Building long term relationships with customers is a key to sustainable businesses. So how can you build such relations with your customers? Building relationships mainly relies on the interaction which the company has with its customers. This interaction can come in the form of distributors (many customers), retail as well as direct sales executive. Each channel is different and has its own set of interactions.
Thus, there are five different levels identified for relationship marketing thereby improving customer service and customer satisfaction. These five levels of relationship marketing are as follows
1 – Basic Marketing – The salesperson sells to the final customers. This is also known as direct sales.
2 – Reactive Marketing – The sales person sells the product and encourages the customer to call for any comments or enquiries.
3 – Accountable Marketing – The sales person calls the customers to ensure whether the product is working as per satisfaction and if there is any problem in the product. Furthermore he also asks the customer for any suggestions / feedback to improve the service / product. Thus he is taking responsibility for the sale.
4 – Proactive marketing – The company works continuously with its large customers to help improve performance. This is especially seen in financial companies wherein the movement in the financial market induces the company to make changes regularly. However at the same time, these financial companies have to take care of their customers as well. Thus they take regular feedback from their large customers thereby developing their products accordingly.
5 – Partnership Marketing – The company works continuously with its large customers to improve its performance. An example would include General Electric which has stationed Engineers to its third party service centers to improve overall performance. Thus even in partnerships GE is ensuring optimal relationship development with the parent brand.
The following image tells us which type of relationship marketing has to be used in what kind of businesses.
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