Many B2B businesses focus on new customer acquisition and need more thought to maintain their existing customer base. However, the reality is that retaining customers can be just as important as acquiring them in the first place.
Businesses that keep their customers happy and loyal tend to earn more revenue than those that don’t, so any B2B business owner needs effective customer retention strategies for B2B.
The good news is that there are many strategies you can use to enhance your customer retention efforts—from simple things like remembering a client’s name or sending them birthday cards to more sophisticated programs like rewarding repeat purchases or offering incentives for referrals. Read below for practical tips on implementing these strategies into your business model today.
Keep your business in the mind of your customers.
It’s essential to keep your business in the mind of your customers. Remember that they are people, not just transactions. They want to feel like they’re being listened to and cared about by a company that understands their needs. You can contact them regularly through email marketing, social media, and other tools.
Remember your existing customers. Many B2B businesses have found that focusing more on customer retention than acquiring new ones has led them down an incredibly profitable path–one where revenue grows steadily without having to spend much money at all on advertising or other types of outreach efforts like cold calling potential clients (which is often ineffective anyway).
Build a strong brand identity.
A strong brand identity is the foundation of any successful business. It makes your company unique and helps customers identify with you, so getting right from the beginning is crucial.
The definition of “brand identity” varies depending on who you ask.
Still, we like to think of it as a brand’s personality: how people perceive your business in their minds, based on all their interactions with it–from the first time they see your logo to the last time they interact with you.
The total of those experiences creates an impression that sticks in people’s minds for years after they’ve done business with you or not; if done correctly (and consistently), this impression can be positive enough that they’ll remember it fondly every time they think back on past experiences at all–even if those memories aren’t directly related to doing business again.
Segment your audience by lifestyle and industry, and advertise accordingly.
- Define your customer’s needs.
- Target audience. How to define the target audience? What factors should you take into account when determining a target audience?
- Lifestyle and industry
- Geographic location (city, state, and country)
- Demographics (age, gender)
- Segment your audience by lifestyle and industry, and advertise accordingly.
Example: If you sell home renovation products, it makes sense that most of your customers will be homeowners interested in improving their homes. You can segment this larger group into smaller segments based on lifestyles (e.g., those who like traveling vs. those who don’t).
How to reduce customer churn
- Ask why customers are leaving. This is the first step in reducing churn, and it can be accomplished by conducting surveys or interviews with departing customers.
- Make sure you have a good product or service. If your product isn’t up to par, then there’s no reason for customers to stick around.
- Offer a refund or money-back guarantee if they aren’t satisfied with what they received from your company–and make sure that process is easy and accessible so they don’t have any issues getting their money back if necessary.
- Make it easy for customers to get in touch with you at all times–this means having multiple ways of communication available (phone calls/texts/email), 24 hours per day so there are no barriers between them and reaching out when needed most urgently during crises like broken equipment which could lead directly into lost productivity costs associated with downtime but also indirectly through decreased employee morale due t0 lack confidence in management ability over time spent dealing with these issues instead focusing on other things like growing business opportunities ahead rather than just fixing problems one at a time instead of looking forward toward future growth potentials.”
Understand what motivates and inspires your customers to act.
Let’s go back to our example of a gym membership. If you ask most people why they joined a gym, they’ll likely tell you something about wanting to stay healthy and fit.
But what if we dug deeper? What if we asked them what inspired them to want that? Maybe it was the desire for better self-esteem or confidence in their appearance; perhaps it was because they were sick of feeling like they were letting themselves down; maybe it was because someone told them how great they looked when they started working out regularly, which gave them more energy and made them feel happier overall.
Whatever their motivation may be, understanding how customers make decisions will help us create marketing campaigns that resonate with these motivations–and inspire action on behalf of our products or services.
Implement reward programs
Reward programs are an excellent way for customers to return to your site. They can also reward customers for different actions, such as signing up for an account or purchasing. A reward program will help you build loyalty with your audience by encouraging them to engage with your brand in new ways–and that’s important when it comes time for them to make another purchase from you.
Reward programs don’t have to be complicated either; they can be implemented with just one click on Shopify’s platform.
Get creative about delivering value to the customer throughout their journey with you.
- Get creative about delivering value to the customer throughout their journey with you.
- As a B2B business, your customers are likely going through a complex buying process and have many questions that need answering before they buy from you. You can help them make sense of this by providing valuable content that answers those questions in an easy-to-digest format–and then making sure they see it when they need it most.
Make it easy for customers to give you feedback, whether good or bad.
Ask for feedback. The best way to get feedback is by asking your customers what they think of your product or service and how it could be improved. You can do this through surveys, reviews on social media, or even just saying, “how was everything?” when they leave the store.
When someone gets a review on Google or Yelp, respond publicly with gratitude and an offer of assistance if they need it (e.g., “Thanks so much for leaving us a review. We appreciate all feedback as we strive to provide the best possible experience for our customers.”).
Respond quickly to negative reviews/complaints/compliments about your products/services/business practices by taking ownership over any issues raised; don’t make excuses unless there is an apparent reason why something went wrong (e.g., “I’m sorry that happened.”).
Pay attention to negative feedback; address it head-on instead of ignoring it entirely because no matter how small an issue may seem compared to others out there today–it could cost you future sales if left unaddressed.
Offer incentives for repeat purchases and referrals.
Offer incentives for repeat purchases and referrals.
- Offer a discount for repeat purchases. If your customers are happy with their experience, they may be more likely to buy from you again. You can discount the same product or service or try something different, like providing them early access to new products or services.
- Offer a bonus for referrals that result in actual sales (referral fees). This way, both parties benefit from this type of incentive and encourage other people who know the customer well enough to believe that they would be an ideal match for what you’re selling.
B2B businesses can use these customer retention strategies to keep their customers happy and engaged and attract new ones.
Customer retention is a crucial part of the customer lifecycle. Customers are more likely to buy from you again if they are happy with your product or service, and this can help you increase customer lifetime value (CLV).
In addition, reducing customer churn can also be beneficial for your business because it will decrease marketing costs and increase profit margins.
There are many ways for B2B companies to increase CLV by using these customer retention strategies:
- Create an easy way for customers to reach out when they need assistance with something related to their account (for example, sending them an email newsletter that includes contact information).
- Send automated emails with helpful tips for your products/services regularly so customers remember all the benefits they receive from working with you.
As you can see, many ways to keep your customers happy exist. It all comes down to your ability to understand their needs and motivations. Armed with that knowledge, it should be easy for you to develop creative solutions and incentives that will keep them coming back for more.