Relationship Marketing: How To Connect With Customers
As every marketing professional knows, customer retention is one of the most important things your company can focus on. Retaining the customers you already have saves you money from constantly trying to recruit new customers, helps you with word of mouth marketing, and increases revenue. American Express discovered that retained customers spend more than new customers, as they realize you are trustworthy and worth their loyalty. Relationship marketing is a strategy that focuses on retaining the customers you already have, rather than spending most (or all) of your effort on gaining new customers.
Relationship Marketing vs Traditional Marketing:
Relationship marketing different from traditional marketing in that it is more focused on long-term relationships with customers, rather than the short term sale. Fostering a relationship with customers encourages repeat business and positive word of mouth marketing, instead of a one-time purchase. By building a relationship with each customer, you gain their trust, learn what they want from your business, and get continued repeat sales. Many airlines utilize relationship marketing by teaming up with credit card companies to offer benefits to loyal fliers. This helps encourage cardholders to choose the airline they have a relationship with so that they get more benefits, rather than the cheapest flight they can find. A traditional marketing approach would be to
Types of Relationship Marketing:
Relationship marketing encompasses many different methods of marketing based on the customer’s long term loyalty and satisfaction. Although there are many ways you implement relationship marketing, influencer and referral are two of the most common types.
Influencer marketing is one of the newer ways to implement Relationship marketing. Typically influencer marketing uses individuals with a large social media following within a specific niche to drive their product. The perk of this for the influencer is that they get free products for posting a picture. If you choose to use influencer marketing, consider giving your influencer a code for his or her followers to use to purchase your product. Using code allows the influencer’s followers a small discount (free shipping, order discount, etc) and allows you to track how successful the influencer is at promoting your product.
Referral marketing is another popular style of relationship marketing. Referral marketing rewards current customers for sharing and promoting your products within their network. This could include a discount off an order or points towards prizes. One of the best things about using referral marketing is that allows you to reach new customers through people that they know and trust, rather than a stranger trying to sell them a product.
Relationship Marketing Strategy:
As with any marketing plan, having a strategy mapped out is the only way to be sure you are getting the best results for your effort. One of the best ways to foster your relationship with your customers is to have a wonderful customer service team. Your customer service team will help you have the best possible relationship with your customers, as they are the ones who will be speaking with them directly and will have access to the most feedback. Anyone on your team who interacts with customers (on the phone, in person, or on social media) should be personable and trained on how to create the best customer experience. CRM (customer relationship management) tools are helpful in managing and improving relationships. These tools help you store and track information on customers, track communication, and make overall organization easier. Track data on your customers (such as their age, job titles, and region) to help you get a better understanding of who is best responding to your advertising and help you decided how to reach them.
Relationship marketing might seem tedious at first, but once you get started it is a very rewarding form of marketing that will come naturally. Think of the relationship with your customers as you would a personal relationship- the closer you are, the easier the relationship is. Relationship marketing, when done right, is a very rewarding experience for everyone involved.