What Is Customer Relationship Marketing and How to Improve It

Updated: Dec 27, 2019

customer relationship marketing CRM

Marketing is a term so vast that its uses come in various forms and definitions. This includes everything from the digital billboards in Times Square to creating a website to promote your products or services, to the trailers played before a cinema movie. But more surprisingly, the most efficient marketing technique might actually be the way you communicate and build relationships with your customers.

Francis Buttle, author of Relationship Marketing: Theory and Practice, claims:

“Marketing is no longer simply about developing, selling, and delivering products. It is progressively more concerned with the development and maintenance of mutually satisfying long-term relationships with customers.”

Picture the dedicated Apple fanatics who line up in the freezing cold just to get their hands on the brand new iPhone. I’ve walked by these die-hard fans on several occasions and still ask myself “why?” This extreme loyalty does not happen overnight. It takes time, numerous meetings and brainstorming sessions to successfully understand your customers’ desires and needs.

On top of this, this approach is not as obvious and replicable as advertising your videos on Facebook or buying clicks on Google. Yet, the secret we’re about to reveal will help you build your brand’s awareness and make it the only option for your customers.

Without further ado, here is everything you need to know about customer relationship marketing (CRM) and crucial tips to start implementing it for your business:

What is customer relationship marketing?

Commonly known in the marketing world as CRM (not to be confused with customer relationship management), customer relationship marketing is about forming long-term client bonds and customer loyalty, instead of focusing only on immediate sells. Compared to traditional marketing (i.e. flyers, radio, and newspaper print ads), it’s less transactional or hard-selling, and more about the emotional connection that you build.

Customer relationship marketing requires you to be at ease with varied tools, such as collecting feedback to understand your customers better, reading data to improve your processes, or social media to communicate with and empower your followers.

In the long term, those who apply customer relationship marketing are able to create a community of ambassadors and generate lead-worthy clients through word-of-mouth.

handshake customer relationship marketing CRM

Consistent customer service experience

You cannot build a long-term relationship with your customers if you do not have the right communication tools. It’s a good idea to open every possible channel (i.e. phone, email, social media) that you have the resources to ensure your clients know you’re available to help.

At some point, you’ll be facing the opposite issue. An increase of customers usually means more incoming questions asked via your contact options. Even the frustrated clients will start sending you emails in all caps, to the point where your inbox is completely spammed. With more messages, declining first contact resolution (FCR) and long wait times, this is a situation you should absolutely avoid. As a matter of fact, 67% of clients reporting a bad customer experience as the reason for switching businesses.

This is why a help desk software will help you organize and house every client interaction in one place, while providing other powerful tools to keep you afloat. These include creating a contact form for customer inquiries to building a help center to offering live chat software - making communication easy for your agents, customers and business.