Ensure you’re on the right track with these top 10 B2B loyalty marketing practices
Most marketers find themselves chasing new prospects and customers. The focus primarily is on getting as many new clients as possible in the shortest time. However, as a result of this, other critical areas of customer lifecycle get ignored in the process. Customer retention is often the casualty in this mad rush for customer acquisition.
Apart from the fact that acquiring new customers is more expensive than retaining existing customers, it is disheartening to work hard to get new customers only to lose them to competition later. This is precisely why B2B companies are relying more and more on loyalty marketing. Here are the top 10 practices in loyalty marketing for B2B companies:
1. Know what is of significance to your brand
It goes without saying that what matters the most, must be known and measured. And going with the age old saying ‘What’s get measured, gets done’, there are 3 things that need to be measured and tracked:
- Net Promoter Score (NPS): This is a very important measuring tool that reveals to you how likely are your customers going to recommend you to their friends and associates? It is a metric that gauges the loyalty of customers to a company. In short, it measures the customer experience of your brand.
- Repeat Customer Rate (RCR): This tool determines how loyal your customers are to your brand. The more your customers turn to your brand, and buy your services/products, the higher the RCR.
- Customer lifetime value (CLV): Also called as Lifetime Value (LTV), CLV is a tool that predicts all the value a business will derive from its entire relationship with a customer. It is the most critical metric to understand your customers.
2. Find a unique way to on-board your customers
A customer’s first impression of a brand depends upon how it treats them in the first place. The first interaction significantly drives the customer-brand relationship later. If it is a great first experience, the chances are high that the future relationship would be cordial too! Go for a customer-friendly, high touch, on-boarding process. If the customer feels comfortable during the on-boarding, you have got them! The first impression is indeed the last impression!
3. Look at the bigger picture
Successful loyalty programs connect with their members at an emotional plane. And what better way to connect with them than to delight them with nice little surprises. The hallmark of a good loyalty program is that it is reward-oriented, and that its marketing strategies are emotion-driven and behaviour-driven. This is precisely why one has to look at the bigger picture when it comes to building customer relationships. Building a clientele is not just about buying or selling, it is more than that. Remember there’s always more to a loyalty program than just discounts and rewards!
4. Don’t be too pushy
It goes without saying that content plays a key role in retaining your customers. So go easy and don’t push too hard to sell your services. If you really wish your target audience to show interest in what you do, simply slow down. Be entertaining, and offer them what they need and you will certainly see a difference in the results. People are bombarded with all sorts of content in one form or the other, all day long. They don’t want anyone pestering them, all the time. They need a breather. Give them what they need.
5. Listen to your customers when they aren’t around
It is time to play smart. Sometimes your customers might tune off; however it is vital that you follow their conversations, especially on social media. Social listening and sentiment analysis present a great way to know more about your customers, and understand how they feel about your services/products. Though the data isn’t quantitative, it can still work in improving customer experience, which will ultimately make your customers’ journey easier. All you need to do is listen carefully and act on what your customers say. Work on it over a period of time, and analyse the same. It is as simple as that!
The other way to go about this is to conduct a customer survey. Treat the respondents to some goodies and make their responses anonymous. There are chances that you might get what you are looking for.
6. Unhappy customers are a treasure
When you decide to embrace an angry customer, you certainly open doors to new opportunities. Frustrated customers are like treasure in a real sense, if managed well. Embrace them and engage with them. You will certainly gain from it. View this as an opportunity and get going. The key is not to get disheartened, but stay motivated!
7. Exceed their expectations
Let’s put it in simple words, who doesn’t like surprises or rewards? Getting unexpected perks is something we all enjoy! Don’t we? Even the smallest of freebies are always welcome. Same is the case with your customers. Delighting them with small rewards makes a lasting impression. Needless to say, these small surprises go on a long way in building goodwill. Be sure to deliver what you promise and never go back on your words. Always keep them coming back to you for more!
8. Be wary! Don’t neglect your existing customers!
Continued years of association isn’t a cakewalk after all. And precisely why it becomes important to keep the existing ones, happy and all pleased.
If a customer has been associated with you for the past so many years, it indicates that you have succeeded in your endeavor and that they like the way you treat them. This is however, not the case with the new ones, who haven’t yet found their comfort zone and might switch brands till they find what interests them the most. So the long and short of it, is to shower your existing customers with surprises and rewards, and let them know from time to time how valuable they are to the brand.
9. Stay flexible & learn to adapt
Every human being is different and so is every customer. Everyone consumes information in their own unique ways. Few people like to consume knowledge in a visual format, whereas others like to acquire it in a text format. It might be prudent to consider this while setting up your customer service desk. While some might prefer the ease of a hassle-free online help-desk, others might prefer talking to the customer service executive. Still others might be comfortable with chat bots and WhatsApp support. So before setting up your next customer support ecosystem, reconsider the above once. It will save you from a lot of unnecessary hassles.
10.Be open to suggestions
There are always those customers, who would create unnecessary fuss about things, as small as a message or a greeting card with their name spelt wrongly. Well don’t consider them as a threat to your reputation. Such customers are a blessing in disguise. This is your one chance to impress them with your member orientation. Prove to them your potential as a brand that will do anything and everything to keep their customers happy. Show them how far you can go in delighting them in more than one way and that you are a brand that follows work ethics and nurtures good values. This is the time! Rise to the occasion!
Well, these are some tried and tested strategies employed by successful B2B loyalty marketers. Do let me know if you would like to me to feature some of your customer success stories and I would be happy to include them in my following posts.