What is Relationship Marketing and why is it important to your company – WAU
Relationship Marketing is a marketing strategy that aims to build customer loyalty. To reinforce this close relationship, the company offers benefits to guarantee the satisfaction and success of its customers.
An increasing number of entrepreneurs are aware of the importance of Marketing for their companies to conquer more and more space in a competitive market.
Competition between companies in the same sector is increasing, with the same products and services offered by many companies.
Considering this market, winning over the customer in a way that is faithful to your product or service becomes a great challenge. And to assist companies in this fight for market space, we have Relationship Marketing and its tools.
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What is Relationship Marketing?
Relationship Marketing is a set of actions taken by the company as a way to create and maintain a positive relationship with its customers. To reinforce this close relationship, the company offers benefits to guarantee the loyalty of its customers.
The main objective of relationship marketing is to make customers become fans of the products and services provided by the company.
How to implement Relationship Marketing in your company?
For the company to create a relationship marketing plan, it needs to implement a culture of customer loyalty with its employees, as the relationship between the company and the customer already begins at the customer’s first contact with the company (example; a call for information).
Therefore, from the first moment, the company needs to have a service system that captivates and wins over its customer, so that the relationship is concluded with the sale of the product or service and extends to other sales operations.
For the company to be successful and succeed with its Relationship Marketing plan, it is important that customers speak positively about their products and services, showing the importance of having them in their lives.
That is, your customers will become one of your forms of advertising, encouraging new people to purchase your products and services, as they will become fans of the brand and will propagate free of charge the return that your products and services bring to them.
For the company to create and implement a positive Relationship Marketing that bears fruit, it is important that it has all its actions directed towards its customers, making them feel that they are the most important part of this business relationship, as customers are the source of revenue that maintains the company.
To strengthen ties and relationships with customers, companies must use all possible means to maintain a direct relationship with their audience: social networks (Facebook, Twitter etc.), content marketing and etc. The company needs to seek to personalize the experiences with its customers.
The Importance of Identifying Customers
For Relationship Marketing to bear fruit, it is of great importance that the company seeks to build a database that remains always up to date with the data of its customers.
It is through the database that the company will create the campaigns and invest in ways to generate customer loyalty.
Another important aspect is to identify the customers who make purchases more frequently and those customers whose operations are highly relevant to the company’s revenue.
These customers must be treated differently, with a personalized follow-up so that the company makes every effort to strengthen its relationship with these customers.
By doing this job of identifying its customers, the company will start the relationship marketing process with its target audience.
Through this work of customer identification, the company can create its relationship marketing plan. Like for example:
- Contact the customer informing about product offers;
- Congratulate the customer on special dates in his life (example: birthday);
- Conduct customer satisfaction surveys regarding products and services provided;
- Bonus program through loyalty plans;
- Other actions;
The success of a company’s relationship marketing plan is directly linked to how close the company has been to its customer, in order to understand the needs and desires of the clientele, managing to increase sales and brand recognition by part of the consumer market and the competitors themselves.
With the relationship marketing plan being successful, the company will be able to get feedback from the public, discovering whether or not there is satisfaction with the products and services provided and made available to the market.
Relationship Marketing: Development of a Loyalty Program
A Relationship Marketing tool widely used by companies is the creation and development of a loyalty program.
Based on the data of your customers, marketing campaigns aimed at them can be created, creating a loyalty program that grants bonuses to customers through their purchases.
Through the loyalty program seek to surprise and please your customers, so that through the loyalty program they have and see the advantages of continuing this business relationship with your company, buying your products or services.
However, when it comes to creating a loyalty program that will reward your customer, the company needs to be careful that the bonus adopted does not bring financial losses to it.
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Relationship Marketing and Customer Service
Customer service is a differential that your company needs to offer, so that your customers feel differentiated by the way your company treats you.
Therefore, for the Relationship Marketing plan to be a success, it is essential that the company’s employees are trained and trained based on the company’s culture and the marketing plans that have been drawn up.
Therefore, it is of great importance that the company presents its strategies to its employees and how each one is important for the good relationship between the company and the customer.
The best tips for successful relationship marketing
How about knowing some practices that can guarantee the success of your relationship marketing strategy? WAU has six tips that will help you stand out from your customers. Come on?
Tip # 01: Meet the customers
We have already talked about the importance of identifying customers. This is a job that many companies underestimate, over time. They end up with an incomplete or outdated database, and when they need to communicate with the customer, they can’t even – or, if they can, communication isn’t efficient.
So, how can you get to know your customers better? The first tip is to take every opportunity to check the most important registration data. This can be done quickly after each purchase, for example.
Another tip is to send opinion polls to customers on a regular basis. To ensure that the majority will respond, associate this survey with a benefit (such as a gift or participation in a sweepstakes).
In addition, many customers spontaneously present their evaluations during service. You can train your team to record the opinions, suggestions and criticisms received verbally in the customer’s history.
Also, remember the most important question: Would you recommend our company to a friend? Whenever the answer is yes, you will know that you are developing a good relationship with your customer.
Tip # 02: Segment and customize
The customer database is very important. However, it is worthless if it is not used well. In other words, you need to do something with all this information, right?
What you need to do is to segment customers according to relevant criteria and then create customized approaches for each segment.
For example, you can target male and female customers; and then create a campaign focused on the needs and expectations of each one. The first group will receive a relationship campaign on Father’s Day, while the second group will receive a campaign on Mother’s Day.
This is a very simple example. Segmentation can be made more complex by combining several criteria. The richer in detail the segmentation is, the greater the chance that you will “hit the target” with a personalized campaign.
Tip # 03: Create actions that encourage return
The actions that encourage the return establish a cycle in which it is easier to develop the relationship with the customer, in the long term.
The most classic example is loyalty programs. In these programs, with each purchase, the customer gains benefits to come back and buy again. A cycle is formed that allows your company to not only sell more, but also get new chances to better understand the customer, interact with him and captivate him.
Another example of action that encourages return is satisfaction surveys associated with a gift on the next visit.
Some restaurant chains give the customer, after a visit, a code to answer an online survey. Answering questions, the customer gets a free appetizer on the next visit. This action encourages feedback and also allows the collection of important data about customers.
Tip # 04: Be systematic
Relationship marketing only bears fruit when its development is solid, systematic. In addition, it is based on the long term. It is not enough to satisfy the customer at the moment and then forget that he exists.
Think about what a relationship between two people would be like if one person only called the other once every three, four, or six months. Soon, they would move away, even if the calls were made, as there is no regularity.
This same logic is valid for the relationship between a company and its customers. Campaigns need to be frequent and contact needs to be continuous. Otherwise, you will have a low loyalty rate and will always need to acquire new customers (and it is worth remembering that this is more laborious and expensive).
For this, a good tip is to establish a schedule, defining the details and deadlines of each action – such as sending emails on special dates, for example. The schedule allows you to plan, visualize and control the development of relationship marketing over a period. This period can be quarterly, half-yearly or even annual.
Tip # 05: Monitor the results
As much as relationship marketing requires continuous contact, as we just said, the meaning of this can vary depending on the market in which you operate.
For example, you wouldn’t mind receiving an email every day from a retailer with offers for your favorite products. In the B2B market, sending emails every day will not increase the chances of sales; in fact, it can even wear down the relationship.
How do you know, then, which is the most appropriate approach? Through testing and monitoring results. In the case of email marketing campaigns, this means tracking KPIs such as the open rate and clickthrough rate.
The frequency of sending emails is just one item that needs to be monitored. But in general, you must measure the results of each action taken. Always try to understand what worked – or not – and incorporate the lessons learned. Thus, relationship marketing will bring better and better results!
Tip # 06: Work with the relationship in two ways
Relationship marketing is not just about talking to the customer. It is also very important to hear it. And, of course, you need to have the right channels for that.
Many companies err by not having an adequate communication channel to receive complaints or answer customer questions. In other cases, the channel exists, but it is not functional — who has never been on the phone for hours without being able to solve their problem?
That is why a website like Reclame Aqui has become so popular. It provided a way for customers to express themselves and be heard, something that the companies themselves did not offer.
The tip is to make the ombudsman channels less bureaucratic and more prepared to talk to the client.
Always try to bring quick and direct answers. Keep in mind that the way these channels work will have a strong impact on the customer’s impression of the brand.
Now that you know relationship marketing, how about learning more in depth what marketing is and how it came about? Check out our article: What is Marketing: everything you need to know about the subject.