Relationship marketing has ranked as an important business strategy for many years. The idea is to create the kind of interaction that can lead to customer loyalty and even advocacy for a company’s product or services.
It’s a part of every big business’ overall strategy. It can also prove especially useful for smaller businesses looking to build a brand identify and customer base.
Rather than a “one and done” approach, relationship marketing requires effort on the part of a business to build a rapport with customers. It’s built around trust and respect for the customer, and the customer’s belief a business will meet their needs.
In the information age, there are many different outlets for relationship marketing. They include some of the following.
Relationship Marketing With Social Media
The obvious place is to start is by creating social media accounts on popular sites such as Facebook and Twitter where you can interact with customers. But this goes beyond just creating the accounts. The internet is littered with businesses that started social media accounts but failed to regularly update them. Assign time to interact with customers every day. Post information that is of interest to them in your business niche.
Starting a “resource” blog on your site gives you a place to put quality content. It should be updated at least weekly. Promote blog posts on social media accounts and provide links back to your content. They key here is quality over quantity – although the more you can do, the better.
Quality content on a company website that is relevant to the customer’s desire for information can go a long way to building a good customer relationship. Invest in creating content around the niche market in which the business operates. Having quality content supports the strategy of “create a relationship, and the transaction will follow.” Good content means there’s a better chance that people will return repeatedly to your site and eventually become customers.
Good content is part of inbound marketing. In other words, informational content that draws potential customers to your business. Consumers, especially younger ones, want information around a product. Diversifying content can prove critical to success. This means white papers, informational videos, e-books, how-to blog posts and the like.
One of the primary objectives in business methodologies such as Six Sigma is to always think about customer service first. That’s because it’s a strategy that never goes out of style. Part of this is maintaining social media accounts and answering questions posed by customers and potential customers. No matter how customers are interacting with your business, always respond as quickly as possible to questions and comments.
A weekly or monthly email newsletter is an easy way to stay in a consumer’s life without being overly intrusive. Have customers leave their email with you when they make a purchase, and contact them with details about specials as well as information around your business niche. While this area has become cluttered in recent years, producing an email newsletter that is actually worth reading can reap many benefits.
These are just a few ways to build a relationship with customers. Also keep customer service as your primary goal and use your best judgment in your interactions with them. Remember, the goal is to build a quality reputation around your brand and create the kind of customer loyalty that leads to repeat business.