An important factor in most businesses is making profits and remaining competitive in the long run. To achieve this, business owners employ several marketing strategies to meet their target market and keep their product relevant.
Having a lasting business has gone beyond having the best product. Today you need to know how best you can communicate the value of what you are selling, and keep individuals interested enough that they keep coming back.
To this end, marketing itself now focuses more on what is called “Relationship Marketing.” The term means establishing relationships with customers that would last beyond their first trial of your product.
It also means forming a profoundly personal relationship between consumers and brands, and it is built over an extended period, and born out of trust, reliability, and loyalty.
In the 21st century, a large percentage of marketing has shifted to the internet via social media. As a result, more and more companies are losing touch with their old customers, as they tend to focus more on attracting new ones.
However, studies have shown that it is essential to retain old clientele while sourcing for new ones. It’s especially important for long-term success strategies, and for this to happen, companies must engage more with their current clients.
Now, a business owner might wonder about the usefulness of relationship marketing since more than half of the world population are online and are conducting business virtually. The answer is simple and your questions will be answered shortly.
Note that even online marketing has an element of relationship marketing; here are seven main reasons why the latter is essential to business:
1. It Improves Customer Experience
Every business owner knows that a customer having an excellent experience with products or services rendered is vital. You don’t want people who patronize you to leave feeling disappointed.
What you want is for people who use your services or products to have a feeling of deep satisfaction. That satisfaction should start from the moment they make contact with your sales agent until they have taken delivery of their product.
Relationship marketing, where you have one-on-one interaction with customers or prospects, can bring about the above.
Even if the person only wanted to make inquiries, the way you present your business and treat the person would determine whether they’ll make a purchase at that moment, return to do so, or never return.
2. It Ensures Better Feedback from Customers
Feedback is the positive or negative response you get from those who use your products or services. The guarantee that you’ll receive an excellent response from your customers depends on the relationship that exists between you and them.
If you are a multinational, relationship marketing is carried out by your sales agents. And if these agents who serve as representatives do not have a cordial relationship with clients, they’ll leave your product and go for another one.
Feedback under relationship marketing also means that your customers would be eager to inform you on the areas you need to improve on. It means that they would rather stay with you than go to another brand.
Note that if they’ve been giving reviews without seeing the necessary changes, they will leave to another brand. If that happens, it would mean that your relationship marketing is defective, and it can cost you your business.
3. It Builds Your Referrals
We live in a world of referrals. So referrals are a form of marketing by individuals who have used a product, found it to be everything they expected, got excellent treatment from the salesperson(s) and then go on to tell others about it.
It’s free marketing made with testimonies, and it costs companies nothing but good relationship marketing. However, if your relationship marketing is crappy, and your customers don’t get treated right, then it is guaranteed that the only report they’ll give about you is negative, with zero referrals.
Most brands today get new customers from referrals more than the adverts they spend millions on. Adverts will get your product known. However, don’t forget that others are offering what you are, and consumers often have a brand they use and trust. So the only way to win them over is by someone pointing them your way.
4. It Keeps You Informed About the Needs of Your Customers
Let’s point out that relationship marketing goes beyond effectively pitching your product in a polite and friendly way, to developing an excellent rapport. People appreciate it when they are heard, and sometimes they prefer to share deep personal problems with a stranger.
With relationship marketing, when you notice the frowns and overly-excited look, make sure to offer words of comfort or pay a compliment. It will leave the person you are dealing with feeling like you saw him or her as more than the next quick sale.
This will also help you discover what they need to ensure you are providing them with the best service and meeting their needs. For example, Starbucks introduced free Wi-Fi after its customers suggested it.
Without effective relationship marketing, they would have kept the suggestion to themselves and gone elsewhere to get it. Such an approach might have resulted in Starbucks losing a lot of customers.
5. It Leads To New Business Ideas
As mentioned above, knowing what your customers need helps you give them what they want, and it can also help you birth new business ideas.
Most companies branch into other ventures after starting with one because of the ideas that came to them from the information they gathered from their customers.
Having a good relationship means that you get to find out what your customers are using and what they wished you had, which could lead to a new business venture.
Also, if a customer wants to form a partnership, chances are, you might get picked because there’s already an existing relationship.
6. It Helps Enhance Your Uniqueness
Relationship marketing sets you apart from your competitors and helps you create your brand in a unique way that meets your customers’ needs.
A lot of business owners might sell the same thing or render the same services. However, there’s a reason why McDonald’s is still in business, and other fast-food chains have folded up over the years.
In today’s world, you need to have something that sets you apart, and building relationships with your customers will deliver it. Moreover, relationship marketing will ensure you stay relevant for a long time.
7. It Fosters Loyalty
This is one of the most significant reasons why relationship marketing is essential. Treating people well, having a good relationship, and giving them excellent products and services fosters loyalty, and it means they’ll always stay with you.
Some people have shopped in a particular location for a long time or ordered from a company. When you ask questions, you’ll find that their loyalty is based on the great relationship they have with the business owners/staff.
Change might be constant, but people don’t want to change the status quo. And that thin line that divides keeping a customer, losing one, or gaining another, is called relationship marketing.
Human interactions are still a significant part of life despite the digital world we now live in. So learn to value relationships and utilize them sufficiently to make your business grow and stay relevant.
Roland G.Cardoza /