Building Relationships Will Build Your Business

7 Oct

business-conversation

All too often, business owners make the mistake of focusing solely on transactional marketing. This form of marketing takes a “one and done” approach and emphasizes the short-term goal of a single sale. Some business owners fall into the routine of running an ad or dropping a mailer with the sole intent of attracting “new” customers in order to meet short-term goals. However, when you exist in this transactional state, you may lose sight of the strategies needed to sustain your business over the long-run. There was a time not long ago when we could get by with this approach, but competitive forces have changed the marketing landscape. Let us help you shift your mindset to also embrace customer engagement and become a relationship marketer.

What is relationship marketing?

Relationship marketing is the practice of nurturing personal connections with your customers in order to build long-term brand loyalty. While implementing traditional marketing initiatives – direct mailers, ads, inserts, etc. – will get the conversation started, building relationships with your audience will keep that conversation going. Customers who are loyal to your practice will become your brand advocates. They will be using the most effective form of marketing for your business for FREE – word of mouth. Fostering relations with your brand advocates through relationship marketing is key in growing your referral program through word of mouth, social media interactions and online reviews.

 How do I practice relationship marketing?

Relationship marketing is essential in the healthcare industry – patients want to know that they are truly being cared for, and not just seen as a potential sale. The best approach to strengthen connections with current patients is to continually reach out to them with relevant messaging in the media they prefer. Staying in touch with patients through phone calls, birthday cards, and personalized letters makes them feel they are getting special attention. These efforts help to create a connection that moves you beyond a transactional relationship.  Some great ways to stay connected are through your tested-not sold and out-of-warranty patients or by following up with other specific segments of your database.

Additionally, the patient experience is impacted by every member of your staff. Consider each contact with customers a single touch point within a larger experience. Every interaction is a chance to enhance the customer experience and build upon that coveted relationship. A positive principle to remember: build relationships first, transactions will follow!

If you are interested in learning more about how AHAA can help your practice grow through relationship marketing, contact your Associate Manager or AHAA Marketing.

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