Relationship Marketing in High-Class French Restaurant in Hong Kong

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Here I am going to discuss one of the approaches in marketing science – customer relationship marketing (CRM). First that must be done is the definition of the term “relationship marketing”. To do the task more obvious, let’s imagine I am hired as a relationship marketing consultant and I have to explain to a client what the term “relationship marketing” embraces. Thus:

  1. Relationship marketing approach is relatively new, having come into existence on the beginning of the last decade in competition with a traditional marketing approach.
  2. Relationship marketing means the marketing through the individual relations with a client. That doesn’t, however, hint the friendship with each customer to whom your company sells products. This is impossible. Relationship marketing is rather the process of getting closer to the customer by developing a long-term relationship through careful attention to service needs and their quality delivery. The process of getting closer means keeping those relations by sending regular newsletters, paying attention to the customer’s behavior, changing the company policy according to behavior changes, asking the questions per telephone, e-mails, using tests on the company’s Website, organizing discounts for regular clients, hiring sales manages (that should develop good relationship with a client), delivery service. In this way, relationship marketing aims at promoting in each separate client the feeling of individuality, uniqueness and company’s attention to his/her own specific needs. Such a treatment develops a client’s loyalty and long-term use of company’s products.
  3. Also relationship marketing is approach to marketing that agrees that keeping existing customers satisfied and ensuring repeat business is much cheaper than obtaining new customers.

Answering the question under what conditions the relationship marketing technique can be applied, or when exactly one should start to use this kind of marketing, let’s take an example of high-class French restaurant in Hong-Kong. The first thing we should realize is that visiting the expensive French restaurant in Hong Kong is not a product of primary need. Thus, the technique of promoting the customers to come and eat in this restaurant is almost the only one way to attract people. If we don’t promote them to spend their money in our expensive restaurant, they will spend them somewhere else, in a cheaper place.

The first condition under which the relationship marketing technique is relevant is that nature of company’s product, which is not about the primary need to the customer. For instance, we don’t need much to use relationship marketing when the product has no competitors on the market and is used by customers in their everyday life. Under this condition, customers will anyway prefer buying this product. Another thing is a high-class French restaurant in Hong-Kong. To attract a client to come and spend his/her money here, not in some Hong-Kong cheaper restaurant, we should use the relationship marketing technique in combination with relevant PR-methods and advertisement.

Then, let’s imagine we already have regular customers, which several times per week come and spend their money in the French restaurant. Suddenly, one client comes no more. Something went wrong. This is the second conditions, under which the relationship marketing must go into battle. Thus, however turns the customer’s behavior, the relationship marketing has to analyze the reasons for this behavior and ways to attract the customer again, rather than looking for new customers. These ways may include face-to-face talks, e-mails, Web-site changes, improving the service, food quality, menu list or revising the prices (in the case of French restaurant) etc.

The first critical successful factor in implementing the relationship marketing, which I am going to illustrate now, is most important, in my opinion. Relationship marketing can be considered successful when after the customer has opted out of buying again the company’s product and after the relationship marketing technique has been applied, the customer decides to consume a product again. If RM consultant of the French restaurant notices that any regular client doesn’t visit the restaurant anymore, he contacts him/her and asks questions intending to get the reasons of his/her refusal to come to restaurant. Then he takes steps to improve the situation. If the feedback from the customer is present, the RM technique has shown success.

Second factor of right use of relationship marketing is reducing in costs for advertisement and marketing in combination with increase in sales and profits. If the French restaurant tries to save his regular client, which comes several times per week rather than looking for occasional one, the restaurants will benefit.

In conclusion, it must be said that relationship marketing is more effective than traditional marketing. The same with PR, for we know, that contacting journalist individually and developing close friendship with them always help attract more attention of media to the company. So RM can be compared with PR. Prices on market are constantly changing, but when the company has a regular client and tries to retain him/her using specific treatment, the company won’t lose.

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