Relationship Marketing Explained
Relationship marketing doesn’t only consider a better relationship with customer markets but it also considers the development and enhancement of relationships with supplier and recruitment.
Relationships with Suppliers
If the relationships with suppliers are concerned, there is a clear evidence that organisation are moving away from a traditionally adversial relationship to one based mutual support and cooperation. There is increasing awareness of the benefits to be gained by working together to meet the needs of the final consumer.
The specific relationship developed between the organization and its suppliers has been termed “co-makership”. In the relationship, the buyer recognizes the fact that suppliers are very much a part of the final products and that working together with suppliers can increase the benefits of both parties. Strategies aimed at improving relationships with suppliers has been referred to in the service marketing literature as “reverse marketing”.
Relationships with Recruitment Markets
Relationship marketing also involves having a close relationship with the people from human resources to the organisation, that is, recruitment markets. Service organisations need to cultivate long-term relationships with the suppliers of such employees to ensure that they receive both the right quantity and quality of employees.
Relationships with Internal Markets
Employees need to feel that they have formed a long-term relationship with the service provider and have a shared understanding of the mission of the organisation. Human resource strategies need to focus on internal markets and specifically on employee retention. The longer employees stay with the company, the more familiar they become with the business, the more they learn, and the more valuable they can be.
Relationships with Referral Markets
Specific strategies need to be devised to reward the referral sources that generate the most business. Although, traditionally, satisfied customers are the key referral source for service organisations, other sources might include suppliers, other agencies dealing with the company, for instance, banks, and in some cases even competitors.
Relationships with Influence Markets
Influence markets can also affect the strength of the relationship the organisation has with its customers like legislative bodies, political groups, and trade and consumer associations.
Alignment between Marketing, Customer Service and Quality
A relationship marketing orientation involves a closer alignment between three crucial areas, marketing, customer service and quality. Measures aimed at improving customer service levels have often been taken in isolation from quality initiatives. A true relationship marketing orientation would require all three areas to be linked together.
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