In an earlier post, we defined relationship-based marketing and why it’s an important strategy for modern marketing. Let’s assume you buy into this concept, and now you want to know what this looks like in practice. How exactly do you execute successful relationship-based marketing to build trust with your customers?
A few years ago, an infographic went viral that rated various facial hair styles on a scale of trustworthiness, where full beards were ranked as very trustworthy (i.e., Santa Claus) and thick, square mustaches were ranked as very untrustworthy (i.e., Hitler).
Where does clean-shaven Joe CRM fall on the scale?
When you are attempting to establish trust, you want to be Santa Claus-level trustworthy. You want a thick, full beard that makes your customers feel you are a reliable, upstanding company that provides a fair value for their investment.
We’ve got some great examples of how to implement relationship-based marketing. Without further ado, here are some general strategies and some specific actions you can take to grow a lustrous beard.
Be proactive and responsive to customer questions and concerns.
- Don’t wait for negative feedback—be proactive. Follow up after a customer purchases your product or service and ask how it’s working out for them.
- Let customers know that communication is not just a one-way street. Offer ways they can connect with you, whether it’s phone, email, social media, chat, text, or any number of other ways.
- Don’t ignore negative feedback—look at it as an opportunity to quickly address the issue and make it up to the customer. If the interaction is on social media, even better—you can show observers how agile and responsive you are to negative feedback, which shows that you care!
Let customers know their input is valuable.
- Send your customers surveys on their interests, wants and needs. This will help you not only gain a clear picture of your target market, but also make personalized offers for individuals.
- After a customer has purchased a product or service, send out a customer satisfaction survey. Then use that information to make your product or services better.
Help your customers get the most out of your products and services.
- Offer product training in the form of online video demos, training guides, or FAQ’s. If they understand how to use all of your product’s features, chances are they’ll be more satisfied with it.
- Show how the products/services they are currently using can be integrated with other products/services for a more complete experience.
Foster mutually beneficial relationships.
- Implement a reference or referral program. These provide a powerful way of fostering mutually beneficial relationships. After all, your raving fans are your best ambassadors to new customers. Use that to your advantage and offer your current raving fans benefits if they refer in new business.
- Keep your current customers coming back with reward programs. This typically is in the form of a discount for repeat business. Food truck punch cards and frequent flier programs are examples of this.
Tailor your messaging to the individual.
- Send out a happy birthday message to customers on their birthday, along with a coupon for something they’ve shown interest in or have purchased in the past.
- If you’ve sent out customer surveys as suggested above, you can use that information to focus your marketing on the specific products or services they’ve shown interest in.
So…where does CRM fit in?
Relationship marketing is infinitely easier with customer relationship management software (CRM). CRM is smart and versatile enough to automate many of the processes that are describe above. That’s why CRM is becoming such an integral part for not only sales, but marketing and customer service as well. It allows organizations to get a 360-degree view of the customer so that all interactions can be tailored to their unique wants and needs.
PowerObjects has several case studies that showcase specifically how Microsoft Dynamics CRM can be used for relationship-based marketing. Check them out to see how each of these companies uses Microsoft Dynamics CRM to execute relationship-based marketing strategies:
Feel free to chime in—what are some great examples of relationship-based marketing that you’ve experienced or implemented in your own business?