Relationship Marketing is a new (or is it?) philosophy and system of marketing that focuses on the customer, honoring the unique character and needs of each person who does business with you.
Through Relationship Marketing, you build customer satisfaction and loyalty. Ultimately?your goal!?increased return on investment (ROI) for your marketing dollars.
While you?ll want to continue to seek new customers, the key to profitability is retaining and cultivating your existing ones. It?s far less expensive to sell more products or services to them than to seek new, single-transaction customers. You minimise the need for costly advertising as well as time-consuming prospecting, rapport building. Information gathering.
How do you accomplish this?
Good (old-fashioned) customer service. That means making your customers happy enough to come back?and to pass along positive feedback about your business to others. You hereby create word-of-mouth ambassadors for your business out of satisfied customers?the most effective form of advertising ever devised!
Tips for standing apart from your competition by making your customers happy:
. Be real. Have a live person answer the phone. If that isn?t possible, return calls as quickly as possible.
. Be reliable. Do what you say you?ll do.
. Be a good listener. Make your customers feel comfortable, invite feedback. Take complaints seriously.
. Be helpful. Go the extra mile and give something away for free?which may be just information. Add value to your product or service by showing your customers how to maximise their satisfaction from each purchase.
. Likewise, if you can?t fulfil a customer?s particular need, say so. Try to help them find someone who'll. They'll remember your helpfulness. Will be more likely to come back to you when they do need your type of product or service?as well as recommend your business to others.
. Be honest. Don?t try to sell something that the customer doesn?t need.
. Be thorough. Train your staff to uphold your principles.
. Be there (and continue to be there). Send follow-up communications to continue the relationship?thank you notes for their business and/or referrals. A recent article about the customer?s type of product or service. An announcement of your new product or service. A notice of a sale or special offer. Coupons for discounts. Invitations to special ?pre-sale? days. Your company newsletter with useful information for your customers.
That?s the key to profitability: relationship marketing, which really just boils down to good customer service.
Don?t know where to turn for help with those newsletters and other sales messages? Hire a professional copywriter.