Relationship marketing is a back to basics approach to developing long term relationships with clients instead of searching for the immediate short term sale. Salesmen and entrepreneurs realized that it is easier to retain a customer than it is to change one’s mind. Using social media, old fashioned customer service, and the basics of relationship marketing, you can develop your e-business to its fullest potential.
1. Think about it
Think about the things that you want to see in an e-business. What do you enjoy most about your competition’s web site? Are you appreciative of packing lists, of the fact that you can always get in contact with a customer service representative? What would make you, as a customer, feel comfortable enough to spend your money?
2. Create a plan
Are you going to use all forms of social media to promote your product? Planning on on using LinkedIn, Twitter, Digg, all of the bookmarking sites, Flickr and your personal blog? Write down all of the methods that you’re planning to use and take the time to flesh out the technical details. Social networking and building relationships is important, but staying consistent with your methods is more important.
3. Make a checklist
Once you’ve developed a plan for social and relationship marketing, write a daily checklist. This encompasses all of the tasks that you plan to do every week, month or year in relation to your customers. A large piece of relationship marketing is about continued contact and developing a rapport with your clients.
4. Develop a newsletter
One of the easiest things that you can do with your e-business is to develop a newsletter. This shows your customers the new products that are on the horizon as well as remind them that you’re still there. It demands that the customer rekindle the association between you and the product that you’re offering.
5. Be simple
Simplicity in business can develop and inspire relationships between you and your customer. Give them exactly what they want without hassle. As an e-business, you need to make it as easy as possible for your clients to part with their money. Remember that the more a customer clicks, the more a customer is likely to wander away.
6. Intrigue and mystery
Add a bit of mystique to your product by using great headlines. The headlines that you use will attract users to your product, make them feel good, and allow your e-business to develop some great relationships. Headlines, as any online marketer can tell you, are the gateway to higher sales.
7. Over the top
Your e-business customers don’t have the honor of getting to see your face, so you have to be dependent on your text and your actions. Reassure the clients, and give them that over-the-top customer service. CD Baby has an over the top ‘your package has been shipped’ email that is not only funny, but makes it very difficult to be anything but pleased.
8. Make Yourself Accessible
There are plenty of people and online biz ventures where the proprietor of the business hides behind the shield of the internet. People feel more comfortable working with other people, rather than the nameless, faceless corporations. Make yourself accessible to your clients by posting your picture, by allowing for feedback in your blogs, by showing that you care.
You want to be considered as a reference to the customer, providing useful information to them rather than attempting to sell your product all the time. Sure, it is about selling your product, but you will gain more sales and more repeat sales if you can show that you are the authority on the subject and that you are personable. Business is not a ‘get rich quick’ scheme, and the small customers of today become the big customers of tomorrow.
Take an hour each day to thank your customers individually. Solicit feedback and make them feel like they are part of the process. Relationships and rapport are built on the basis of comfort and ego stroking. After all, you go with the solution that makes you feel the best, don’t you?
Relationship marketing and attraction marketing are two closely tied marketing techniques which are based on the concept that cultivating and retaining customers is much easier than wresting them away from someone else. The clients should, as a result of your relationship marketing, come to you on their own based on word of mouth.