Relationship Marketing: Essential Key for Customer Loyalty and Retention

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relationship marketingThe success of your business depends on customer loyalty and retention. If you have been in business for any length of time, or have been observing successful businesses, you recognize that relationship marketing is an essential key to customer loyalty and retention.

Television, radio, and newspaper ads all have their place, and are still effective for many businesses. However, for small businesses especially, impersonal advertising cannot be the primary way for communicating with your customers, and consumers in general. Customers do not want to be spoken to. They want to be spoken with and be made to feel that their voice is heard when they do business with you.

Large and small businesses recognize that having a personal relationship with the customer is what makes the difference in the results they experience. This, in fact, is what sets them apart from their competitors. The removal of “us” and “them” and replacing it with “we’ encourages a partnership so that customers feel they have a vested interest in the business.

3 Reasons Why Relationship Marketing is Essential to Your Business

Profitability:

  • In their book, Leading on the Edge of Chaos, authors, Emmet C. Murphy and Mark A Murphy noted, “Depending on the industry, reducing your customer defection rate by 5% can increase your profitability by 25 to 125%.

  • In a survey conducted by Dimensional Research key findings of the study illustrated that customer service not only affects revenue, but has a long lasting impact, with customer service ranking as the No. 1 factor influencing how much a consumer trusts a company.

Build Trust:

At a time when people seems to have lost trust in big businesses, it’s more important than ever to develop the personal relationship with customers so that they clearly understand that you, as the business owner, genuinely care about their welfare and not just see them as a means to a profitable end. Ian Gordon wrote in Relationship Marketing, “”A meaningful relationship starts … when supplier and customer see that it is in their interests to get together for the long term.”

When you make your customers feel that the relationship is one of a partnership and you depend on them for their support, it in no way diminishes your role. Instead you increase the level of loyalty that your customers will give to you. The reality is that in our social world, customers know the level of power that they hold, and if you can harness that power to support your business, it puts you in a favorable position.

Create Your Own Research Team:

Who better to get feedback from than the persons who are already using your products or service? Research can be expensive and time-consuming. It can also be less than accurate if you’re not targeting the correct demographic or pyschographic market.

Your loyal customers and clients are in the best position to share with you ideas and suggestions as to how your product or service could be better and the impact changes and enhancements could have on their lives.

This is not a new concept because large organizations are using this strategy. Starbucks, for one, created a website: My Starbucks Idea where their customers can share their ideas and comment on the ideas shared by others. Genius! They even show the ideas that are being implemented. Can you see how this type of relationship would endear you to your customers and build customer loyalty?

So, would you agree that relationship marketing is an essential key to customer loyalty and retention? It takes time to get a smooth-running system in place, but the returns will be worth it when your funnel is filled with loyal customers and clients.

I invite you to visit my website and download your copy of “STOP Losing Your Best Customers: Time -Tested Tips to Grow Your Business with Customer Retention.”

Please share your thoughts in the Comments section below this post. Thank you. 🙂


Comments

Relationship Marketing: Essential Key for Customer Loyalty and Retention — 4 Comments

  1. Great article, Yvonne!

    I especially like Starbuck’s idea of setting up a page to receive ideas etc.

    It seems that Starbuck’s does an excellent job of keeping their customers happy and the ideas page is an example of how they do that.
    Ellene Breedlove Davis recently posted…I Changed My Mind About Creativity!My Profile

    • Yvonne A Jones on said:

      Thank you for reading and leaving your comments, Ellene. I was really impressed with that as well. Just acknowledging that their customers’ ideas have been read and will be given consideration in the future is enough to build a loyal following. Companies like Starbucks, Zappos, and Whole Foods really set the standard for building relationships that result in customer loyalty and retention.

  2. Lynanne Rockhill on said:

    Hi Yvonne! I certainly agree with your article that relationship marketing is a key to customer loyalty and retention. I know because I am a purchasing agent at my full-time job and we have a vendor that has excellent customer service. Their attention to our needs and prompt deliveries make them our top vendor and, sadly, our other vendors do not have the same level of customer service and so they are not used that often. Excellent customer service is very valuable.

    • Yvonne A Jones on said:

      Thank you for reading and leaving your personal experience, Lynanne. Because of poor customer service one vendor is “not used that often.” And that is the reality in most situations. It really breaks my heart when businesses, especially small business, complain about the economy yet they fail to take the simple steps that would bring them a lot more business!

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