From initial contact to sale completion, there is no part of the sales pipeline that isn’t entirely focused on the customer. After all, customer satisfaction is the lifeblood of any business. Helping potential clients complete the journey towards purchase finalization is the definition of business, but what about after the purchase has been finalized? Once the transaction is complete, should companies end the customer relationship? Is the customer journey a one-time event?

Obviously, the answer is no. Customers who complete their journey are ripe to start a new one. Studies show that repeat customers are actually more profitable than first-time customers, spending on average 67% more per purchase, while costing 10 times less to acquire.

Additionally, these repeat customers provide more than just increased revenue. As clients continue to do business with your organization, they become more intimately acquainted with the products and services you offer. This puts the clients in a prime position to deliver knowledgeable feedback from a customer perspective. This is invaluable for businesses. In fact, 70% of companies that are considered best in class for customer experience rely on customer feedback.

Client feedback can be used to predict future trends in the market, and to identify areas within a company’s strategy that need improvement. As organizations use this feedback to optimize the customer experience, more and more customers become repeat customers. Eventually, those repeat customers may even become brand advocates. 61% of customers share their shopping experiences with friends and family members. In short, client satisfaction, both before and after the original sale, can lead to improved business growth.

 
Learn how to connect every interaction across email, mobile, advertising, and the web — along with sales and service — into a seamless customer experience.

Of course, it’s one thing to recognize the need for improved customer satisfaction, and something else entirely to provide it. The customer journey is often more complex than it appears on paper. With each new customer, new challenges will manifest. At the same time, each potential customer brings with them massive amounts of data that can be used to feed you business metrics and analytics. As your business grows, so does the overall complexity of handling customers.

Customer relationship management (CRM) was designed to help businesses get a handle on their clients and provide an exceptional customer experience every time. Its effectiveness speaks for itself: the average ROI for a CRM platform is a whopping $8.71 earned for every dollar spent. However, when it comes to repeat customers, a more specific relationship management tool may be needed. This is where customer relationship marketing comes in.

Relationship marketing can be difficult to distinguish from conventional CRM. A simple relationship marketing definition is a specific function of a broader CRM system, one that focuses specifically on long-term customer retention and brand loyalty. However, to really define relationship marketing, you need to understand its goals.  

Customer relationship marketing is a sales approach that exists to create emotionally invested brand advocates from repeat customers. These positive long-term customer relationships result not only in increased returns from the loyal customers themselves, but also lead to new client contacts. Customer relationship marketing tools are designed to keep customers interested, and to provide uniquely targeted value as they continue to give you their business. In order to do that effectively, they need to be able to perform certain tasks:

  • Provide customer-focused service
    For a customer relationship marketing strategy to encourage continued business, it needs to ensure a great experience, every time. It must focus on the customer, rather than on the product or service being offered. By using CRM technology to create an in-depth profile of each customer, marketers can better understand exactly what their customers are looking for. They can also communicate directly with their customers more easily through social-media inspired channels. Such hassle-free conversation options promote better understanding and coordination between buyer and seller.

  • Anticipate client needs
    Understanding what a client wants is only part of the equation. Superior relationship marketing tools use advanced data analytics to forecast customer needs. How is this possible? The more customer data you have, the better you’ll be able to predict behavior. Customer relationship marketing captures and analyzes data from a variety of sources, and uses that information to create highly accurate customer models. Businesses can then use those models to foresee trends, and to provide clients with what they want, even before the client knows that they want it.

  • Promote customer loyalty
    To ensure that customers are coming back again and again, businesses need to do more than just provide a good product. Customer loyalty programs give clients a reason to choose your business over another that might likewise be offering a worthwhile product and customer experience. Relationship marketing tools can enhance rewards programs by making it possible for business organizations to accurately segment their client pool, keep track of purchase histories, and communicate special member-only offers and discounts.

  • Create story-driven advertising
    Today, the average client is far more informed, and less willing to trust traditional advertising methods. Modern advertising focuses less on telling customers what to do, and more on getting customers emotionally invested. To do this, advertisers are relying on storytelling.

By engaging customers through humorous or compelling narratives that align closely to your company’s values and mission statement, you can make sure your customers are taking personal relationship into account when making buying decisions. 92% of customers say they want brands to focus on creating story-driven advertisements. Data-enhanced relationship marketing empowers businesses to do just that, giving them the information they need to create advertisements that clients care about.

Relationship-based marketing relies heavily on CRM and cloud technology. Salesforce has long been recognized as the world leader in cloud-based CRM tools, and with the introduction of the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, those tools can be put to work as part of your relationship marketing strategy.

Marketing Cloud is completely integrated with our award-winning CRM. That means that it not only functions as a powerful data analysis and customer relationship tool, it also is entirely cloud based and 100% mobile functional. You won’t have to install any expensive or bulky on-site hardware. As long as you have a desktop, laptop, or mobile device, you and your team will be able to access the complete tool and all its data in real time. Improved team coordination, data collection and analysis, customer profiling, and buyer-seller communication are all part of the package.

 
Join us for the webinar where we will provide you with real-world, no-fluff guidance for mapping and implementing journeys in your organization.

Customers don’t just want to purchase a good product. They want to enjoy the experience of purchasing a good product. In fact, how “likeable” a marketing effort is is the most accurate determiner of whether or not it will lead to improved sales. When clients find themselves excited about the service you offer, then they’ll be sure to come back. Turn your customers into brand evangelists with the Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and experience the rewards that come from giving your repeat customers a rewarding experience.

Ask about Salesforce products, pricing, implementation, or anything else — our highly trained reps are standing by, ready to help.

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