This Valentine’s Day, we’re all about celebrating your customers and suggesting some ways you can reward their loyalty. So let’s talk about relationship marketing…
What is relationship marketing?
Relationship marketing is a long-term strategy which prioritises building a close relationship with your customers. It is designed to foster customer loyalty, as well as promote open communication between customers and brands.
In other words, relationship marketing is all about showing your customers that you care.
Why is relationship marketing important?
Did you know that it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than it does to keep an existing one?
Research further shows that improving the customer retention (i.e. a company’s ability to keep its current customers) by 5% increases profits by 25 – 95%. For small businesses especially, having a good relationship with customers is vital – 65% of a company’s business comes from its existing customers.
Here’s just some of the benefits that come with customer loyalty:
- Driving repeat business
- Lowering your marketing costs
- Receive positive word-of-mouth
- Gain valuable feedback
- Defend against competitors.
Your customers know you, trust you, and in some cases, even love you.
People who are just discovering your brand – also known as cold leads – will take a lot more time, money and effort to convert into customers. Neil Patel explains this in more detail with his tips for marketing to cold leads.
How to improve relationship marketing.
If there was ever a time to think about improving your relationship marketing strategy, it probably wouldn’t be on Valentine’s Day! But this is seasonal content, after all… So why not chuck in a few corny V-Day puns while we’re at it?
Get to know your customers…
Relationship marketing starts with really understanding what your customers want and expect from you.
In the past, surveys were a popular way to get feedback from your customers. Nowadays, businesses can easily set up social media and online reviews to find out what keeps customers coming back – as well as what puts them off!
…And find out what they really think!
I’ve been A/B Testing and I know you’re the one.
Personalisation goes a long way…
As our world becomes increasingly digital and more processes are being automated, talking to a human – even over the phone – has become almost a novelty. A report by PwC found that 75% of global consumers desired more human interaction.
Personalisation is one advantage small businesses have over margin-slashing multinationals. Whether it’s sending a personalised note when shipping out a product, or responding directly to a review someone has left on your social media page, you can make a customer feel special.
Allow them to connect with you. Help them to remember you.
Personalisation also applies to B2B businesses as well. You can still be friendly, while staying professional and targeting high level decision-makers. Check out these three examples on how you can make personalisation work for your B2B company. Or have a look at what we’ve done for our own B2B clients.
…Add a human touch to your marketing.
Is that a pop-up or are you just happy to see me?
Offer your continued support…
If you want customers to keep coming back, it makes sense that you should think about how to maintain contact and support them after a sale.
Customer service is paramount to customer loyalty. A report by Accenture shows that customer service – not price – remains the top cause of customer churn. This is supported by the research of Bain & Company, which similarly found that customers were more likely to switch based on poor service rather than price.
Focusing on the post-purchase customer experience can give you that competitive edge. Especially when only 18% of businesses focus on customer retention. Check out Brandwatch’s article for some tips on how you can improve your own post-purchase processes.
…It shouldn’t end with a purchase.
What’s your number? I want to give you a Call-To-Action!
Know who your VIPs are…
You can take your post-purchase customer experience one step further by prioritising the customers who deliver the most value to your business.
This isn’t limited to loyalty programs either. Special events, exclusive deals and promotions are just some of the ways you can show your VIP customers that you appreciate them.
…And reward their loyalty.
You are my SEOmate!
Most importantly, be transparent…
Relationship marketing is built on trust. It’s important not to break that trust. Stay authentic and keep your customers informed.
You’ll know you’re succeeding at relationship marketing when customers become advocates for your brand.
…Happy customers are your best customers.
Suffering from a lack of engagement, but not the kind with a ring?