Tag Archives: repeat customer

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.

The Value of the Experience

26 Jun
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A forgettable experience won’t bring customers back through your doors – an unforgettable positive one will.

All of today’s shopping, dining and entertainment experiences are just that – experiences.  It’s more important than ever to engage customers and tether them to your distinct brand – what makes you different from your competition down the street or a purchase made online?  The answer to this question – and the way it’s conveyed to your current customers – will keep them coming back for more.

Let’s face it, in today’s marketplace, it takes more work to make [and keep] the sale.  Consumers have higher expectations, expect more value, look for discounts and demand better service – so your business has to focus on how to integrate or improve upon these factors.  Use these influencers to your advantage by enticing customers to buy from you based on what they want, not what you think they should be getting.  Maybe you can’t offer the best price, but you can give excellent service and you sell an amazing product – focus on your strengths and what makes your business unique to the customer so they’ll want to purchase from you.

Remember that the consumer experience does not end with the purchase; that’s just the beginning.  Large and small ‘follow ups’ post-purchase are necessary to keep your business top-of-mind with the consumer.  The establishment and retention of these types of relationships are becoming almost as critical as the actual product itself.  We know that your current customers are your most qualified leads, but just because they purchase from you once doesn’t guarantee repeat business.  So it’s up to you to nurture these relationships and create a strong connection between these customers and your business.  This can be accomplished via targeted direct response [email and direct mail], personal phone calls, yearly birthday messages, etc.  Stay connected to these customers to keep your business top-of-mind.

Businesses [especially privately owned ones] need to concentrate on selling the experience and differentiating themselves from the competition.  It’s the positive and unique experience that will fuse a customer to your business – not the device they take with them.  A forgettable experience won’t bring customers back through your doors – an unforgettable positive one will.

In this industry, our Associates are selling a lifestyle improvement, not merely a device.  The device is the solution, but the customers’ journey is actually more important.  Focus on the journey, the factors that are important to the customer and encouraging them to always travel back through your doors!

Remember these tips:

  • How is your business unique?  What differentiates you from the competition?   Use the answers to these questions to help your business stand out.
  • Raise the bar [especially related to service] to meet consumers’ increasing expectations.
  • Keep current customers connected to your business to encourage loyalty and repeat sales.