How Should an Exchange Relationship Marketing Strategy Work?
The phrase "exchange relationship marketing" is really a convergence of two distinct concepts. Exchange marketing describes the basic process of a company offering a good or service of value to a customer wiling to buy it. Relationship marketing involves intentional efforts to convert one-time buyers into long-term, loyal customers.
Much of the initial advertising a company generates is intended to create brand awareness and identify a clear value proposition for targeted customers. In general, consumers only make purchases when they believe a good or service is worthwhile, or offers benefits worth the price charged. In your advertising, you want to promote the quality, service, price or other attributes that separate your brand from competitors. Once you get the customer in the door or to your website, you can focus on a purchase exchange
The transaction from a marketing exchange to a long-term relationship begins at the point of sale. Sales or service associates often are charged with beginning the process of converting a buyer into a repeat customer. Some companies ask customers to sign up for loyalty, frequency or membership programs. Others simply ask for a phone number or establish an account of some sort. This setup process establishes a way for you to contact the customer with targeted promotions and track ongoing buying activity.
Loyalty ultimately builds through a sequence of strong, favorable buying experiences. As your customers get more and more accustomed to your quality, service and value, their emotional attachment grows. Emotionally-entrenched buyers often are willing to sacrifice to buy from you. This sacrifice may involve spending more money than competitors charge, driving out of their way to find you and even waiting in line for service. Consistent, friendly, helpful service, along with following up to uncover any problems, are keys to delivering a quality customer experience.
Word-of-mouth marketing occurs when a company's current loyal customers help motivate new customers through positive comments. Much of this occurs through informal conversations. If you deliver an outstanding experience, customers happily share it with friends, family and acquaintances. Social media has enhanced the ability of customers to spread the word. Companies also commonly monitor and engage conversations about them. Some companies offer referral perks to encourage satisfied buyers to refer others.