Dating and marketing have been compared so many times that the comparison is starting to feel a little cliché. They both feature the word “relationship” heavily, which makes it pretty easy. They also both rely on communication and intelligent responses to feedback. If you want to succeed as a business, building relationships with your customers is essential.
1. Returning customers offer repeat profits
If a customer has a positive experience and engages with your brand, they will think of you again when they need a product or service. Every repeat customer you get is return on marketing dollars. You don’t have to spend money marketing to keep drawing that customer back; their relationship with your business is what brings them back.
2. Word of mouth has gone viral
Word of mouth is more powerful than ever before. Between online review sites and the power of social media, your customers can talk about your company 24/7 if they want to. A good recommendation can bring your business incredible reach. Even if your brand doesn’t get praise from a celebrity, the outreach potential of even an average social media account continues to soar. Build good relationships (and establish a social media presence) to gain access to the best advertising on Earth.
3. People need to trust your company
Building a relationship with a customer builds their trust. Today, customers don’t buy anything until they feel they can trust the company that sells it. Show your customers that you understand their concerns and you’re speaking their language. Once you’ve built that relationship through marketing, blogging, and product descriptions they’ll be confident that you can solve their problem.
4. People want to feel included
Customers want to feel like they’re on the inner circle. Relationship-based marketing lets customers feel like influencers. They are more likely to remember and choose your brand because they feel this emotional connection. This motivates other reasons on this list, like talking you up on social media.
5. Relationships help you refine your marketing
Relationships can show you who your customers are. This can help you build new marketing campaigns that will broaden your existing customer base without alienating them. If your relationship is just one-sided, you put out content into the ether and wait to see if conversions improve. With active relationships you can see which notes resonate with your audience and where you need to change your tune.
6. Honest feedback is how you improve
The sound of a dying company isn’t a flood of angry complaints. The sound is silence. A relationship with your customers allows you to gage their engagement with your brand. Cutting critique is difficult to swallow, but if your customers feel familiarity and connection to your company you’ll get it. You can then use that feedback to adjust course. Alternatively, they leave without a word and you may not notice until it’s too late.
Marketing relationships and dating relationships aren’t the same, but you can carry over key points. Knowing where you stand is important. Knowing what parts of your message are getting through is incredibly valuable. In the end, the quality of your relationship is the difference between success and failure.