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Stefan Kazakis on 11 March 2017

This month we are focusing on marketing and the importance of ensuring we are attracting and retaining customers.

So having defined what our Ideal Target Market was last week, this week are looking at how to enhance our positioning leverage through existing relationships - in simple terms lets look at how we develop a relationship marketing plan.

So what is Relationship Marketing? It's everything you do to develop strong, lifelong relationships with your customers. And why is this important?

Chances are your delighted customers are going to talk to others who are looking for the same solution. They’ll happily recommend you. Referrals come from people who were on their way to a bridge when you stepped in and guided them across yours. Once you’ve taken them from A to B and they are delighted on the other side, then they will help guide people across your bridge for you!  And even better, we all trust referrals when they come from somebody we know, so we’re much more likely to act on them. Can you think of anything better for your business than to have provided high level customer engagement that earns you the right for repeat business and a genuine introduction to a trusted friend? 

When your business runs like this, three people profit from every transaction. Your client is happy because you have taken them from frustration to freedom, the referred client is happy because they have been given the ‘red carpet VIP treatment because they have been referred, and you are happy because your delighted customer will come back again and again and also refer others to your business. This is the greatest business model anywhere, ever. It looks like this:

There is a distinct difference between loyalty and repeat business. Loyalty is much more valuable. Loyalty is when your customers are not swayed by cheaper, trendy or newer products. They continue doing business with you as they trust that your innovation will continuously be improved.

Loyal customers don’t bother researching the competition or entertaining other options. Loyalty is not easily won; hence it takes a very committed business to build a ‘customer community’ that is genuinely for life. That’s what you need to be aiming for.

Be honest about communicating with your clients to help build your business as you provide them with the results they want. Ask them what you do well, what you could do better, why they came to you – anything that will help you serve them better in the future. It is a good and very reasonable conversation to be having. Many business owners don’t do this because they feel they are imposing, but it’s not imposing at all. It’s asking them to help, and in return they’ll get bigger and better service from you. If you turn your customers into raving fans they will be more than happy to have this conversation with you. 

Success is not an event, it’s a process and a mindset. In world-class businesses it’s an ongoing process of change and evolution. Providing great service is an investment in your business that creates an ongoing cycle of further growth and provides increasing ROI for your clients.

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