For B2B companies, customer retention strategies are critical for growing profitability and sales. Losing a customer who required a significant investment to acquire could mean losing money and might even affect your reputation. If your company relies on fewer customers making substantial purchases, the loss of just one has a tremendous effect on your sales. Fostering customer loyalty in B2B is mission-critical.
Retaining existing customers costs far less than acquiring new ones, and your chances of selling to an existing customer are higher. Keeping existing customers costs less and results in more significant sales.
Customer retention strategies need to be at the core of your overall business strategy. How best do you foster B2B customer retention? Here are some strategies we think are essential.
Start a Community
Loyal customers who are part of a community promote you while keeping you top of mind with each interaction. The community is a way for you to serve them with better support, give them a look at new products, and present free content. They increase sales, improve loyalty, and give you the ability to provide fantastic customer service.
A community is also a way for you to:
- Increase customer feedback
- Connect your customers with others of a like mind
- Update your customers with company news
- Increase interaction
- Grow revenue with upselling, cross-selling and add-ons
What are some community types?
- Digital forums are a great way to unite your customers and interact.
- Executive councils help you garner tips for product development and keep customer executives engaged with your brand and service.
- Conferences for top customers bring them together to reaffirm your value.
Personalize Marketing and Onboarding
People like to feel special and served with the highest level of attention. Having a customer success team that onboards them individually and continues to market to them with announcements of product updates and new products does just that. Customer loyalty in B2B is bolstered when a customer feels important and individually served.
Upsell Current Customers
An existing customer is much more likely to respond to upselling. They appreciate it when your teams look at their business and let them know that another product can help them be more successful. Upselling is a service to them and keeps your customers with you.
Offer Invaluable Customer Service
Impeccable customer service isn’t an option. It’s a rule. Your salespeople or specialized success teams must provide white-glove attention service to every customer. Do it, and you’ll never lose a customer.
Reach out to customers often to ensure everything is running smoothly, ask them if there are any issues you can address, and respond right away when they need you.
Do Something Nice and Unexpected
Never underestimate the power of a simple gift basket or even a card. Marketing trials and testing have found that even small gifts to people who already have whatever they could need or want increased company sales.
If it expresses your appreciation for their business, a meaningful gesture makes a huge impact and retains customers for years to come.
Pay Attention to Complaints
Every complaint is an opportunity. Consider it a chance to respond quickly, provide the highest of service, and learn more about your customer. That customer can also learn more about your product. Never let a complaint be a problem, but rather a chance to say, “We’re here to serve you.”
Track Churn Rate as a Key Metric for Your Business
It’s not enough to know you’ve lost a customer; you must track when and why you’ve lost customers. Compare against the industry and analyze what can be done to lower that churn rate. It’s one of your company’s highest costs and has to be known and controlled, as you would any other cost.
Historical data can reveal trends and potential dangers, especially when correlated with company activities that are a catalyst for customer churn.
These are a few critical customer retention strategies, but they are also the most important. A B2B business enacting all seven is poised for tremendous success and improved profitability. If retention isn’t a key company initiative, make it so today. Customer loyalty in B2B is one of the most critical functions in your business.