Relationship marketing by definition is a facet of CRM (customer relationship marketing) that focuses on customer loyalty and long term retention, rather than short-term customer acquisition and one off sales. In short, it is believed that the more points of contact between the organization and the client, the stronger the bond and more secure the relationship.
Implementing a relationship marketing strategy isn’t as daunting as it may seem and it begins with the shift in focus from immediate sales transactions to long term value in repeat business. While the growth of the internet & mobile platforms, and in general the digital world, are seen as distancing the customer from the business, it’s actually increasing more social and collaborative channels of communication. Relationship marketing has expanded to social media, app development, inbound marketing and strategic content. All of which are fine tuned to meet the customers’ needs and encourage ongoing communication.
From a financial standpoint, the efforts exuded to retain long-term clients are far overshadowed by the financial gains made in doing so. On average it costs 5x more to attract new clients than to retain current ones. Additionally, long-term customers are more likely to willingly offer word of mouth referrals. Loyal and happy customers make the employees’ jobs easier and more satisfying. In turn, happy employees are eager to ensure customer satisfaction in a fruitful cycle.
What’s the overall message? Long-term vision greatly outweighs short-term sales targets. Communication needs to evolve beyond aggressive advertising and promotional emails. Managing relationships with customers goes beyond simple demographics and customer service data; each client is important & unique and need to be treated as such.