve customer relationship as well as generate more business opportunities for yourself when a customer sees the value you offer them when you keep in touch with them.
It Helps You Maintain a Strong Brand Identity
In building customer relationships you need to create a brand they can readily identify with.
- How is your company different from all other brands out there?
- How strong is your identity?
- Are your customers proud to be associated with your brand?
- Why should they patronise you and not the next brand just like yours?
In creating your brand you must take into consideration even the simplest brand identity: Your logo, slogan, brand colours, etc.
- What statements are they making?
- Are your brand colours inviting or repelling?
- Does your brand statement speak strongly about the uniqueness of your brand?
- Is it easy to remember?
You also need to take into consideration the products you offer.
- How quality are they in a market where many others like it exist?
- How great is your customer service representation?
- How consistent is your identity?
All of these are important in relationship marketing.
It Reminds You to Call in Regularly
When a customer sees that you go out of your way to cater for their needs you further build their trust in you and loyalty to your business.
For example, if you offer a particular service to your client it’s a great idea to check in on them regularly by scheduling frequent calls with them. You don’t have to wait till your next appointment before you hear from them again. It could be done via regular phone calls or Skype.
These one on one interactions with them will help you understand their business better, and gain insight on areas which they may need expertise help.
This is where you then offer other services your business has to offer them to meet those needs.
It Reminds You to Ensure Customer Satisfaction
When a sale has been conducted in your business, if you are looking to build a relationship with your customers, that sale should not end at the close of transactions.
This means that you need to check back after products and services have been purchased to ensure that all is working well and that the customer is satisfied with that transaction.
Not just that, it is also an avenue to pitch them a complementary product or service that is related to the one they just purchased. Here you can explain to them the benefit of getting the complementary service or product, perhaps even at a discounted price (than if they later get it as a stand-alone). Explain why it is a good deal and how they are getting value for their money.
If a customer sees that you are interested in seeing that they also benefit from spending their money in your company they are likely to come back for more!
It Provides an Opportunity to Appreciate Your Customers
If you want to expand your business, you need to learn to celebrate your customers!
These days it’s even easier to do so since there is an annual worldwide customer appreciation week. Take out the time to plan it properly and make it a big deal where the customers are the centre of the show.
This could be done by:
- hosting parties
The good thing about these events is that it may also double as a platform to showcase your products and services to your customers, and other invited guests.
More business opportunities are then created and more deals sealed.
It Allows For You To Reward Loyal Customers
Customers who have been loyal or have faithfully been with your company over a certain period of time deserve a reward, don’t you think?
It not only makes them happy and excited in anticipation for more, it keeps them coming back.
Customers like it when they are noticed for constantly patronizing or doing business with you. In fact, many anticipate getting a sort of benefit from repeatedly coming back to your business. So why not give that to them?
It helps to keep the business moving and better yet, leads to expansion.
It Helps You Generate Feedback, and Act on It
This is very important for businesses looking to expand. Feedback points out what you are doing wrong or right.
It gives your customer a voice and lets them know that their inputs are valid and their complaints are noted.
When gathering feedback try to make it as personal as possible so that customers can speak their minds freely about how well (or not) they like your services. After you have gathered feedback from clients, you would do well to take note of the places where the company is in need of improvement.
Show your clients that you value their opinions and that your company would go out of their way to improve every experience they make together. Feedback also opens your eyes to opportunities that are yet untapped.
You know areas where customers are ready to invest in and you can focus your marketing toward that.
Relationship marketing, however traditional it may be has opened the door for many businesses to expand and even rake in more profit than they used to. It gives a proper knowledge of your customers, target market, business niche, and possibly, prospective audience. It shows you what areas of your business, and the market as a whole still needs to be explored and honed in on. Relationship marketing is a minefield of treasures with numerous advantages waiting for you to simply dive into.
Author’s Bio: Cheryl Hearts is a talented journalist from Boston, Massachusetts. From an early age, she was into writing so she decided to make it her career. Obtaining a Master’s Degree in Journalism has boosted her desire to grow as a journalist and currently she contributors to major media publications. Cheryl also runs her blog CherylHearts.com where she shares her opinion on topics trending in modern society.