More and more companies realize that the key to retaining their customers lies in building solid and meaningful relationships with them.
Studies prove that 95% of customers who trust a company are likely to be loyal, and 93% are likely to recommend that company to others. So, whether clients are B2B or B2C, good relationships are the foundation of lasting business associations.
Companies that do not invest in relationships are unlikely to have loyal customers and will soon lose their customers to other businesses. Hence, relationship marketing has become crucial.
Let’s look at three companies that got their relationship marketing right and benefit tremendously from it.
Three Companies that Nailed Relationship Marketing Real Good!
Some of the world’s biggest names in their respective markets, Amazon, Nike, and Emirates, have shown what and how far relationship marketing can go. Take a look:
Everyone has heard of Amazon.com — the world’s largest online retailer. However, even with its enormous and loyal customer base, it has made a considerable effort to keep its customer service excellent.
Amazon’s rapid response to consumer complaints, easy check-out process, and return /refund system has kept its customers happy and coming back for more. As a result, Amazon has an impressive 90% customer retention.
It is no secret that Amazon keeps its service brilliant by also using meticulously collected data to get to know its customers better. In addition, data analytics enable Amazon to make its customers feel more comfortable by personalizing services and recommendations.
The best part is that Amazon.com does not only remember a few of the big-spending customers but for every last one. As a result, it has made every customer feel important and kept them loyal with its excellent relationship marketing strategy.
Emirates started its operations in 1985, with just two aircraft. It now has a fleet of more than 230 aircraft and flies to over 140 destinations in more than 80 countries globally.
But Emirates has not succeeded in becoming the largest airline in the United Arab Emirates by doing nothing. One of the keys to its success is its excellent relationship with its customers. It goes over and above to exceed their expectations.
Irrespective of what class they are traveling in, Emirates woos its customers by providing excellent cabin features, a delectable menu, and top-of-the-line in-flight entertainment.
The airline finds what its customers need through feedback and then tweaks its service to provide that “wow” factor that keeps customers coming back for more.
It goes above and beyond to keep its customers happy and establish an emotional connection with them, and this essentially is the crux of its relationship marketing strategy.
Nike, the athletics shoes and apparels brand, has to fend off stiff competition in its category every step of the way. Its solution is to build strong loyalty through meaningful and emotional relationships with its customers.
Nike seeks to make its customers feel part of something bigger- part of the Nike family. Every aspect of the brand strives towards this, even its designs and messaging.
In addition, Nike has established programs such as Nike Fuel and Nike Plus, through which it collects valuable customer information enabling it to understand its consumers better and meet their needs.
These programs also help the company learn about the latest fashion trends and ideas and innovate and keep itself current.
But that is not all! Nike also has a solid social media team that connects with its customers on Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. This allows it to sort out consumer complaints and engage with them quickly. This engagement enables customers to interact with the brand and feel closer to the brand.
These aspects add up to customer experience and are an excellent way to build relationships with customers.
The companies mentioned above have massive budgets and infrastructure to take their relationship marketing to new heights. So, what do you do if you are a smaller business with smaller budgets?
Let’s Look at Relationship Marketing in a Different Way
Relationship marketing may be a fancy word but think of it as building a relationship as you would with any human being. Getting to know them better, understanding what makes them tick, and getting closer to them are all part and parcel of building a human relationship.
Relationships are also two ways, and both parties have to reciprocate to make it successful.
Hence, gifting is the ultimate relationship marketing tool for startups and established firms because it involves giving and not just taking from your customer.
And the good part is that you can surprise your customers with a gift any time you want- gifting does not have to follow any rules.
In addition, you can spend according to your budget. You do not have to give out large gifts that will decimate your budget and bank account- even small, thoughtful gifts can have a significant impact. Gifts just have to be right!
But although it is effective, it is a seriously underutilized way of building bonds and getting closer to people. It remains underutilized because it can be pretty tedious, but not many people know that gifting technology has come a long way since they last checked.
Allow us to tell you how!
Meet Eva, the AI Gifting Assistant
Eva is an intelligent gifting assistant that will handle the whole gifting process for you–from start to finish–whether it is one gift or many.
How does Eva do this?
When you log into Eva, all you need to do is specify how much you want to spend and to whom you want to send the gifts.
Eva then chats with the recipient, digging up information about the recipient, such as what they like, their interests and hobbies, food allergies, etc.
Then Eva uses this information in conjunction with other data points such as gifting trends, weather in the area, etc. Eva’s own AI and analytical engines to choose the perfect gift to send the recipient. So, every single recipient gets a personalized gift.
Eva then wraps the gift up in attractive packaging because unboxing a gift is as much fun as receiving it and even includes a handwritten note to the recipient (should you choose for).
So, how does Eva help your business?
- Gifting is all about giving and not taking- which is the essence of building solid relationships with other human beings.
- By sending your customers thoughtful gifts, you build a thoughtful and relatable brand/ business image.
- Your customers know that you are grateful for and appreciate them.
And this is the crux of building strong customer relationships because, at the end of it, all your clients are human beings.
Putting relationship marketing to work correctly involves a much more severe attempt at creating strong bonds with your customer than just, well, sending out generic gifts.
When correctly executed, relationship marketing can:
- Increase the value of your customer base,
- Reduce customer attrition, and
- Increase levels of customer satisfaction.
However, there is also more to it than simply sending out personalized mail, training your customer service personnel to deal with customers, or designing a user-friendly website.
The crucial thing to remember is that you cannot build relationships without bonding with the human side of your customer, and that should be a crucial part of your strategy.