Brand Building through Relationship Marketing21st November 2020
Relationship marketing should not be confused with transactional marketing. It’s not about selling or promotion. It’s about building customer loyalty by understanding and responding to their needs. And, it’s about showing them that you value their business and trust.
Relationship marketing involves finding ways to make two-way communications between you and your customers easy and beneficial. It requires tracking customer activities and providing information, offers and incentives that are tailored to them.
With more and more marketing tools and techniques at the disposal of business owners, relationship marketing is taking on a greater role as they look for ways to distinguish themselves and create memorable and meaningful customer experiences.
Loyalty programs, referral incentives, even seasonal discounts to current customers all go a long way toward building a relationship that stretches beyond the transaction. Offering rewards, helpful tips and specials enables constructive one-to-one relationships that help you create a great experience for your clients and lay the foundation of long-term brand loyalty.
- Offering returning customers a discount on services.
Everyone loves a good deal. Therefore, when a customer returns to you, it is a good idea to reward them for coming back. This doesn’t have to be a huge discount; it can just be a percentage off of their bill. However, simply acknowledging that you appreciate their business and are thankful they are coming back to you is a great way to encourage loyalty.
- Giving rewards for references.
Giving your current customers rewards for referring other customers to you is yet another way to show your current customers you appreciate their business. It also helps build up your customer database quickly.
- Offering updates.
On your Facebook or Twitter page, you can post updates about your business and even your personal life. if you are comfortable with that. This will make your customers feel like they know you. They will have the inside scoop, a behind-the-scenes look at what you are dealing with on any given day. As a result, you suddenly become more human to them. This is important because appearing as a human in their eyes instead of a big, cold, heartless company is key to relationship building. Consequently, it’s crucial to personal branding as well. Updating your social-media accounts or website is a great way to humanize yourself.
- Really caring about your customers.
Your customers will see through any fake expressions on your part. Therefore, when you aim to build relationships with your customers, be sure that you actually do care about their well-being. By treating your customers well, you will be amazed at how willing they become to support your business.
Building relationships and personal branding are intertwined. You simply can’t have one without the other. Your work to build lasting relationships with your customers will pay dividends in regards to the growth of your personal brand.
Going above and beyond
Going the extra mile creates a positive and lasting memory for your customers. Delighting your customers beyond expectation builds loyalty. Fans who are more than happy to refer your business to their friends and family.
Here are eight simple ways you can add an “extra touch” to your customer experience if within your means:
- Offer multiple forms of communication; email, telephone, live chat, Twitter, etc
- Offer custom solutions based on their needs
- Offer discounts or store credit for their next purchase
- Include handwritten notes when shipping products
- Respond personally to social media comments
- Respond to reviews (both positive and negative)
- Be proactive in asking for customer feedback
- Say thank you
Invest in a CRM
Customer relationship management software (or CRM) allows you to record engagement data and collect information about your customers.
A good CRM should include basic customer information (such as contact details), as well as purchase history and interactions with your brand, sales teams and customer support.
This is the true benefit of relationship marketing. It’s not a tactic to generate more customers. It’s about fostering lifelong relationships with customers who trust you. Follow these principles, make them a core part of your business, and you’ll attract lifelong customers:
- Get to know your customers by running events and meeting them face to face
- Reward loyal customers with discounts, and consider building referral programs
- Create useful and interesting content to deliver more value to your audience
- Provide a delightful customer experience, and go above-and-beyond to make them happy
- Implement a CRM system to manage and keep on top of your customer relationships
In short, relationship marketing is about adding value, even when you’re not talking about your product or service. Adding value, and connecting with your audience directly, is how you build a strong brand.