March 10, 2006

News & Opinion: The Art of Building Relationships

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 5:19 PM – Filed under: Marketing & Sales

I believe the statistic is that it costs five times as much to obtain a new customer as it does to keep a current one (sometimes I've heard that it's seven times as much). It shows that building relationships with current customers is extremely important.
You could call it Playing Defense (rather than offensively seeking out new customers and stealing them from competitors). In Inc.'s March '06 issue, they give the example of Datastreem Systems who's approach is to "go deep" not wide. They build better relationships with current customers rather than focus on acquiring new customers.
Four tactics given to build relationships are to:
  1. Leverage your strengths.

  2. Keep rivals guessing.

  3. Know when to retreat.

  4. Make customer satisfaction a priority.

The question of the day is: how do you build relationships wtih your customers?

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.