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The point of relationship marketing is to create a bond successful long term relationship between the customer and the provider. This is meant to create loyalty on the part of the customer so that customers will be more likely to continue to buy from that particular firm. There are generally said to be three levels of relationship marketing.
At the first level, the customer has little relationship with the firm and is attracted through price incentives. A firm might send out catalogs with discount offers for first time customers. Once the customer begins a relationship with the firm by buying something, the firm starts to try to build that relationship. In the second level, the firm starts to personalize its relations with the customer. A grocery store might produce coupons at check out that are aimed at particular things that a given customer is likely to buy. Finally, the third level involves making the firm have structural connections to the customer. For example, Safeway is currently trying to get customers to download its "app" for their smartphones. A customer would then, for example, use the Safeway app to make their shopping list, thus making it much more likely that they would shop at Safeway than at some other store.
In these ways, relationships get built through three levels in which customers are tied more closely to firms.
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