Do More Than Just Send Emails – Get Personal With Your Potential Clients Can you confidently say, “I know my B2B customers like the back of my hand?” Many businesses don’t, because they never tread over the invisible line that separates them from their clients. B2B customer retention is a vital aspect to keeping any
Do More Than Just Send Emails – Get Personal With Your Potential Clients
Can you confidently say, “I know my B2B customers like the back of my hand?” Many businesses don’t, because they never tread over the invisible line that separates them from their clients.
B2B customer retention is a vital aspect to keeping any lead pool healthy, and many tend to forget that after sealing an initial deal with their clients. While continued lead generation is necessary to grow any business, loyal customers must not be taken for granted. A bridge can only be built so far without supports.
In honor of “Get to Know Your Customer Day,” we’ve come up with 7 B2B customer retention strategies to strengthen your relationship with loyal business partnerships. Not to be confused with your target audience, a particular group at which an advertising campaign or content is aimed. We would like to take time and focus on how you, as a B2B business, can utilize marketing tactics and professionalism to enhance your relationship with your current clients.
Reviewing Your Buyer Persona Helps
As mentioned before we aren’t focusing on your created buyer personas – but it never hurts to review it. As a B2B marketing professional, it helps to refresh yourself on the macro desires of the industry you serve, and answer any questions you might come up with.
Take time to research when needed and be sure you remember that your B2B customers are also industry professionals. This will help in making casual conversations in meetings to learn of their opinions on trends or how they plan to adapt their company with your service. This is helpful for your b2b customer retention strategy and also helps you get to know more about their perspective as a professional.
Have you created a target audience for your marketing endeavors? Do you know who your marketing campaigns are targeting? Take time to read more about utilizing buyer personas in our blog to learn more.
Understanding your B2B customers and their interests can also help leverage your marketing automation tools. CRMs allow you to create segmented lists and provide a more personalized experience in engagement. Create monthly newsletters or e-blasts to keep your loyal clients informed on what is going on in your own company.
Keep an Open Line of Communication
Go beyond the monthly email and “once-in-a-while” client update meeting. Hold a biweekly meeting with your clients or send some kind of contact 1-5 times a week to keep in touch and update them on any projects you may be working on for them.
Offer your contact information as well in case they need you for any emergencies. Your willingness to communicate shows that you’re a reliable partner and willing to get things done for them promptly.
But that doesn’t always mean it has to be about business. At the end of the meeting, ask them questions about their lives to better understand who your client contacts are. Be sure they are appropriate to the client you’re speaking with, however.
Just show your client that you’re interested in more than just the company but the individuals behind the scenes and you are readily available when needed.
Utilize A Chatbot
B2B customer retention sometimes doesn’t require your direct involvement. Not everyone who uses a chatbot is a lead, sometimes the users are returning customers with a frequently asked question in mind.
Thanks to the modernization of technology and the after-effects of COVID-19, face-to-face conversations are becoming less frequent in the B2B world. Zoom meetings and conference calls are becoming the new normal as it keeps everyone safe and seems like the more effective way to communicate.
But most clients more than likely do not want to set up a meeting to ask simple questions about your product or services. They want to quickly chat, text, or message someone to answer their questions quickly or provide them with a shareable reference.
By setting up a website chatbot, you are providing your clients with a “live” resource that will answer their questions without having to wait a few hours for an answer. Coming to rely upon the speed and ease of receiving answers from your chatbot does wonders for B2B customer retention. The interactions with a chatbot are also recorded, which benefits your marketing, sales, and IT departments.
Get to know what questions your B2B customers may be too shy to ask, so that by the next meeting that rolls around you’re better prepared to service their needs.
Use Your Social Media Effectively
This is another platform that is both great for lead generation and marketing to your current clients. Many companies utilize their social media accounts as a way to send announcements to followers and aim to create posts that trend in their industry.
For example, our client in the plastics distribution industry shared an open forum webinar (see below) with one of their lead product managers. Customers interested in learning more about their company or the product could register for the event. This is a great way to also collect contact information and network with existing or potential customers.
Announcements are great, but it pays to be a little social on your social media platforms. Many social media platforms provide analytics features that reveal how people (returning or new) interact with your social media page.
With the use of a proper social media strategy, the analytics will show you what does and does not work with your clients. You can see which posts they liked and shared and use that to create conversations, specific campaigns, or to simply guide you on the kind of posts you should make in the future. Creating interactive and appealing content is a sure way to keep your followers and customers engaged with your company. Be sure your content is fun, informative, and something relevant to the services you have to offer.
Company culture and customer activities go a long way if done properly. Use your account to spotlight your customers’ successes, announce anniversaries, or show how your company has volunteered its time to a charity effort. These social media efforts convey to your customers that your company is aligned to their moral or social standards, thus strengthening your relationship with them. It may even present itself as a networking opportunity if other businesses like what they see as well. If nothing else, your customers regularly seeing your company pop up in their social media keeps you in their minds, which is B2B customer retention 101.
Now, this may sound easier than it is but this is a great way to learn what your B2B customers think about your company as a whole. The hard part is getting your customers to fill out those surveys…
If you are considering creating a survey or poll to send out to your customers, create great probing questions! These can help you further your relationship with your clients as you will learn what areas of your customer service they like and where you need to improve.
This will also help you fix certain errors or missteps in your user experience to help you generate more leads later on.
Some questions you should include in a survey are:
- How did you hear about us?
- What product or service among our offerings is the most important to you?
- How often do you order with us?
And so on.
You can share these surveys or polls on emails or social media, depending on where your traffic normally comes from. Some CRMs allow users to create a customer satisfaction survey and place it directly on their homepage.
Offer an incentive as well to be sure your customers will go through the process of participating in your survey.
It may even look great as a customer review to be promoted on your website and social media if permitted to do so.
Offer Exclusive Deals For Loyal B2B Customers
People love exclusivity, especially if it means the “inside scoop” or “first dibs” on products or news from your company. Many people are willing to sign up for a VIP package if it means being at the front of the line.
To personalize the interactions, create exclusive deals based on holidays or anniversaries to garner the attention of your loyal customers. Provide them the opportunity to feel they have your company’s extra attention. It doesn’t have to be too complicated. Deals can include:
- A punch card every time they stop by the office will earn them a free evaluation or product.
- Sneak previews of new products or services.
Be careful with how you set these VIP systems up, however. If a customer doesn’t see an increased value in a VIP status, or if you go too far and make your baseline services too anemic for non-VIP customers, it can have a negative effect on your B2B customer retention.
Conduct a free online seminar
As an industry professional, many clients would like to know your company’s take on current trends or relevant news. Or they may want to know how to use your newest product or service.
Rather than meet one-on-one with each customer, save time and hold an online seminar customers can join to learn more. Discuss new and innovative works your company has coming down the pipeline that would greatly benefit your customer and leads, or a refresher course on how to make the most out of your product or service.
Don’t make it just a one-way conversation, though. During your online seminar, ask your customers to submit any questions they may have that you can acknowledge. Using these questions, you will have a better understanding of the concerns your current customers may have, and positive engagement is always a good thing for B2B customer retention.
Take time to also thank your customers for their patronage and time, so that you’re ending the session on a positive note.
Process-driven, ROI-focused Customer Engagement
At the end of the day, customers are what drive your revenue and push your business further every day. As you watch your customer base grow, never forget to implement B2B customer retention strategies to keep your current clients happy. Otherwise, you risk a scenario where you’re bringing in as many clients as you’re losing, or worse, ending with a net deficit of clients at the end of the quarter.
Whether you want to send hand-written thank you cards, automated emails, or a quick phone call – Be sure your B2B customers know that you appreciate doing business with them.