Why is relationship marketing so important? First of all, what is it? If we could explain relationship marketing in the most simple way it would be that it is a type of marketing that concentrates on customer retention and satisfaction. This type of marketing is tailor-made for long-term customer engagement.
Ensuring your customers are happy, loyal, and spread good word of mouth about your business is not a short-term project. You are here ensuring brand loyalty and that’s something that needs time and patience. The best way to do it is to directly suit your customer’s wants, needs, and interests by promoting open communication.
Here we will explore some 5 types of relationship marketing and their overall benefits.
1. Customer Service First
Whenever there is some feedback with your service or product your customer service is on the front lines. Whether it is good or bad feedback, the way your customer service handles it is key. And why is that important? Well simple, satisfied customers will not only stick with your brand but offer a positive word of mouth to all their friends, making them your potential future customers.
You might have the best product/service in the world but it just doesn’t matter if people never know it is there. Another important part of great customer service is reachability. Offer every possible channel with which your customers can reach you. Whether it is social media, email, phone, or on-site chat you need to respond as quickly as you can. Using a chat-box is a must! When you are focused on your customers and available to them and their needs 24/7 you are building trust, which is the basis of a good long-term mutually beneficial relationship.
2. CRM and Relationship Marketing
Using a CRM you can create an extensive profile on each and every customer you have. CRM’s are an integral part when it comes to a tailor-made approach for every customer you have. Normally it would be impossible to have a custom response to each and every customer’s needs and wants but with a good CRM, you can even predict their needs ahead of time.
Using advanced algorithms you can see patterns in your customer’s behavior and act accordingly. Whether they order up near a particular date in a month or year you will be ready and stocked up. Utilizing these tools you will be able to lift up your brand marketing and customer relationships to brand new heights well above your competitors.
3. Referral Programs
Word of mouth is hands down the best kind of advertising your brand can have. One statistic says that 72% of customers will share a positive experience with 6 or more people which tends to generate more business. That’s why it is crucial for companies to make good referral programs. Customers who come to your business through a referral program are more likely to stay, they are more loyal and far more profitable.
The only “downside” is that their overwhelming profitability only lasts in the beginning, as the enthusiasm slowly wears off, so does their desire for your products or services and their buying needs normalize. This is why your referral program has to be easy to use/understand, with as few barriers and caveats in between, and personal and memorable. After you made your perfect referral program you should be able to track it easily with your CRM system and analyze its efficiency. The two most obvious benefits are that short-term initial profit boost and long-term brand loyalty.
4. Email Marketing
With over 3.9 Billion people still using e-mail as their primary source of communication it would be a grave mistake to ignore this type of relationship marketing. The world today may be engrossed in social marketing, but still, that doesn’t mean it is the only avenue to promote your business.
If you have a good deliverability score and consumers get on your mailing list, there is a big chance that they will see your offers and content in their inbox. And once you are in their inbox your company can offer your potential new customers much more content and bigger opportunities for interaction. And when you use your CRM you can curate what content goes to whom, and more narrowly personalize content ensuring better interactivity. If you want to ensure brand loyalty through interaction with your content then email marketing is definitely the way to go.
5. Social media
The proliferation of social media has changed the way companies interact with their customers forever. Before social media people had a lot of barriers when dealing with brands, today you can simply DM a brand or mention them in your tweet or post to share your complaints or praise. This way the whole world can see how your company treats its customers and what is the quality of your product/service. This can be a good or bad thing, it all depends on you. So to keep things simple there is a way to make your presence on social media enjoyable and beneficial.
- Establish what your company or brand is all about, you have to find your “voice”. When you are clear and precise about your company values you can easily follow what the trends are in your business.
- Be there when you are needed. When your brand or service is mentioned try to have a presence and be a part of the conversation in a meaningful way. Respond to your customers when they mention you, people love to feel like you are relatable.
- Share only content relevant to your brand. Every social media site is about content, and while it is saturated with it, posting relevant content is key to standing out in the crowd. Almost every social media site offers some kind of analytics for the content you share and it isn’t difficult figuring out what “works best” with your target audience.
- Be where it matters. You don’t need to have a presence on every social media site, it is important you are on the ones where your target audience is. No use in wasting energy on TikTok if the majority of your clients will come from Instagram.
- Frontline customer service. Social media is the best place to show your customer you are here to listen and help. Most interactions you have will be public and when the rest of your potential audience and customers see that you are there to help you will have a much easier time building customer loyalty.
While social media targeting might not be so precise as let’s say email marketing, the sheer amount of people you can reach almost guarantees good returns.
Building strong long-term relationships with your clients is the best way to ensure the longevity of your brand or company. With the existence of good CRM’s and Social Media, there really is no excuse for having poor customer relationships.
Today we can show customers that we listen and care and value them and their business. An added benefit of having long-term, loyal customers are having consistent sales numbers year after year. With that kind of financial stability, your company will be able to grow at a consistent pace, all you have to do is put in a little effort.