So, with Thanksgiving just around the corner and Christmas not too far way, let’s take another look at relationship marketing.
Relationship marketing is exactly what it sounds like. It means building lasting relationships with your potential customers and clients.
For some marketers and public relations agencies, relationship marketing is second nature. They create and build relationships as a matter of course. For others, however, it’s something a bit more foreign.
I believe relationship marketing is still the key to long-term marketing success.
There are many advantages to relationship marketing. Here are just a few:
- Improved trust — you know your customer and they know you. You are both more comfortable in the relationship because of the improved trust between.
- Increased customer satisfaction — Your customer is more likely to express their true concerns so that you can solve any issues between you.
- Added customer loyalty — Because your customer is comfortable with you and feel that their problems are being solved, they are more loyal to you.
Remember also, that in today’s society increased technology has left many people isolated. In many cases, it’s no longer even possible to pick up the phone and talk to a real human being about a problem that you are having with a product or service.
Strong customer relationships will help your company to stand out. You will also be perceived as having excellent customer service.
The temptation for a business is to automate everything, including marketing efforts, because it’s easier. The danger to automation is that often companies believe that they are creating relationships with their customers, when in fact, all they are really doing is creating statistics. (Believe me, nobody wants to be just another number.)
Automatic friending, a service that is available on a number of popular social media platforms, is a good case in point. You may feel that your marketing efforts are successful because you have a large number of “friends” or “followers.”
The real question to ask, however, is whether these friends and followers have any kind of relationship with you that builds the trust between you. If not, you may just be taking part in an automated illusion of marketing.
If you embrace an automated approach to marketing too carelessly, your personal relationships with your customers could disappear. Along with those lost relationships, thousands of dollars could also go away.
So, as you prepare to get together with family during this holiday season, take an extra few minutes to think about your customer relationships. Ask yourself these questions:
- Do I really understand what my customers want?
- Are they happy with my products or services?
- How can I get to know my customers better?
Then, relax, and enjoy your holidays!
Do you use relationship marketing as part of your business strategy? Share your thoughts in the comments.