Relationships that last – The art of relationship management

  • Did you know that 40-60% of B2B audiences are identifiable when using Visitor Identification Software?

It started with “hello”… and was preceded by a ‘follow’ on twitter, a couple of emails, a meeting, and a jolly card at Christmas. Building and sustaining relationships in business is not all that different to those within social circles; whether it’s a supplier, an affiliate or a customer, it takes some TLC to make the relationship last.

Whilst a great product or service can speak volumes, it’s often the promotional activities and marketing communication that keeps the customer relationship alive.

Targeting the right audiences

In order to reach the right people, you need to be in the right places at the right times; visibility and accessibility are key. Understanding where to find your current and prospective customers is crucial to establishing, building and maintaining customer relationships, and making the most of your resources when doing so.

In order to really maximise your reach to relevant audiences, it’s important to diversify your channels of communication and to think outside of the box….

  • What are your audiences’ professional and social networking habits?
  • Are they members of any clubs or associations?
  • What publications (online and offline) do they read?
  • What social media platforms do they use? How do they engage with its content?
  • Who are their influencers?
  • What events and exhibitions do they attend? Why are they there?

Managing relationships and engaging audiences

Once you’ve identified and targeted the audiences that are relevant to your business, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, as the name suggests, aids you in managing your customer base – be they current or prospective clients. By documenting client details, preferences and interactions, businesses gain a better understanding of communication to reflect their requirements.

If business contacts are on social media, make sure to optimise engagement by following them, thinking about what content intrigues them and seeing what they are saying about you. By keeping yourself informed, it allows you to be proactive in business-customer interaction and build a stronger relationship in the hopes of customer loyalty and retention.

Mailing lists – be they email or postal – are another effective means of managing and maintaining relationships through communication. HTML email campaigns are perfect for low-cost mass communication that integrates well with other online channels (linking to specific content, the company website or social media profiles) in addition to providing invaluable analysis or reader engagement. For a more personal and heart-felt sentiment, posted correspondence may be better received by certain contacts, or personal emails, this should be noted in the CRM system for future reference.

Visitor identification software can add a new dimension to your CRM system (depending on which system and software you utilise) by alerting you when an existing contact is on your website. This allows you to be more active in serving your customers’ needs by pre-empting their enquiry or following up with them at a later date if an enquiry isn’t made at that time.

For more tips and advice on how to target the right audiences and how to keep them engaged once you do, contact us to arrange a Business Development Audit now!

Author: Sindy Foster