What is Relationship Marketing Really About?
Wondering what relationship marketing is and how it can help your online business? Here’s a look at what relationship marketing is and what makes it different from other types of marketing.
With a focus on loyalty, retention and long-term relationships, the aptly named practice of “relationship marketing” is designed around developing strong connections with customers by directly providing them with information that is tailored to their needs, wants and interests.
As opposed to transactional marketing’s focus on direct sales, relationship marketing emphasizes increased word-of-mouth activity, repeat business and a willingness on the customer’s part to provide information to the organization.
And unlike “interruption” marketing, this process is started willingly via an opt-in by the customer.
According to a management study by Robin Buchanan and Crawford Gillies, the increased profitability associated with relationship marketing is the result of several factors:
There’s less “dating around.” Satisfied, long-term customers in your marketing funnel are statistically less likely to switch. As an added bonus, they tend to be less price-sensitive; experts say that customers who feel taken care of are less concerned about what they are paying.
It’s the foundation of word of mouth. Strong relationships are essential to a high net promoter score, or, in other words, the chance that a customer will happily refer your business to a friend.
Your “regulars” are your rock. Regular customers tend to buy more often and they are less expensive to maintain because of their familiarity with your business and the processes behind it.
– via Help Scout Blog
Build A Great Relationship With Your Customers!
If you’re trying to become successful online one of the most important things you can do is to build a trusting relationship with your customers. You want to create repeat buyers after all, and the best way to do that (other than offering great products!) is by using relationship marketing. Here’s how.
Thank your customers.
From a hearty thank-you at the point of sale to thank-you emails, there are many ways to show your customers how much you appreciate their business. Ideas include:
- Giving loyal customers percentage discounts or dollar-off coupons after a purchase
- Holding special events for customers such as a thank-you dinner or luncheon or even an awards ceremony
- Writing thank you notes (handwritten notes have more impact than an email)
- Calling a customer to say thank you and follow up to see if they are happy with their purchase
- Providing gifts with purchase
- Sending cards or small gifts on anniversaries, birthdays or other special days
Learn about your customers.
Ask customers questions and get to know their concerns, problems and interests. Don’t ask questions just with an eye to making the sale; focus on really understanding what your customers need.
Conduct customer surveys and polls to find out what they want from your business and what more you could be doing.
This information will help you provide lasting value, and when you focus on helping them—not on what you get out of the relationship—you build customers for life.
– via Small Biz Daily
Do you use relationship marketing in your online business?