Relationship marketing is about building long-term relationships with clients rather than trying to close a one-off deal with clients. Relationship marketing tries to boost customer loyalty by providing exemplary products and services.
Among marketing expert and activist there are lot definitions of customer relationship marketing and below are some:
“Relationship marketing is to identify and establish, maintain and enhance and, when necessary, terminate relationships with customers and other stakeholders, at a profit so that the objectives of all parties are met; this is done by mutual exchange and the fulfillment of promises.” (Gronroos 1994)
“Relationship marketing is a strategy designed to foster customer loyalty, interaction and long-term engagement. It is designed to develop strong connections with customers by providing them with information directly suited to their needs and interests and by promoting open communication. I view relationship marketing as a brand’s ability to create an emotional connection with the consumer” (Steve Olenski 2013)
“Thinking in terms of having customers, not merely acquiring customers” (Berry 1983)
“Relationship marketing is about forming long-term relationships with customers. Not only obtaining a one-time sale, relationship marketing tries to build up customer loyalty by providing consistent satisfaction on products and services. This is different than most normal advertising practices that focus on a single transaction; watch ad A and buy product B. Relationship marketing, by contrast, is usually not linked to a single product or offer. It involves a company refining the way they do business in order to maximize the value of that relationship for the customer”. (http://www.marketing-schools.org/types-of-marketing/relationship-marketing.html)
Generally, relationship marketing is a marketing method that serves for the purpose of building and managing relationships and long-term trust with customers, with suppliers as well as with all other agents in the market. The goal of the relationship marketing is to bring long-term value for customers to earn their consistent satisfaction that is the measure of the success of the business. This approach also aims to build stronger relationships with existing customers, to strengthen their faith in the quality of products and to encourage reuse of enterprise’s products.
Relationship marketing mainly involves the improvement of internal operations. Many customers leave a company not because they didn’t like the product, but because they were frustrated with the customer service. If a business streamlines its internal operations to satisfy all service needs of their customers, customers will be happier even in the face of product problems.
Technology also plays an important role in relationship marketing. The Internet has made it easier for companies to track, store, analyze and then utilize vast amounts of information about customers. Customers are offered personalized ads, special deals, and expedited service as a token of appreciation for their loyalty. Social media sites allow business to engage their customers in an informal and ongoing way. In the past, it would have been impossible to keep useful records about every single client, but technology makes it easy for companies to automate their marketing efforts.
Branding is the final component of relationship marketing. A company can form a long-term relationship with a client if that client feels like the brand they purchase reflects who they are or who they want to be. Customers are less inclined to switch to a different brand if they think that switch makes a statement about their identity.