It is not unknown to us that B2B loyalty programs are enormous and leveraging them in the right manner can offer good results. According to a Forrester study, 65% of B2B brands have plans to implement a loyalty program or update an existing one in the next year.
Reaching new customers is never easy, especially with the advancement of technology and the availability of many tools to help with business marketing. Therefore, it is vital to make sure that you keep the customers you've already attracted loyal to your business.
Let’s take a look at seven B2B customer loyalty strategies to help you retain more customers.
Why Is Customer Loyalty Important in Business?
A loyal customer is valuable for a B2B organization, just like the case of a B2C company. Customer loyalty increases customer lifetime value (CLV) and business revenues while reducing customer acquisition costs. In fact, increasing customer loyalty by just 7% can increase CLV by more than 85%. Here are some of the reasons why building customer loyalty in B2B is so important:
1. Makes it cheaper to retain customers
Most forms of marketing are often geared toward the acquisition of new customers. A B2B customer loyalty strategy can help reduce the costs of acquiring customers by retaining existing ones. It costs up to 5 times less to retain a customer than to acquire and nurture a new one.
2. Generates more conversions
According to Adobe’s 2021 Digital Economy Index, customers who have bought from you at least twice before are likely to convert up to nine times more often than new and first-time buyers. Increasing customer loyalty can help improve your overall conversion rate. Besides the higher conversion rates, loyal customers will typically spend more money on your products. On average, loyal customers account for up to 80% of your business revenues.
3. Creates loyal brand ambassadors
Customer loyalty helps create brand ambassadors that will provide word-of-mouth marketing. The loyal customers you gain for your business will return for your products and are more likely to market and recommend what you provide to other companies.
4. Gives customer insights and feedback
As a B2B company, you will constantly need to keep improving your products and services, and you can only do it by getting feedback from your customers. Customer loyalty programs aim at creating good and long-lasting relationships with customers, making it easier to collect continuous customer feedback and insights that spark new products and service ideas.
7 B2B Customer Loyalty Strategies
To get the best out of B2B customer loyalty programs, you need to offer high-quality products and good customer service. However, this is not always enough to boost customer loyalty, as you still need to go a step further. Here are seven tips to help you build and boost customer loyalty effectively:
1. Maintain frequent communication.
An estimated 84% of B2B companies now welcome the customer experience model to remain at the top of their customers’ minds and win their loyalty. One good way to ensure this is to maintain frequent communication with your customers, even if what you sell does not require further follow-ups.
Remember that the customers you are dealing with are also businesses with customers, so maintaining frequent communication ensures you are there if they need help with something. Being there for your customers is what makes them stick with your brand. For example, top reputation management companies combine a vast range of strategies to assist the growth of your communication to flourish and attract more loyal users.
However, it is essential to make sure you use the right communication channel. You can use automated emails for follow-ups, use social media to share some handy industry-related insights, or even make a phone call.
Constant customer engagement keeps customers around for the long haul as they know you are interested in their business's success and not just in making a sale.
2. Create valuable content to connect with customers.
Creating valuable content that generates demand and benefits your customers and their businesses is an excellent way to connect with them and make them more loyal to your brand. And with the many content types out there, you have more than enough options for creating content that resonates well with your target audience.
For instance, you can create a series of newsletters providing valuable tips to help with their business processes or engage them socially by creating good social media content.
By providing content not directly related to marketing and promoting your products, you will give more value to your customers and improve customer satisfaction. Also, it shows that you know how to solve some of their pain points, which will help you gain their trust and loyalty.
3. Start a customer rewards program.
Customer rewards programs work magic for B2C customers, and they can also be effective for B2B with proper planning and execution. You can reward your loyal customers simply by giving exclusive offers and discounts.
Most businesses want to save money to increase their margins. So, if your customers know they can get a good deal, they are more likely to continue with your business.
A good reward program makes your customers feel appreciated, and if you keep the rewards coming, they will likely remain loyal.
4. Ask for customer feedback and act on it.
As a B2B company, you need to ask for customer feedback on your products and services and use this information to make improvements.
All businesses out there value companies that listen to them. So, by taking the right action on what the customers are saying, you are likely to receive a favorable outcome.
For example, if a customer has a good idea of how you can improve a product and think you can use it in the future, let them know about it. Doing so shows them that you value and listen to their opinions.
Recognizing customer input also goes a long way in building loyalty. Therefore, when you adopt any of their suggestions, remember to alert and thank the customer for their contribution.
Collecting customer feedback should be easy if you embrace modern technologies like QR code feedback forms. With these forms, the customers only need to scan a QR code to be directed to the feedback form.
5. Make processes easy for your customers.
Buying from your business should be a straightforward and convenient process. If you want a higher customer retention rate, you have to streamline how your business works and offer customer convenience.
For example, you can streamline the checkout process to ensure customers do not waste any time during the payment. You can also provide multiple payment methods that will suit all businesses that you deal with often.
These simple upgrades ensure the customers has a good experience when buying from you. Since they also have businesses to run, they will prefer to purchase from you in the future, given the quick and hassle-free process.
6. Arrange in-person and virtual events.
Enterprise customers will typically build long-term relationships with suppliers and other partners they need to run their business with. However, this does not guarantee you they will be loyal to your business as competitors with better deals are constantly emerging.
That said, in-person and virtual events can allow you to interact with the customers and build stronger relationships that will last longer.
B2B events also allow you to know your customers better and understand their pain points well from the conversations you make. This way, it becomes easy to create products and services that will serve them well and strengthen mutual ties.
7. Give customers extra value.
Partnering with other businesses to give your customers extra value is an excellent way to win their loyalty. The partnerships allow you to solve all their problems from one point, so they see your business as a one-stop shop.
For example, if you data software, you can partner with a company that sells other data enrichment tools to create one value package for your customers.
Besides getting everything they want at one point, the customers will save some money given the discount and also save on other related costs. The savings translate to more profits for their business, which is a sure way of improving customer loyalty.
How to Measure Customer Loyalty: Top 3 Metrics
Implementing the seven strategies for B2B will help you boost customer loyalty, but it is essential to track and measure if the strategies are working. Here are three easy metrics you can use for measuring customer loyalty:
1. Churn rate
The churn rate measures the number (usually in percentage) of customers that cancel their subscription to your product/service or fail to buy again after the initial purchase.
This metric is often effective at measuring customer loyalty for products and services sold on a subscription basis. A high churn rate indicates that many first-time customers are leaving without making another purchase.
2. Customer lifetime value
The customer lifetime value measures the worth of each customer to your business in totality. The higher it is, the more loyal the customers are to your business.
Given that it costs much more to acquire a new customer, a B2B company needs to focus on increasing the CLV of each customer by running a good customer loyalty program.
3. Repeat purchases
The repeat purchase rate is another simple metric for measuring customer retention and loyalty. This rate is the percentage of customers who return for your products or services after the initial purchase. Businesses with many loyal customers will typically have a higher repeat purchase rate. Also, the repeat purchase rate can provide good insights that can help you build better customer relationships.
Build B2B Customer Loyalty
It is hard not to overemphasize the importance of customer loyalty in the highly competitive modern business space. Having loyal customers is sometimes the difference between keeping your business thriving and closing the same.
Loyal customers will bring in more revenue to your business, and they are also cheaper to retain than acquiring and nurturing new ones, thus leaving your business with more money.
Remember that you will need a combination of the strategies mentioned in this article for good results. And it’s not common to try several methods before finding what will work best for your business. Ultimately, the goal should always be to deliver top-notch services or products and a good customer experience, which ultimately builds loyalty.