Turn Your Customers Into Friends

Guest writer, Chad Rueffert, President of Braintree Marketing, Inc., and the creator of the “From Your Friends” relationship marketing program.

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Do you spend more time trying to attract new customers than you do working to retain the customers you already have?
It may be time to consider a relationship marketing strategy.

The term “relationship marketing” is not a new one. Marketing professors at leading universities coined the term in the early 1980’s and it’s been a staple of big business ever since. Put simply, relationship marketing is a strategy for DECREASING customer turnover and INCREASING customer loyalty.

If there is a secret to building trust, generating customer loyalty, ensuring repeat business, and creating referrals, it’s to stop thinking about your buyers as “customers” and instead, turn them into “friends.”

There is a big difference between a “customer” and a “friend.” Customers shop around for the best price or respond to the latest marketing lure. Friends remain loyal. Customers are skeptical of your claims and question your motives. Friends trust speak out about your product or service only when dissatisfied. Friends actively promote your success.

So how do you turn a customer into a friend? Try these four simple steps.

Show appreciation.
As a kid, every time you complained about
having to write a thank you note to your aunt
or uncle or grandmother for a present, your
mother would ask a simple question, “Do you
want them to stop sending you presents?” It’s
the same with customers. You must quickly,
constantly and genuinely say “thank you”
every time you have the opportunity.

Stay in constant contact.
A salesperson who disappears after the
sale is made proves that she was only in it
for the money. Follow up and continued
communication after the sale shows a genuine
interest in your customer’s satisfaction.

Talk about more than just business.
To turn your customer into a friend, you must
of your transaction. If all you ever talk about is
business, then you’ll never be more than just
another salesperson or vendor to that customer.
You need to created shared experiences that go
beyond the exchange of money for services.

Reward your customers for their
relationship with you.
Friendship is a two-way street where both partners
bene t. You customer helped build your business.
What have you done to help build theirs? Beyond
the assistance you gave them in their transaction,
have they received anything of value from you?
Relationship marketing is especially important
in industries like real estate with long gaps
between purchases and a high value on
referrals. Creating an ongoing relationship
with your customers ensures you’ve laid
the groundwork for future sales success.

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The From Your Friends relationship marketing program is exclusive to Coldwell Banker D’Ann Harper, REALTORS® and is designed to help you build referrals and repeat business. Each month your sphere of influence is sent a new and personalized offer at a local restaurant, attraction or merchant. If you would like more information on enrolling in this innovative program – email us at pr@cbharper.com or visit: www.fromyourfriends.com