Relationships are the basis of our connections with consumers, existing customers, potential clients, fellow employees, and peers. If there were a way to distinguish your marketing technique from one relationship style to the next, would you take advantage of that? Of course you would. To better understand what relationship marketing is, put yourself in the shoes of a customer service representative. They’re not the ones coming up with the advertisements or marketing strategies, however, they are the ones portraying a sense of individualism from one customer to the next in order to form authentic relationships. As marketers, we need to be more like those customer service reps if we hope to develop sincere, lasting relationships between our business and its consumers.

The difference between selling our product on the sales floor and selling ourselves as advocates for our business will be the way in which we attempt to draw in consumers. Rather than pitch a tangible item, our goal is to create a bond between customers and the brand our business stands behind. If this task is achieved, we will find ourselves in a profitable position resulting from positive word-of-mouth, long-lasting business ties, and accurate consumer information. We’ve come up with 4 ways you can maneuver relationship marketing into your existing marketing strategy to gain lasting consumer relationships.

Network: Anywhere & Everywhere

When we think of our typical networking experience, we picture ourselves in business attire, snacking on hors d’oeuvres in a formal setting of some sort. That depiction of networking should be tossed out, only to be replaced with an image that involves you in any and every setting imaginable. The opportunity to network lies in the eye of the beholder. There’s no better time to talk about what you’re passionate about than the present and no better person to talk about it with than the one standing right in front of you.

Make Yourself Available

Customer service representatives make themselves available at all hours of the day to be sure they’re providing avid communication for any and all consumers. The same should be said for marketing; only rather than open up your phone line for FAQ, provide all necessary information regarding your business in an accessible location. If you find your site or business isn’t getting much traffic, make consumers come to you by sending out information that could be helpful. This could include newsletters, informative emails, promotions, and updates via social media. Keeping communication lines open in multiple forms will allow you to become more approachable and leaves the impression that you’re always available for your consumers.

Ask For Feedback

No one wants to feel as if they’re constantly being bombarded for information, whether it’s their own personal information or a rating of their satisfaction. However, in customer relationship management, it’s necessary to ask for feedback to ensure that the consumer was helped to the best of your ability. In our case as marketers, we want to know if customers are finding the information on our website helpful and effective, or how they felt when they were guided through a purchase up until the very end when they experience post-purchase satisfaction. No matter what step in the process we’re going through with an individual, asking them how they feel about things will not only allow for improvements in future engagements, but will also give off the message that you truly care about the experience you’re providing for that consumer.

Utilize Online Engagement

Social media platforms are a great way to establish a relationship with your consumers. As companies grow in size, they often seem to outgrow the period where they value each individual consumer by thanking them for a follow or commenting back to a question. If you’re a growing business, don’t make the mistake of neglecting your consumers. It could be something as simple as mentioning someone in a response to a statement online or reaching out to a follower to thank them for their positive post about your business’s product or service. No matter what form of interaction you take part in, the one-on-one engagement gives off the message that you’re personally acknowledging that consumer for their role in your business. That small gesture will be enough to keep them coming back as loyal consumers!