Building a Loyal Customer Base Through Relationship Marketing
In the past, Transactional Marketing seemed to dominate the marketing campaigns of many businesses. A lot of emphasis and focus was put on increasing the number of individual sales. While this approach is still taken by many marketers today, a new strategy is becoming increasingly popular. Referred to as Relationship Marketing, this approach focuses more on customer retention than customer acquisition. The overall idea is to use open communication, working hand-in-hand with current and prospective customers to create a more meaningful, personalized, and long-term experience. By providing customers with information that is directly suited to their wants, needs, and interests, you will develop strong connections and build customer loyalty.
The most effective tool for a relationship marketer is the use of social media. Social media profiles allow you to reach out to your customers, but also allow your customers to reach out to you. It gives your customers the satisfaction of knowing that you’re listening, that they are important to you, and that you are determined to improve your products and services based on their feedback. The main thing to remember is that you can’t be a one-way street. You have to be consistent in responding to your customers’ feedback and reach out to them whenever necessary. As a digital marketer, I work with businesses to help them improve their social media presence, and some clients for whatever reason, just refuse to interact with their customers. Unfortunately, you’re not going to have any success in your relationship marketing campaigns if you don’t put in the effort.
In order to successfully implement a relationship marketing campaign, follow these best practices:
- Make sure your business has accurate and active profiles set up on the most popular social media sites: Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn.
- Create a corporate social media policy so that your employees know what is and isn’t acceptable.
- Establish a review policy.
- Encourage your satisfied customers to post positive reviews on your profiles.
- If you receive a negative review, reach out and try to solve the problem. Then, request that they either update the review or just remove it entirely.
- Conduct surveys and polls.
- The results can give you a great idea of what your customers think of your products and services.
- Generate online content that is unique, interesting, and useful to your customers.
- Develop a loyalty program that will reward your customers for their devotion to your business.
- Offer a coupon or discount code for customer referrals or repeat purchases.
By following these best practices, you will be able to run a relationship marketing campaign that will keep your customers coming back for more. Not only will you be able to retain their business, but you will be able to acquire new business. Word-of-mouth is one of the strongest benefits of Relationship Marketing.