What is 'Relationship Management'

Relationship management is a strategy in which a continuous level of engagement is maintained between an organization and its audience. Relationship management can be between a business and its customers (customer relationship management) or between a business and other businesses (business relationship management). Relationship management is a focus of the financial and investing industries as a way to identify potential cross-sales of products and services.

BREAKING DOWN 'Relationship Management'

Relationship management aims to create a partnership between the organization and its audience rather than consider the relationship merely transactional. Consumers who feel that a business responds to their needs are more likely to continue using the products and services that the business offers. Additionally, maintaining a level of communication with consumers allows the business to identify potential sources of costly problems before they come to a head.

Relationship management involves any process or strategy used to build support or loyalty towards the business or its particular products. Generally, relationship management is performed at the customer level and at the business level to achieve different goals. While a business may choose to hire a relationship manager to oversee these tasks, it may also integrate these duties with other positions, such as marketing or human resources.

Customer Relationship Management

Customer relationship management (CRM) focuses on building a solid rapport between a business and its customers. This includes significant data and sales analysis to maintain the customer's interest in the company and its associated products. CRM can include marketing techniques and post-sale support.

Written media can include a variety of communications, such as sales announcements and newsletters, along with other forms of customer engagement during the development phases of new product lines or versions, such as post-sale surveys. Video media ranging from commercials to tutorials may also be included in the customer relationship experience.

A marketing department is highly involved in maintaining the customer relationship, as it often develops the campaigns used to increase new customer interest and increase long-term customer loyalty. Further involvement from the sales and customer support areas are also involved, as they help generate customer interest and provide support after the sale.

Business Relationship Management

Maintaining a positive relationship with vendors, suppliers, distributors and other business associates can also benefit from relationship management. This can include dispute management and ensuring that all contractual agreements are meeting the other party's expectations.

Sales that are focused on providing a business with supplies or materials often require significant relationship management. In these cases, the targeted business performs the role of the customer for the business looking to make a sale, and it often requires similar care in obtaining and maintaining the relationship for the long term.

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