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February 2, 2011

Create Customer Loyalty and Increase Sales

Most times when people are searching the Internet, they are looking for an answer to a question or problem that they face. Perhaps they are trying to quit smoking or are looking for tourist attractions for a family vacation.

Regardless of their need, they want to find information that is of value to them. As more competition and successful online businesses are on the web, launching an effective online marketing campaign has become increasingly important.

One of the keys to building a successful online business is to create a business that truly values and appreciates current customers and prospects. Building a strong relationship of trust is important, and starts with your first encounter with your customer and continues through each interaction or “point of contact” you have with this person. All it takes is one negative experience with a customer to lose that person’s trust, and potentially their business.

When visitors are on your website they can read your headline and decide if they are interested in reading more of the information you have on your site. They will continue reading if they are engaged and intrigued and if they are interested in learning more about what you have to say. This is a great place to start building a relationship with a customer. Understand the wants and desires of your customers so that your content resonates with readers and encourages them to read your email or come back to your site.

Creating a connection with customers and visitors to your website is an important way to gain someone’s commitment and loyalty. A loyal customer will not only be more inclined to buy from you, but will also encourage others to buy from you as well. There is nothing more powerful than “word of mouth” marketing, where customers recommend your business to family and friends. Not only is it a credible way to promote your business, with no work on your part, but it’s free!

Relationship marketing has always been an effective way to market in the offline world and now has become an integral part of the marketing mix for online marketers as well. It can be more difficult online to build a relationship without face time, but it can be achieved by implementing effective marketing methods and techniques. Effective methods and tips to help build a positive customer relationship include:

1. Ensuring that each and every interaction with your customer is a positive one.

2. Following-through on commitments and claims about products or services.

3. Offering product benefits and values that respond to the customer’s desires.

4. Treating customers as individuals who are respected and valued.

5. Listening to customers, it’s true that even complaints can help your business as you learn from mistakes and take the necessary actions to improve your business.

6. Availability and accessibility when customers have questions, concerns, or comments.

7. Providing your customers with valuable information is essential, however you don’t want to spam them and come off as invasive.

8. Making your website user-friendly and easy to navigate for new and existing customers.

9. Creating a blog about your business where discussion is more casual and inviting.

Relationship marketing is not just a fad. It’s here to stay and people want to know that they are valued and appreciated as an individual. Creating long term relationships with customers helps you business grow through word of mouth and repeat sales. It also encourages existing customers to refer their colleagues, friends, and others to your website. Never take any customer for granted. Each and every interaction with a customer is a gift and should be valued.

Tara Walsh has an MBA in Marketing, is a Marketing Executive at a multi-billion dollar corporation, and is an Entrepreneur. She is also a devoted wife and mother. Want to learn more about how to create customer loyalty? Visit Tara’s Blog at =>