Oracle Ideas

How to get out of a ‘relationship rut’ with customers

Ms Janet Kamau Thiongo, Marketing Manager,
Ms Janet Kamau Thiongo, Marketing Manager, Africa. PHOTO | COURTESY  

In my last article, I talked about the 5 Tenets of Modern Marketing. Modern marketing is all about relationships; relationships with your prospects, customers, Sales, IT, Executives etc.

A good number of marketers need help creating better relationships with at least one, if not all, of these different groups.

I think that’s likely true for most companies. Really, who hasn’t experienced a ‘relationship rut’ at some point in time?

Putting our internal stakeholder relationships aside, let’s focus on the relationships that have the highest priority — our customers. And let’s include prospects in with that too — after all, they are future customers.

Think about all the ways you communicate with your customers throughout the entire customer lifecycle — do you clearly communicate at each stage so that you are the trusted voice when it comes to the space that your products and services occupy? Do you even have a defined customer lifecycle?

Customer lifecycle programs nurture relationships

This graphic represents the continuous customer lifecycle and the expectations that customers have at each stage. The left half represents the buying stages of a customer, while the right half represents the stages that drive customer loyalty and retention.

As you can see, there are many opportunities to engage your customers.

Today’s savvy customers expect companies to create meaningful experiences for them. To do this effectively, customers expect companies to know who they are, engage them with personalized, relevant information, and to lead them by anticipating their future needs and maintaining loyalty.

There are a lot of possibilities for nurture programs that align at each stage of the lifecycle. Here’s a list of ideas to get you started:

Having a defined customer lifecycle will help to ensure that you avoid ‘relationship ruts’ with your customers. Be sure to nurture your customer relationships by communicating often through each stage of the lifecycle and this will help to build loyalty and trust.