As we’ve reached a new year and have made new resolutions that we hope will last more than two weeks, it’s the time of year where we have to decide how we’re going to improve and expand in 2017.
For business owners, it should be a focus on relationships. Relationships within your company between employees and upper management. Relationships with potential consumers. Relationships with current clients. You should value every single relationship you have in your personal and professional life. With an understanding of the importance of relationships, you’ll expand, improve, and grow your business’s bottom line.
Marketing in today’s digital era is all about providing value. How are you getting your message across to be heard in a crowded online marketplace?
When you take the time to establish relationships, you’ll be providing more value than you know. You’ll be speaking directly to your customer, ensuring each interaction is personalized and they’ll know it’s coming from your brand.
At 1SEO.com Digital Agency, our entire client base was built through a focus on relationship marketing. Our goal with every client and every conversation is to provide a new value and build loyalty that leads to a long-term relationship.
How are we—and how should you—focus on the value of relationship marketing as we start a new year?
When you have the potential to land a new sale or nurture a prospect into a loyal patron or customer, it’s all about customer service. If your customers aren’t having a great experience with your customer service, you have no shot of developing a lasting relationship.
You have to make a personalized experience. Through every interaction, every conversation, show your clients they are valued. For every business, this type of personalization will vary, but the core message remains the same.
Restaurants, for example, will treat you with the decency and respect you deserve to ensure you have a great dining experience. Those in the home service industry will provide free quotes, help you understand what work needs to be done, and deliver an accurate timeline that informs you exactly when you can expect a project to be completed.
Every business is focusing on the experience of the customer. The way they are treated, the impact you have on their lives, and the value you are showing will help result in a long-time customer. Provide the customer service that makes each customer feel like they are valued and personally recognized.
You’re the expert. Your customers have questions. Listen to them! If you are too short with your responses or seemingly answer a completely different question, that’s not very good customer service. It tells your customers they aren’t valued and you don’t listen to their needs.
Listen to the praises for your company and listen to the complaints. The complaints can help you right the wrongs and get your relationship back on the right track. You can learn what your customers aren’t understanding or what they’re concerned about, as well as how they view your relationship.
You can take their feedback to improve your service and help make sure they understand the work that you’re doing or the function of the products you’re offering.
In digital marketing, we focus on listening through social media channels and all communication. Whether you’ve left a comment for us on social, we’re on the phone, communicating through email, or sitting across from each other in person, we listen.
We listen with the intent to understand, not just the intent to reply.
Communication is essential. It’s as important as listening, but your communication has to speak to the customer. We’re not all experts in your field, so use common language. I hear all the time that some of my work needs to be dumbed down because not everyone will understand.
If you speak and communicate with your audience at a level they can comprehend, you’ll make them feel more valued. If you’re talking over their head just to make yourself seem smart, they may think you’re coaxing them into a purchase or contract and feel uncomfortable working with you in the future.
Learn how to communicate appropriately. It goes a long way in relationship marketing.
Not every piece of marketing has to be a promotion. Take some time to speak to your audience and educate them. They want to learn rather than be sold to. While you may be thinking of that sale, at the end of the day you’d rather have that customer for months or years that one sale on one day.
It’s a crowded marketplace and online consumers are tired of being sold to. Especially in certain industries. With remarketing ads, you scroll through your news feeds and stumble upon a brand you’ve visited five days ago and had no intention of buying. Now you can’t escape the product. Stop trying to sell, sell, sell.
Offer your customers a chance to learn. Identify the issues they’re concerned about and provide your information for free. Reading an article or consuming a piece of content that is meant to learn rather than sell will work wonders in your relationship marketing.
If every time you post or send an email, you ask the viewer to buy something, they’ll get tired of your brand. Give them a lesson, educate them on your services, and they’ll contact you for more information.
Ask your customers to provide an honest opinion of their interaction and experience with your brand. This allows you to gain insights into the feeling of your customers. You can clear up a lot of questions to determine if you’re communicating clearly and maintaining a strong relationship or if there are areas for improvement.
Surveys help you gather a majority opinion. They should be focused on obtaining information that you can use to develop stronger relationships in the future and amend some relationships that may be on the brink of ending.
Earning Trust Through Relationship Marketing
When you maintain a focus on relationships, you’re showing your customers that you care. You’re treating them as if they were a part of your extended family. That’s the approach we take at 1SEO.com Digital Agency.
That’s the approach that will lead to happy customers and a long-term relationship. We always provide time for our clients to come into our offices and speak with us face-to-face, or we’ll travel to yours.
For service based industries vying for clients, make sure you’re available to answer any questions or clear up any concerns to keep a valued relationship with your customer. Even if you have everything else in place from a digital marketing standpoint, if you offer poor customer service and a subpar relationship experience, you’re not going to retain any customers.
Start to focus on relationship marketing in the New Year and retain your customers and earn loyalty.