What is relationship marketing?
Relationship marketing is when you develop a relationship between your company and the people you serve. This means treating customers with care, respect, and attention so that they want to work with you again. It’s essential because if you don’t use relationship marketing, then competitor businesses will win the custom of your current customers.
How does it work?
Let’s say you’re a plumber…
…and you usually charge £30 per hour for your work. This means that over the year, your company makes around $270,000 if you work full time. You offer your service to 500 customers on the phone book. Some of them are new customers, while others are returning customers who have had their boiler serviced by you.
You offer a 10% discount to all customers who book online, and you also provide a loyalty card where customers get 1 hour free after they’ve had 10 hours of work done. You also have a Facebook page to post pictures of your work and write about how great you are.
Assuming that 50% of your customers take up the discounts and only 25% use the loyalty card. That means that you have around 375 new customers, meaning you have $108,750 worth of business from them alone.
You also still have your old customers who are now happier since you treat them well, and they return to be serviced by you again. With these customers, you make an extra $27,000, meaning your total income is now $343,750.
That’s an extra $73,750 or 27% more than you would have made if you didn’t use relationship marketing!
So as you can see, relationship marketing is a great way to get more business and make more money. It’s important to remember that your customers are the lifeblood of your company, and you should treat them well, so they keep coming back.It's important to remember that your customers are the lifeblood of your company… #relationshipmarketing Click To Tweet
The benefits of relationship marketing
So why would you use it for your business? The most significant benefits are as follows:
Benefit 1: Increased customer loyalty
When you offer a good service and develop a relationship with your customers, they’re more likely to come back to you instead of going to your competitors. This is because they know that you care about them and their needs.
Benefit 2: Increased brand awareness
If you have a good relationship marketing strategy in place, then it means that your company will become well known for delivering good customer service. This can increase sales because people trust you and recommend you to friends and family.
Benefit 3: Cost-effective marketing
Relationship marketing is an excellent way of growing your business because it’s usually free or low-cost. When you invest time developing relationships with your customers, they’re more likely to return the favor by buying your products or services.
Benefit 4: Increased profits
As you can see from the example above, relationship marketing can lead to increased profits. This is because you can attract more customers and keep them loyal to your business.
Examples of how to use the strategies in your business
Here are some famous examples of companies using relationship marketing to ensure they make the most of every customer.
Apple treats their customers well, they reply to all emails within 24 hours, and if you have an issue with your phone or laptop, you might be able to speak to someone higher up the chain. This means that Apple has an excellent reputation for customer service, which means people are more likely to buy their products.
Netflix offers a great service, has no adverts, and always has the latest movies and TV shows. This means that customers are more likely to stay with Netflix than switch to a competitor.
Amazon has built a great relationship with its customers by offering great deals and good service. This means that they can deliver products to you in less than 24 hours, and if there is ever any trouble, they’re always available to help via phone or email.
Tips on creating a solid customer-business relationship
You now know how important it’s to have an excellent customer-business relationship, and you understand the benefits of using relationship marketing. Here are some tips on how to create a strong relationship with your customers:
1. Listen to what they have to say
When you listen to your customers, it shows that you care about their opinions and that you’re interested in developing a relationship with them. Regularly asking your customers for feedback will ensure that you always offer the best experience to your clients.
2. Be approachable
Every one of your employees must be friendly and easy to talk to because this can make a huge difference in customer service. If people find it hard to engage with any of your staff, they’re likely to take their business elsewhere.
3. Provide exemplary customer service
This one is obvious, but it’s so important that you never forget it! Always aim to provide the best possible customer service because this will make your customers happy and keep them coming back.
4. Show gratitude
When a customer does something nice like recommend your business to a friend or write a positive review, make sure you thank them for their support. This will show that you appreciate them, and it will help strengthen the relationship.
5. Keep in touch
Regularly keep in touch with your customers via email, social media, or phone calls. This will show that you’re interested in them, and it will help keep the relationship strong.
6. Offer incentives
If you want to encourage your customers to keep using your business, offer them incentives such as discounts, free products, or exclusive access to deals. This will make them feel appreciated, making them more likely to stay with you.
Why should you care about building relationships with customers and prospects?
You might think: “Why should I care!”
The answer is simple. If you care about building strong and lasting relationships, then your business will flourish. If you think about it this way:
If a company has excellent customer service, fewer customers will be left, which means their revenue stays high!
Their employees feel valued as they help the business thrive
They can focus more on retention and less on getting customers (although both are important!)
Happy customers are more likely to refer their friends, which grows the business without any extra effort!
It’s a virtuous cycle, and it all starts with making sure your customers feel valued.
When you make an effort to build strong relationships with your customers, you’re rewarded with their loyalty, which will help your business grow. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved!
The final thing I want to say is that it’s important not to assume anything when developing a relationship with a customer.
I know because I’ve been guilty of this in the past! You might think that you know what your customers want or need, but don’t let this cloud your judgment.
Instead, listen carefully to everything they have to say and take all their feedback on board. This way, you’ll be sure not to make any mistakes with your customer experience, which is what it’s all about after all!
So, now that you know the importance of customer relationships go out and start building them! It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it in the end. Good luck!