When we think of customer loyalty, we will typically think of B2C tactics such as points systems, promotions, stamp cards and exclusive offers. While the tactics may differ for B2B, we know how important it is to generate customer loyalty.
In addition, loyal customers are also more likely to generate referrals. Despite the clear value of customer loyalty, many B2B companies focus their marketing resources on generating leads and acquiring customers rather than keeping their existing ones happy and encouraging repeat purchases.
So we may now know the value of customer loyalty in B2B. But where do we start? The following are some of the most effective tactics for generating customer loyalty in the B2B space.
1. Conduct Exit Interviews
An exit interview is a standard process employed by many B2B sales and marketing teams to reduce the number of lost clients. The two key objectives of an exit interview are to work out what went wrong with a client and make a last-ditch attempt to keep them. The person carrying out the interview should always remember these two objectives. In order to be best positioned for success, it’s important that the person conducting the interview knows the history of their business relationship as well as the person they are talking to and their role within the company. The conversation should be handled like a sales call to try to get the client to reconsider. In the event that this is impossible, the exit interview can be used to gather information and feedback that can be applied to future customers.
2. Use Content to Continually Educate Customers
Customers are more likely to trust and recommend your business if they know more about it. When you are creating your content schedule, consider including content that is relevant to existing customers. For example, share content that describes how to get the most out of your business’ products or services, as well as guides for customers on using the products and services. This type of content is often overlooked in favour of content that addresses the earlier stages of the buyer journey, such as lead generation and customer acquisition.
3. Offer Discounts
This is an often-used B2C loyalty tactic that can also be applied to B2B. B2B businesses also want to save money on their purchases, and as such, offering discounts can encourage customers to make a repeat purchase. Be wary that you don’t put your pricing strategy at risk with this tactic and ensure discounts are only offered after thoroughly evaluating how they would be of benefit to the business. If applied incorrectly, discounting products and services can devalue them in the eyes of the customer.
4. Superior Account Management
At its core, customer loyalty comes down to excellent account management. Ensuring your customers are happy is what will set you apart from your competitors, which is particularly important if you are operating in a saturated market. In many cases, the business with the best reputation and performance in their niche doesn’t necessarily have the best product. Rather, the best performing businesses are the ones that are the most customer-centric. These businesses ensure they are addressing their customers’ needs and problems from the moment they are on-boarded throughout the entire relationship.
5. Assign Dedicated Account Managers
For many businesses, this may be hard to scale, but assigning dedicated account managers to clients will reap the rewards. Dedicated account managers should be assigned to key customers that boost your bottom line and have the potential to refer leads. Having a single person managing the account means that they can offer a completely personalised service that will delight these important customers.
6. Run Events for Existing Customers
In-person or online events can help to generate customer loyalty. Events can be held to introduce product updates, showcase best-practice cases and product success stories, and ask customers for feedback. It can also give you an indication of which customers are most loyal to your business, as only the ones who are interested will attend.
7. Surprise Customers
Customer loyalty is driven by moments where businesses delight and wow customers. This can be done by surprising them with benefits and rewards that have not been previously advertised or communicated to them. When these things are completely unexpected, they will generate positive feelings that drive beneficial purchase behaviour. While we may not always think so, emotions play a big role in B2B purchase decisions. This is why surprising customers can be such an effective tactic.
These are just some of the ways for your business to get the most out of its existing customers. If you are interested in boosting the value of your customers, our B2B marketing consultants can help. For more information, get in touch with The Lead Agency today.