Like a romantic relationship, a business relationship cannot be forced. Not everyone wants a deep and meaningful relationship. Others just do not know how to create and maintain a relationship. It is not something they understand or crave. Traumas from the past can be just as detrimental to customer-business relationships as they are to dating relationships.
Relationship marketing is an approach where sales and brand recognition are increased by establishing strong connections between the customer and the company. This is done by creating business content that is specifically suited to the consumer’s needs and interests. Using relationship marketing theory, your company is building an emotionally-based relationship with the client. Relationship marketing has parallels to maintaining a happy marriage. Just as spending some time on the FTD website and buying flowers for special occasions is a must, sending links to Web content you know is of particular interest to the customer can go a long way to maintaining a long-term relationship.
Attachment Theory posits that not everyone is going to want this type of relationship. According to Attachment Theory, a person’s ability to create relationships is governed by the attachments that he made with his primary caregiver in his infancy. If mommy did not pick him up when he cried, then he may believe people cannot be trusted. This belief gets carried throughout his life and he constructs a wall in all of his relationships, including his business relationships.
New research published in the Journal of Marketing Research shows that Attachment Theory may help in forming marketing relationships. For the same reasons a person may not be able to maintain a romantic relationship, that person will not be able to have a business relationship. To create a customer-business relationship with brand loyalty and continued sales, you need to first teach the customer how to have a relationship.
Predicting Brand Loyalty
Attachment styles are shown to be the most predictive of brand loyalty and sales. A person with a secure attachment style will have loyalty to a brand, whereas a dismissive-avoidant style will elude this relationship. Those with anxious-preoccupied attachments are looking for continuous company interaction. A fear-avoidant attached person will have anxiety about being in a close customer-firm relationship, note Psychology Today. The bottom line of consumer-firm relationship is the customer’s need for closeness. Secure and anxious customers are craving a close relationship with a company, assuming that your firm has a good quality product. There is no relationship style that will overlook poor service or bad products.
Relationship marketing requires that you know and understand your customer. Now, part of your feedback loop needs to a consumer’s attachment style. In surveys, ask relationship questions. You can imbed them as demographic questions but include marriage status and length and dating information.