What are customer relationships?
Customer relationships, or customer relations, are the relationships a business or company has with its customers, and how it interacts with and treats them. The relationship you have with your customers will impact your business’ profitability, as strong customer relationships improve customer loyalty, which can increase revenue through repeat purchases.
How can you build customer relationships?
There are several ways you can build strong customer relationships that benefit both them and your business. Here are some examples:
- Emails: Make sure every email your business sends out adds value and is personalized to your customer. Each email you send is a chance to build a connection with your customers, so it’s important that your emails have a purpose and aren’t just there to sell your product. Why not share relevant content, like a useful blog post, or a news piece on the latest happenings in the industry? Send them special offers for products they’re interested in and educate them with valuable information they will care about.
- Seek feedback: Customer feedback is a valuable tool that can help your business understand your customers’ needs and improve their experience. They’ll want to leave feedback and see that their recommendations are being implemented. By asking your customers for feedback, you’re showing that you care about their experience.
- Rewards: By developing a loyalty program for your customers, you’re offering an incentive to retain customers, encouraging them to buy more in the future. Be creative with your rewards so you are giving them something worthwhile that they will appreciate – such as free gifts, or points towards rewards.
What are the types of customer relationships?
There are four types of customer relationships that you can build with your customers, including:
- Transactional customer relationships: Transactional relationships focus solely on the exchange of money for goods or services. This means every interaction the customer has with a brand begins and ends with that transaction – so the brand isn’t looking for loyalty or trust, but sales instead. Transactional relationships often attract customers based on price alone, who are looking to fulfill a short-term need without building a long-term relationship with the brand.
- Emotional customer relationships: These tap into the way the customer is feeling, to then build campaigns and content that draws on those emotions. The outcome is that the customer can connect with your brand and what you are selling. This approach can also help to humanize your brand.
- Community-based customer relationships: Community-based relationships focus on engaging with customers and potential customers to create a lasting impression. Often, a community will be built through a loyalty program to create a group of brand advocates who are loyal to the brand and willing to promote it. Brands that focus on this type of customer relationship are looking to build trust and long-term relationships.
- Value-add customer relationships: In this type of customer relationship, the focus is to create brand loyalty and customer retention. Your business will be looking to fulfill your customers’ needs, and often the customer will be looking for the best value rather than brand loyalty. By focusing on value-add relationships, you will be building loyalty over time by providing value through understanding the customers’ needs.
How to manage customer relationships
Managing customer relationships is vital for a business to thrive. There are several ways you can manage your customer relationships. A popular choice is to use software tools like a customer relationship management (CRM) system to improve your customer relationships and keep everything organized. Alternatively, you can manage your customer relationships without a CRM system, if you:
- Ensure effective communication between your marketing and sales team
- Use built-in integrations to bring data together and access more advanced functionality
- Use Google Sheets, or Excel, as a CRM tool and build separate worksheets for different lead sources with the information you need
- Create a customer management dashboard to have all your data in one place
Why is the customer relationship important?
Customer relationship building is essential to bringing satisfied customers into the fold as strong advocates. Not all customers will participate in your advocacy program, but satisfied customers will influence decision-makers. Loyalty is earned through satisfaction, a positive brand image, and, above all, a personalized relationship built on trust.
Create relationships with existing customers with Influitive
There’s no better way to strengthen your customer relationships than through Influitive’s platform. Influitive’s customer advocacy software can help you create a personalized experience for your customers and reward their loyalty. Request a demo today.
Related Terms: CRM Software, Customer Community, Advocate Experience
Related Resources: Unlocking Hidden Sources Of Advocacy In Your Customer Reference Program