The Crucial Role of Customer Relations in Modern Marketing

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In the ever-evolving landscape of modern marketing, businesses are increasingly recognizing the pivotal role ofcustomer relations in achieving success. Customer relations, often managed by a dedicated customer relations manager, goes beyond traditional customer service and is focused on fostering long-lasting relationships with clients.

What is customer relations?

Customer relations refers to the ongoing and dynamic process of managing interactions and relationships between a business and its customers. It encompasses all the efforts and strategies that a company employs to connect with customers, build trust, and maintain positive associations. Customer relations are driven by the need to enhance customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy. In essence, customer relations aim to transform one-time buyers into repeat customers, and eventually, into brand advocates who actively promote the business to others. This approach involves personalized communication, understanding customer needs, and delivering exceptional experiences to foster enduring connections.

Customer relations vs. customer service

While customer relations and customer service share common goals of enhancing customer satisfaction, they differ in scope and focus.

Customer service

Customer service typically pertains to the immediate and reactive assistance provided to customers when they encounter issues, questions, or concerns. It’s transactional in nature and aims to resolve specific problems or address inquiries promptly. Customer service often operates within well-defined guidelines and protocols.

Customer relations

Customer relations take a more proactive and long-term approach. They aren’t limited to issue resolution but encompass a broader spectrum of activities. These include nurturing relationships, collecting feedback, recognizing customer preferences, and engaging customers in meaningful ways to create brand loyalty.Customer relations are more about the overall customer experience and are built on the principle that satisfied customers become loyal brand advocates.

Understanding customer needs

Customer relations managers delve deep into customer preferences, needs, and expectations. By analyzing data and customer feedback, they gain insights that inform future strategies.

Creating personalized experiences

These managers develop and implement personalized communication and engagement strategies. This could involve sending tailored messages, offers, or even remembering special occasions to make customers feel valued.

Building loyalty and advocacy

Customer relations managers work to transform satisfied customers into loyal ones. They engage customers consistently to build trust, ultimately fostering brand advocacy.

Feedback collection

They actively seek customer feedback and reviews, helping to identify areas that require improvement while also amplifying positive sentiments.

Conflict resolution

While customer service handles immediate conflict resolution, customer relations managers oversee the long-term resolution of recurring issues, identifying and addressing root causes.

Customer retention

Acquiring new customers can be costlier than retaining existing ones. Strong customer relations contribute to higher customer retention rates, leading to increased lifetime customer value.

Brand Advocacy

Loyal customers who have positive relationships with a brand become its advocates. They’re more likely to recommend the brand to others, essentially becoming free promoters.

Data-driven marketing

Customer relations managers gather a wealth of data on customer preferences and behaviors. This data is invaluable for crafting data-driven marketing strategies.

Mitigating negative publicity

Customers who have positive relationships with a brand are less likely to take their complaints public, reducing the risk of negative publicity.


Modern consumers appreciate businesses that prioritize their needs. Customer relations place the customer at the center of the business model.

Ronn Torossian is a PR executive.

Ronn Torossian

Ronn Torossian is the Founder and Chairman of 5WPR, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 25 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America’s most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company’s growth, overseeing more than 275 professionals. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named “PR Agency of the Year” by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world’s most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine’s Most Influential New Yorker, a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, and a recipient of Crain’s New York 2021 Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Torossian is known as one of the country’s foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and has authored two editions of his book, “For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations,” which is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.

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