You don’t just need customers, you need loyal customers. You need customers who tell their friends and family about you; customers who’ll recommend you to other businesses and influencers. But how do you achieve that loyalty? Just like improving customer service, relationship marketing is one way to improve your customer retention rate.
When businesses first started, they sought to develop relationships with their customers. Customer relationship management is still a fundamental part of any marketing strategy, but now it can be done using social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. These customer relationship building strategies have been proven to increase repeat customers and reduce the cost of attracting new ones that search for your products. It also leads to a sustained growth for the business because it allows them to adapt services or products on a timely basis.
If you could get clients to push back your sales deadlines and reduce your sales processes, wouldn’t you be interested? Many customers are more than willing to engage in relationship marketing as long as they perceive value and as long as that does not harm their competitive advantage.
Benefits Of Relationship Marketing For Customers
Relationship marketing was developed to foster consumer loyalty. Unlike customer acquisition that focuses on short-term goals and individual sales, relationship marketing is aimed at enhancing customer lifetime value and providing information directly suited to their needs and interests. This involves a marketing plan that focuses on customer retention and satisfaction over transactions.
Did you know that 20% of your current customers will account for 80% of your company’s future revenue? Additionally, customers who are fully engaged always spend more. It’s a natural progression in the buyer journey. This entire strategy is about nurturing customer loyalty and paying attention to your existing customers.
Different Types of Relationship Marketing
Marketing efforts have changed drastically in the past few decades. Now, in order to build relationships, the entire process happens in stages; each with a higher level of commitment. There are different levels of relationship marketing that include:
This is the traditional form of relationship marketing in which a brand works to entice the customer to buy. The focus is on the product or service being sold and how great it is. This is a form of direct selling with no follow up after purchase and no further communication or feedback requested. This style reels people in with a simple message, price, or promotion. It’s a sell for the sake of making money, and nothing more.
At this level of commitment, a brand actively seeks feedback from customers. Whether it is a compliment, complaint, suggestion, or product idea, a business is open to it with reactive marketing. There is some effort here to build a relationship with the customer when the situation or opportunity arises. This is not a typical digital marketing technique. It is inbound marketing focused on purchase reactions.
This level of relationship marketing is about promising and delivering. It continues the buyer’s journey after purchase and puts a spotlight on retention strategies. This involves checking with customers after they purchase and offering related products as they arise. Loyalty programs are also a strategy used in accountable marketing.
Like a friend calling to see if you need anything, accountable marketing is about having confidence in what you offer and actively providing solutions to problems—sometimes before people even know they have them. This is also the time to ask for customer feedback and make the appropriate actions accordingly.
This is a form of relationship marketing where a brand keeps consistent tabs on its customers to build effective relationships. It’s not a one-off sale or a tempory interaction. The strategy is very personal. It pays close attention to customer wants and uses data to understand purchasing behavior.
A lot of companies choose email marketing as a way to perform proactive marketing. The data is then used to produce more engaging marketing campaigns. The accumulation of consumer information allows a business to relate to a multitude of situations in an authentic way.
One prime example of proactive marketing is virtual assistants like Alexa. They keep close tabs on what a customer desires and then make suggestions at opportune moments.
This is a form of relationship marketing with a high level of collaboration. Two businesses work together in a mutually beneficial and promotional relationship towards a common goal. It could be for a specific campaign, product, or set amount of time. It enables both companies to increase brand awareness and improve sales. Partnership marketing is a great strategy for small businesses or startups.
One prime example is the partnership between Microsoft and Nokia. Microsoft develops the Windows operating system that runs on Nokia Lumia devices. It’s strategic relationship marketing between a software and a hardware company where all parties win.
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