To understand whether relationship marketing will help you build brand loyalty, you must first fully understand what brand loyalty is.
Try to think of those moments in a store when you choose Pepsi over Coca-Cola. Or Samsung over Sony! The reason you choose one over the other, despite the two products being very similar in the offering, is brand loyalty at play.
Investopedia defines brand loyalty as an affirmative stance people attach to a particular product or service, and despite competitor’s efforts to win them over! It is demonstrated by their repeated purchase of the same brand despite several other similarly lucrative options at their disposal.
So you see, brand loyalty is about a positive association, and it doesn’t happen in a fluke. Brands shed hundreds of millions in developing that one thing around which brand loyalty centers – customer relationships.
Hence, building and maintaining strong client relationships are crucial to sustaining and growing a business, however big or small.
Relationship Marketing: Why is It Critical for Sustained Business Growth?
The big picture
Companies and businesses invest heavily in bringing in new customers. However, relationship marketing is not always about throwing more money into marketing your company. Instead, it is about building relationships by stirring positive emotions in your customers.
- Many successful companies now understand that they don’t need to gain new clients constantly.
- Instead, keeping their existing clients loyal can maintain an entire project pipeline and get referrals to other clients.
Why does it matter?
According to Marketing Metrics, the likelihood of selling to an existing customer is up to 14 times greater than selling to a new customer.
- Research also suggests that current customers are 50% more likely to try new items and spend 31% more on average.
- Hence, once clients are onboarded, it is easier to re-engage them, especially if you have a good relationship.
- Therefore, a strong relationship will earn their trust, and by re-engaging them, you will save time and money.
- In addition, once a client knows that you are dependable and have what it takes to complete their project, they will be more likely to hire your services for future projects.
- Studies show that by increasing your retention rate by 10%, you can double the average length of the customer relationship.
What is the solution?
Clients associate brands with experiences and how they make them feel; hence, you need to deliver exceptional experiences throughout the customer life cycle and have meaningful, timely, and effective interactions. Relationship marketing helps you achieve just that.
How to Give Your Client a More Positive Brand Experience and Build Relationships
Below are some tried and tested ways to give a positive brand experience to clients and build relationships:
1. By being human
Try and build a rapport with each client. You might interact with your client over email, but there is nothing like personal human interaction to build relationships. If possible, call them now and then for a casual conversation, send them gifts on their birthdays or special milestones, etc.
Creating a strong personal connection is crucial to building a strong client relationship.
In addition, treat each client as an individual with different needs and requirements. Take the time to get to know every one of your clients to serve them best. Finally, never underestimate the value of human interaction!
2. By communicating
Communication is the cornerstone of any relationship- the better the communication, the better the relationship.
Hence, keeping lines of communication open and transparent is always a good idea.
Establish regular communication to evaluate the project’s progress and answer any questions. Be available to speak with your clients if they need you. This shows that you care and value them.
3. By exceeding expectations
Don’t just deliver- over-deliver! There is no more cause for delight than to go over and above people’s expectations. Over-deliver on service, timeline and delivery- create a memorable experience for your client.
You do not have to stress out your employees to do this, though — provide realistic timeframes and work to deliver the project as quickly as you can. Also, throughout the process, make sure to maintain communication, answer questions and meet your client’s needs.
Most importantly, remember that your work is one of the most crucial things in the whole scheme of things, and no amount of personal connection can substitute for great work.
4. By treating each client like they are most valuable!
Give all your clients your best service, regardless of how much business they give you. You never know who your clients know or to whom they will refer to you – remember, satisfied clients are more likely to refer your business to their contacts.
In addition, if and when they switch jobs, if they are impressed with your company, they will recommend you to their new team as well.
Last but not least, although the client’s organization may be small today, it may grow into a larger company tomorrow, and it’s incredibly fulfilling to be a partner and a part of that growth.
You do not have to spend loads of money on relationship marketing – every small positive experience that a client has will build a stronger relationship, and these are more valuable than any paid-for promotions, etc., you can do.
Every interaction consumers have with brands is a form of customer experience and, if approached correctly, can boost brand awareness and engagement. If you can find smart and meaningful ways to connect with your customers, you will see the benefits.
Patience is the key when building new relationships. They take time and a whole lot of hard work. Avoid shortcuts like insincere schmoozing. Instead, take some time to genuinely know your client, and let them get to know you too. Strong human relationships can only be built this way.
So to answer the question, “will relationship marketing help you to build brand loyalty?” The answer is a resounding yes.