Want to foster customer loyalty but own very limited marketing budget? Have a look at customer relationship marketing.

Customer relationship marketing focuses on developing long-term relationship with customers. The goal is to build loyal customers rather than to use resources for short-term transactional customer acquisitions.

Different sizes of businesses have something to gain from strong customer loyalty. But for small businesses that only serve a small number of customers, nurturing professional friendships with the customers is a must.

Through experiences the owners have gained wisdom that implementing customer relationship marketing is the way to succeed in business. With the customer centric strategy they know they’ll stay ahead of competitions in capturing client needs and in using the info for retaining the “business asset”.

The Importance Of Relationship Marketing

Relationship marketing is vital for your business if your product or service has an ongoing demand and there are competitive alternatives for your customers to choose from.

But it goes beyond that advantage and the high cost of acquiring new buyers. You can also give clients with other offerings, even if they’re not your own company’s products, to maximize their lifetime value.

The customer relationship marketing strategy applies for both offline and online business. Investing more time and money for nurturing and growing relationships with purchasers are far more productive than trying to convert prospects into buyers.

For that reason let’s talk about how to apply the relationship marketing strategy and how to build and keep up relationships with customers.

Customer Relationship Marketing Example

Like offline consumers, online potential buyers are less likely to respond to mass marketing communication. But online consumers have more control on what they want to view and how they view it.

They can collect the huge amount of information when researching a product they are looking to buy.

Let’s say you have the good or the service that they seek. There is still a long way to go before a website visitor grants his or her money in an exchange for your product or service.

The prospective client may want to relate to you as a real person first.

One way to build a professional friendship with the person is via your blog or through relevant forums. You can also publish periodic newsletters covering issues faced by him or her and their solution options.

Through different point of contacts chances are you can start building relationships with the prospects.

You can show your unique selling proposition and the potential customer will see whether your unique offerings are right for him or her. And if so, the prospect may want to listen to you and value your recommendations as well.

This is what happens when you finally reap what you sow. The relationship creates trust and trust is the starting point of any business transaction. This makes any first time buyer a precious asset for your business.

First, the purchaser trusts your product and your business. And when they are satisfied, they might buy from you again and become repeat customers.

So it’s harder to sell a product to a prospect who never buy from you than a customer who happened to buy from you. For this reason, you want to prioritize your marketing campaigns for your existing customers or, in other words, applying customer relationship marketing.

Implementing Relationships Marketing Strategy

Customer relationship marketing is a process. Relationship building starts the moment you think about building a business and continue as long as you stay in.

You can implement the customer relationship concepts to your website using these 5 steps:

1. Know your customers and what you’re going to offer them.

Whether you’re just starting out or have established your business for sometime you will want to know your potential customers inside-out.

Make sure you understand their profiles, their problems, forums or discussion groups they visit, and words they use. Then use all the info to tailor your marketing approach.

Determine their specific needs, how you are going to meet them and why they should listen to you. Those are all you need to tailor your relationship marketing strategy to your target market.

2. Keep contacts with subscribers.

Try to set up a relationship with each of your prospects, right from the first time they visit your website. Qualified website visitors should be interested in subscribing to your email newsletters.

You can create long-term relationship with your subscribers by sending quality newsletter at periodic intervals.

3. Follow up.

Keep following up by sending quality, relevant information so you remain visible to your subscribers. If you sell a product or a service follow it up with a customer after the sale is made.

This is a great tactic to strengthen relationship and to decrease refund.

4. Serve your customers well.

Answering every request from customers as soon as you receive them is a good way to build a business relationship with them. You can help them learn how to use your product or service using videos, manuals, articles and other media.

Also, remember to ask for feedback from them to show you care about what they have to say and how important they are to you.

5. Sell or recommend only quality products.

Selling only quality products that you can stand behind it is another way for building relationship with your customers.

If you promote affiliate products, take the time to investigate the companies you advocate and promote only products from legitimate companies.

No matter what you have to offer to your prospects and clients, customer relationship marketing is key to the success of your small business online. Using the relationship marketing approach you’ll be on your way to building lifetime customers.