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What is relationship marketing?

Published on 28 March, 2019

We often talk here at Feefo about how fantastic customer reviews are for driving sales, but what about convincing customers to come back time and again to shop with a brand that they have that special connection with?

Welcome to the world of relationship marketing!

Relationship marketing: an introduction

Relationship marketing is all about making a meaningful connection with your customers that transforms them from a one-time purchaser to a loyal brand advocate. It puts customer retention at the heart of your business’s communications strategy, shifting the focus from a quick sale to attracting customers who come back time and time again. There’ll be many business owners out there still sat firmly on sales side of the fence, but research by Bain and Company has shown that as little as a 5% increase in customer retention can increase overall revenue by as much as 95%.

How can you make relationship marketing part of your marketing strategy?

So much of what makes up great relationship marketing is about simply talking to your customers more often. Whether it’s crafting tailor-made content or reaching out to them for feedback, engaging with your customers regularly helps to create a bond that takes the relationship way beyond a simple transaction.

Here are five ways to put some simple relationship marketing techniques into action.

1. Extend the sales journey

So often the customer experience stops at the point of sale, but it doesn’t have to- you still have so much more to offer! Creating an extended sales journey that includes follow-up emails, feedback requests and additional helpful content tailored to the purchase they’ve just made keeps your brand at the forefront of their mind, and in their heart for longer!

2. Personalise your content

Take the time to research what content works best for your customers and what channels they’re using. Often for existing customers this is about education rather than sales, so make sure you listen closely to what content really resonates with your customers and tailor it to fit their experience. This could be a series of guides on how to get the most from the product they’ve just purchased, a customised piece of comms introducing them to similar or complimentary items, or maybe a webinar or short explainer video that’s exclusive to your customers.

3. Offer loyalty programmes

One of the most tried and tested techniques of relationship marketing is the loyalty programme. Loyalty schemes have come a long way from the “5 stamps for a free coffee”” model, but the concept remains the same. To keep customers coming back, offering them a reward for repeat purchases works brilliantly. Giving away complimentary products, money off a future purchase, or “VIP” access to exclusive goodies can all help build long-term relationships – and even prompt referrals to friends and family.  

The more they come back, the more you learn about their buying habits, and the more you can start to target and personalise their customer experience.

4. Always deliver a premium customer service

Great customer service goes far beyond the checkout. Whether it’s an email enquiry about their order, or a review they’ve left about your product or service, make sure to get back to them, even if it’s something negative about their experience. Responding quickly whilst taking the time to personalise your response, and most importantly solve their issue head-on, makes a customer feel appreciated. As soon as they start to feel like a number on a spreadsheet, they can very quickly decide to take their money elsewhere!  

5. Collect customer feedback regularly

So often relationships break down because of poor communication – and it’s the same with your customers. As much as you like to talk to them, it’s crucial that you offer them a platform to talk back. Collecting customer reviews at key touchpoints in the journey not only makes your customers feel valued and listened to, it also gives you unprecedented insight into what they really think of your business. The more you listen, the more you learn about what’s working well, and not so well, through the eyes of the people most important to your business.  

 

If you want to make customer reviews a key part of your relationship marketing strategy, get in touch with a member of the Feefo team today!