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7 Types of Customer Relationships

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Customer relationships are interactions between a firm and potential, current and former customers. This can include personal interactions, communications and customer experiences with products, services and environments. The following are the basic types of customer relationship.

Public Relations

Public relations is the process of communicating with the stakeholders of a firm including investors, customers, employees, partners, media representatives, influencers, industry insiders, governments and communities. Public relations impacts the perceptions of a firm amongst potential, current and former customers.


Promotion of products and services such as advertising and events. This can have a impact on how customers feel about you in areas such as image, reputation and quality.

Business Relationships

The process of building relationships with business customers in areas such as sales, operations and customer support. It is common for business customers to be given an account executive as a single point of contact for requests and inquiries.

Product Experience

The day-to-day interactions between your customers and your products and services. Product experience can cause a customer to develop goodwill towards your brand or cause them to be dissatisfied. For example, a software product that often shows a customer an error message, disrupting their productivity, may cause dissatisfaction that damages the customer relationship.

Customer Service

Customer service is any interaction between your brand and the customer that is relevant to the delivery of your obligations to the customer. This can be a personal interaction such as a request to front desk staff at a hotel or an interaction with a self-service tool such as an inquiry on a website.

Brand Experience

Brand experience is the end-to-end set of interactions that influence a customer's view of your brand. This can include word of mouth or media information about your brand. It also includes how customers feel about your brand such as perceptions of your brand name and visual symbols.

Lead Users

A lead user is a customer that is engaged with your brand such that they contribute to building it. Firms may engage users who are pushing their products to their limits to guide design and marketing. Alternatively, firms may engage all customers as partners or engage a culture, super culture or subculture that is related to the brand.
Overview: Customer Relationships
Interactions and communications between a firm and potential, current and former customers.
Related Concepts

Customer Relationships

This is the complete list of articles we have written about customer relationships.
Account Management
Customer Advocacy
Customer Experience
Customer Feedback
Customer Journey
Customer Service
Lead User
Self Service
Word Of Mouth
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