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This content is taken from the The Open University & The Open University Business School's online course, Business Fundamentals: Customer Engagement. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 1 secondNARRATOR: Customers are the lifeblood of a business and exist in many forms. Whether your customer is an individual or another organisation, without them your business simply won't be successful. Marketing is about understanding exactly who you're existing and potential customers are and striving to meet their needs. But how do you get this understanding? Well, you can talk to them in person or on social media to find out what they want and expect from your product or service, or you can use what you already know about the people who buy your products to create customer personas.

Skip to 0 minutes and 41 secondsOnce you know your customers, you can start to build a relationship with them. This is called relationship marketing. Relationship marketing can create strong connections between the customer and the brand, which can lead to increased sales and positive word of mouth promotion. This can have great benefits for your business, as attracting customers is expensive. So you should always make an effort to give the ones you have good reasons for wanting to come back to you. In this course, you'll learn how to create a relationship marketing culture, starting with the subject of getting to know your customers.

Welcome to the course

Hello, and welcome to Business Fundamentals: Customer Engagement.

This course is one of eight available in the Business and Finance Fundamentals program. When you upgrade and become eligible for a Certificate of Achievement on all eight courses can lead to academic credit at Level 1 of The Open University’s Business Management BA degree, subject to registration and separate fee for a linked Open University assessment module.

Building relationships with our customers and getting them to engage with us is a rewarding task. There are many factors involved in creating engagement, as you will learn over the coming weeks.

Each week starts by giving you an overview of what you will be covering, and shares the key learning aims of the week so that you can see what lies ahead. The weeks should take about three hours each to study, but this is broken down into manageable chunks so it fits around your existing commitments.

The weeks conclude with a short quiz so that you can check your knowledge and help you assess any areas you might like to revisit. After upgrading the course the final week finishes with a test that counts towards your overall mark for the course. The key learning outcomes for this course are to:

  • discuss and apply the key principles of relationship marketing to your customers
  • improve your own performance in organisations of which you are a member
  • develop your analytical and prioritising skills
  • appreciate the ethical issues surrounding marketing relationships.

Who will support your learning?

The lead educator on this course is Haider Ali. Haider is a strategic marketing academic with research interests focused on social marketing. He has contributed to a range of courses for The Open University, including the Certificate in Management and the current MBA programme.

There are two mentors for this course, who will support you as you learn. They are Lora Scott and Ben Melluish. You can access the FutureLearn profiles of Haider and the mentors from the links provided, and ‘follow’ them to stay up to date with their comments.

A key feature of the learning experience on a FutureLearn course is the idea of social learning. We learn best when we share and debate ideas with fellow learners. Therefore, we encourage you to take part in the comments and discussions and to ask questions and engage with other learners.

If this is the first FutureLearn course you have studied, you might find it useful to visit the Using Futurelearn page.

Introduce yourself

Before you move onto the next step, click the ‘comments’ icon and spend a few minutes introducing yourself, including a brief outline of your motivations for joining this course. Find out about your fellow learners by reading and replying to other comments. When you’re ready to move on, mark this step as complete before clicking through to the next one.

Get extra benefits, upgrade your course

You can now get extra benefits by upgrading this course, including:

Unlimited access to the course: Go at your own pace with unlimited access to the course for as long as it exists on FutureLearn.

Access to tests: Ensure you’ve mastered the material with access to tests on the course.

A Certificate of Achievement: To help you demonstrate your learning we’ll send you a Certificate of Achievement when you become eligible.

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This video is from the free online course:

Business Fundamentals: Customer Engagement

The Open University