Customer loyalty is the holy grail of B2B business. It’s no secret that B2B transactions are largely a great deal higher than B2C – yet it’s actually easier to secure long-term loyalty in a few simple steps. B2C brands have to compete with numerous competitors and customers that are there for the one-click discount. The B2B buying cycle takes an average of six weeks, and sometimes it can take months. That’s plenty of weeks to build a working relationship and long-term loyalty. Let’s look at that more.
The Money Makers
Loyal customers are the money makers. A whopping 80% of future profits will come from a fifth of your loyal customers – and it’s far cheaper to retain a customer than it is to find new ones – five times cheaper, to be exact.
It all depends on the industry and turnovers, but roughly speaking, you’re looking to spend £160 per new customer acquired. Whereas with loyal customers, the need for spending on marketing, discounts, and whatever tactics you wish to deploy isn’t there.
Plus, you have to be careful with loyal customers and how easy it is for a dissatisfied service to lead to negative referrals. 13% of unsatisfied B2B buyers will tell 15 or more people if they have a terrible customer experience, and 83% will refuse to work with the brand again. That’s where simple retention strategies work wonders.
The Simple Strategies
One simple strategy that works well for retention, customer satisfaction, and referrals is a b2b loyalty programme. Not only does this foster a great working relationship, but it also harnesses the power of rewards for future profits, rather than using discounts that damage future profits.
Considering 75% of buyers prefer to partner with brands that offer rewards, and business-to-business loyalty programs are relatively inexpensive to fund, it’s a no-brainer.
Another simple strategy is constant – but not overwhelming – marketing emails. Email marketing is favoured by 96% of B2B marketers because it’s so easy and inexpensive. $1 spent on email marketing can return up to $42. Emails promoting products, services are great, but think more along the lines of a personalized email with a season’s greetings and well-wishing message, for example. Once you have the buyer onboard, it’s less about marketing your products and services and more about creating a personalized relationship that benefits you both.
Turning New Customers Into Loyal Customers
Sending personalized emails follows on nicely to turning new customers into loyal ones. That process begins the moment they say yes to your business, but did you know that buyers are 57% of the way towards making a buying decision before actively discussing it with a sales team?
That’s because B2B buyers tend to research the product or service they need 15 times before finding the website of the specific company they wish to market with. That’s where content marketing and SEO have great results for customer acquisition – and it’s likely the reason why companies that spend the most on content marketing are 40% more successful at finding new customers.
Content marketing helps promote your business long before a buyer will make that initial contact – so it’s essential to invest time and money into great content marketing, both videos and written content.
There’s always a chance to find new and loyal customers. According to one study, 50% of customers left their long-term favoured brand for a competitor because they couldn’t meet their needs – sometimes, it’s as simple as being able to meet needs. That raises the question – how will you meet the needs of your buyers to make them loyal?