On top of the wish list of most businesses is loyal customers. After all, their purchases translate into repeat business and referrals—a powerful engine for the growth of sales and profits. And brand marketers know that building and cultivating a relationship with clients transcends initial purchase behavior, and can refocus the usual fixation on price. Yet there are still some common misconceptions about relationship marketing, and many wonder if the extra effort and expense are worth it.
We asked Maricel Badilla, our resource person on relationship marketing, to share with us some insights on how to overcome these misgivings.
Here are her recommendations:
1. Stay in touch, even after the purchase
Satisfied clients who talk about your product to their friends have a higher influence on purchase behavior than expensive advertisements and product placements. Word of mouth is still the best way to promote your product. But sometimes, it isn’t just the product itself that gets people talking—it’s the service they receive during the purchase, plus superior after-sales service that elicits a positive reaction. So get your clients to talk about you both off and online by staying in touch even after the sale.
2. Listen to client complaints
Complaints are negative customer feedback you would want to know. It is better to have a customer who complains so you’d know what went wrong than to just have your customers walk away never to come back. Addressing customer complaints in the right way can help you convert a complaining client into a satisfied and loyal one.
3. Don’t let the price alone define your brand
While price is still a very important factor buyers consider when making a purchase, there are other reasons why people buy your product or service. Your customers may also want convenience, or comfort, or a hassle-free experience. Price is a perception of value and may not be the same for all clients.
As a final note, listen to your customer and learn to track their needs and preferences.
This data, when properly catalogued and analyzed, could be an invaluable resource in ensuring your product or service is always top of mind and inspires loyalty from your customer.