One can’t simply use customer retention strategies built for B2C business and apply them to the B2B model. B2B companies spend significant resources and time building their sales funnels. Since converting the leads into customers is costly, they also need customer retention strategies.
Coming up with B2B customer retention strategies can be challenging if you haven’t done it before. However, there are a few proven ones that work despite the industry your business is operating in.
Communicate with your customers and consider their opinions
Your B2B customers are usually overwhelmed with information. For example, the total number of business and consumer emails is projected to reach 347 billion per day by 2023. It’s hard to keep track of something when you’re bombarded with so much information daily. Fortunately, you can cut through the noise with a spot-on reach-out strategy.
Getting in touch with your customers will help you stay in their circle of trust. More importantly, you will help them not forget about you or the excellent experience they had with you. You can reach out immediately after the purchase to check if they were satisfied with your service.
If you are a brick-and-mortar store, you can simply ask them if they have any opinions or suggestions.
If you are selling goods or services online (which is probably the case), after a purchase, you can send an email that confirms that purchase, and you can add a small quiz to that email. Here, you can ask your customers to give you feedback, which you can use to improve your inner operations.
Furthermore, you can send them newsletters or create special offers. If you decide to pursue this line of action, make sure that newsletters and special offers are relevant to your customers’ past purchases. Unfortunately, many small businesses discard this type of email marketing, forgetting that 80% of businesses have a positive experience with it.
Use polls and quizzes
When operating in a B2B landscape, you’re not selling your services or products to a brand per se. Instead, you interact with decision-makers on a day-to-day basis. People who represent their company are the ones who decide to purchase your services or products.
They will have a particular experience while doing so. Capturing this experience is essential if you want to improve your operation and retain more customers.
You can easily collect their insights by creating a quiz with a quiz maker. Quiz software helps you create quizzes from scratch or use a template. Sometimes unhappy customers decide to remain silent, and a quiz can be a great way to let them share their complaints or rate your services without going through too much of a hassle.
For example, you can create a video quiz by using the record video question type. You can add different questions like How would you describe your experience with our brand? Or, Is there anything you would like to share with us that can help us improve our service? Since it’s a video quiz, the quiz takers can respond to questions by recording a short video.
This way, you get their feedback and also keep it engaging.
Consistently audit your customer service
Given that you operate a small business, you will find it easy to streamline auditing your customer services. Your customer service must be impeccable. Almost 90% of companies report that outstanding customer service is the best way to reach high customer retention rates.
Many small businesses make an honest mistake in letting the customer service sort itself out. You need to keep a tight operation. Come up with a customer service policy and make sure that everyone treats customers according to it.
To ensure that everything is in line with your instructions, you will have to control it. Make customer service audits a regular thing.
Here’s what you can do to consistently audit your customer service:
- Write a clear mission statement
- Preach your mission statement to employees and customers
- Advertise optimum quality of service
- Create actionable tasks for everyday to provide quality customer service
- Follow up with customers
You can do it every week to maintain high levels, delight those customers, and ensure repeat business.
Reward customers for spending their money
Loyalty programs are not strictly reserved for B2C companies. It is a proven concept. If you manage to do it right, you will motivate your customers to come back and spend more. You have a variety of loyalty programs for the B2B niche. For instance, you can reward your customers with a bonus balance on their accounts or simply send them a gift every year to thank them for choosing you.
It is a great way to build solid relationships and send an invitation card to come back and purchase from you. Not to mention the data loyalty program generates, such as customers’ favorite products and rate of purchase. These are valuable insights you can use to personalize your offer further.
Train your staff
Your employees are the face of your brand. The way the customers see them is the same way they will see your brand. Therefore, it is of vital importance to enable your staff to create positive experiences with customers.
Building an emotional relationship is quite essential as research finds out that customers that have such a connection with a brand have a 306% higher lifetime value and tend to recommend the brand at a rate of 71%.
Make it a point to conduct training when you hire a new employee and continue the learning process by hosting customer service training at least every quarter. Create your own courses with specific instructions, rule book, and case studies or find online courses.
Retaining customers as a B2B-oriented small business is a long-term effort. Whether you choose a quiz maker or decide to reach out to your customers, all the strategies we’ve shared with you will enable you to diversify your approach and ensure repeat business with many clients. Feel free to try several tactics, as it will allow you to identify a couple of them that work the best with your specific target customers.
Angela White is an ed-tech enthusiast. She is a product analyst at ProProfs Quiz Maker.