How to Build Customer Retention Strategies with Relationship Marketing

by: Dustin Hawley | Tuesday July 23, 2019

Businesses and organizations around the world are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to acquire new customers. And rightfully so, because every business needs new customers to grow and thrive. However, it’s important to keep in mind that cultivating loyalty among your existing customers is also paramount to a company’s success. It's for this reason that business leaders need to study relationship marketing.

graphic displaying business related text over a group of silhouettes

This particular form of marketing is dedicated to both nurturing and maintaining engagement with customers over the long run. Consumers who are brand loyal are more likely to provide useful feedback, refer the business to their friends or family, and purchase future products and services.

For companies asking themselves "What are the best strategies for customer retention?", look no further than relationship marketing. Effective relationship marketing strategies don't necessarily overlap with the types of strategies your company may use to generate new leads. But to keep your customers satisfied and loyal to your business, keep these insights top of mind. Here's how to build customer retention strategies with relationship marketing.

Tailor Your Social Media Strategy to Your Brand Goals

Social media marketing can be very effective, especially with the support and expertise of an influencer marketing agency. However, a strategy can only be effective if it aligns with your brand.

For instance, if you manage a B2B company that serves other professionals within your industry, your social media presence should reflect your professionalism and expertise, and depict your organization as a voice of authority. On the contrary, if you’re tailoring your efforts to a demographic of millennials, you'll likely see for better success by employing humor or other lighthearted tactics into your content and copy.

Consider the type of company your target audience wants to do business with, and ensure your image and identity on social media conveys this personality in a consistent, authentic fashion. Additionally, if you want to experience the benefits of influencer marketing to grow your business, brand alignment and consistent brand voice are imperative.

Focus On Offering top-notch Customer Service

Just as the name implies, relationship marketing is all about building a relationship with your customers and positively relating to them. And to do so, you must offer them consistent and personal support.

Quality customer service should be made an essential value for your brand. Ensuring you have people managing your support desks who are friendly, courteous, and helpful simply isn’t enough in today's hyper-competitive business landscape. In all facets of your business operations, you should put thought into what potential customer service issues may arise, and how you plan on addressing them if they do. A proactive approach to customer service is sure to solve some of these problems from the get-go, and it presents your brand as more user-friendly and genuine in it's efforts to provide high-quality customer service. 

"I like to encourage people to realize that any action is a good action if it's proactive and there is positive intent behind it."

-Michael J. Fox

Invest In Your Content Marketing

To successfully advertise on social media, you have to approach things differently, and from a unique perspective. While traditional advertisements serve to remind people that your product exists - and may even strike an emotional chord - you want to build and maintain a lasting relationship with your customers. That's why it’s important for your company to also prioritize content marketing.

When you supply your customer base with consistently valuable content, they develop an organic interest and loyalty to your brand. This is particularly true if your content educates people on how to get more value out of your products and services. Content marketing should be an integral part of any company's marketing strategy and should be tailored to creating, nurturing, and maintaining engagement and positive sentiment from your customers.

Influencer Marketing is a stellar tactic to weave into your content marketing strategy. Why use influencer marketing? Check out the link noted and discover the benefits of influencer marketing for yourself.

Don’t underestimate the value of Email Marketing

When marketers think to themselves "What are some customer retention strategies I can utilize for my business?", email marketing is often not at the top of the list. Though often still a pivotal piece of an organization's overall marketing structure, email marketing is not typically associated with fostering interpersonal customer relations as it pertains to relationship marketing. But email marketing gives you the chance to reach customers on a regular, consistent basis. And even more importantly, it allows you to reach them when they’re less likely to be distracted by other content or inundated with an endless stream of notifications.

When your company posts an update to its Facebook page, viewers almost always have a plethora of other stories, content, and updates to focus on. Which means there’s no guarantee you’ll get their attention or viewership (though this can be circumvented to some degree with an effective strategy around paid media).

However, when customers are checking their email notifications, they’re far less likely to find a bevy of other engaging media to divert their attention away from you. So take advantage of this opportunity by sharing the type of content you want your customers to focus on. Send carefully crafted emails at a cadence that nurtures a positive relationship with your customer, but also doesn't clog their inboxes with endless emails and promotions. This can actually have an inverse effect on your relationship marketing. Establishing a content cadence for your brand will give you the most juice for the squeeze in both your email marketing and your social media marketing as well.

Create a Customer Loyalty Program

Admittedly, it's no simple task to craft an effective customer loyalty program. But if you do, you’ll see massive benefits from the substantial customer engagement it produces. You can begin by selecting a reward that’s genuinely attractive and valuable to your customers. This aspect is essential because it makes participating in your loyalty program worthwhile for them.

Once you are satisfied with your offering, you can then choose an action your customers will be likely to commit to as a result of this offering. For instance, asking your customers to refer their friends and family members is a simple, easy request. When you incentivize and reward your customers for their loyalty, a request of this nature doesn't fall upon deaf ears and can produce surprising results if you have established trust and equity with your consumers.

hand holding up a loyalty program card

Keep in mind that your loyalty program needs to correspond to the overall identity of your business. For example, let's say your company sells goods or services that are fairly inexpensive. You don’t want to offer your customers a loyalty reward after spending thousands of dollars on your products. The frequency and loyalty of the customer should be the primary focus of constructed an effective loyalty program.   

Utilize Surveys And Other Forms of Customer Feedback

Want to get to know your customers better? You don’t have to play guessing games. Surveys help you learn about customer preferences and behavior in a direct, accurate way.

Just make sure your surveys are fairly short, or customers are unlikely to participate. Also, choose your questions carefully. You should have a very specific goal when conducting a survey., and each question should move towards that objective. Decide what exactly you want to learn first before sending one out.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The effectiveness of relationship marketing to attract new business and sustain relationships with existing customers has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to work across numerous industries. And it's arguably most effective in Business-to-Consumer (B2C) markets. Bear in mind that relationship marketing strategies will still ultimately fail if employees are not adequately trained on the appropriate ethics and best customer interaction practices. Training sessions and continuous management of your methods will prove beneficial for your organization.

Establish clear policies on how your brand interacts with customers on email, phone, chat, and social media. As noted, performance should be continuously monitored and when necessary, be adapted. If you keep these practices in mind and truly devote your brand efforts to building strong marketing, you are sure to see a substantial uptick in your customer loyalty and engagement.

AMPLIFY YOUR RELATIONSHIP MARKETING WITH AN AWARD-WINNING MARKETING AGENCY

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