Friendships, marriages, teams—they’re all built on loyalty. It’s the support and unwavering allegiances we share with the people we value.
No matter the type of partnership, it’s a feeling that can’t be undervalued. And in business, there are huge benefits for investing and cultivating the loyalty your people have with you.
More than just maintenance of a relationship, ensuring a positive rapport between you and your B2B customers takes thought-out tactics and careful planning.
Here’s why B2B customer loyalty is so important and how to make it work.
The Importance of B2B Customer Loyalty
Upkeep and fine-tuning of your relationships between you and your B2B customers is imperative. After all, according to the Harvard Business Review, acquiring a new customer is anywhere from five to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one and increasing customer retention rates by 5% increases profits by 25% to 95%.
While the B2C world has been employing customer loyalty tactics for decades—such as your credit card that generates airline miles—the B2B world hasn’t quite caught up to speed. And, as one Forrester report finds, applying tactics that work well in a B2C setting may not be as much of a stretch in B2B situations as you think.
Here are three B2C loyalty marketing tactics that can work perfectly in the B2B world.
While free tickets to a box seat at a baseball game or concert are a tried-and-true method of loyalty marketing to your high-volume customers, they're not even the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the variety of events available.
Here are just a handful of event ideas to build customer loyalty:
- Give loyal customers VIP access to a user event
- Offer them hands-on access to your latest product at an immersive product launch
- Provide valuable networking opportunities at an expo that brings your customers together
Regardless of the kind of event, they’re most successful and build the most loyalty when they align with and reinforce your company’s brand. With the right content and eye-catching appeal, your event provides just the thing your company needs to keep customers loyal.
At face value, many credit cards are the same. But they differentiate themselves based on what they give back to the customer for their loyalty: airline miles, gas money and more.
The concept of “spend more, get more” is pretty ubiquitous in B2C circles. But—even though it’s a perfect match—many B2B companies haven’t yet made that leap.
One way of doing this is to reward your partners with points for every dollar they spend on your services. Go further than that and offer additional points by purchasing products from sponsoring manufacturers, which offers additional revenue for you and additional revenue into the program while providing a marketing opportunity for your manufacturers.
Maximize your customer loyalty incentive by not allowing customers to spend their points until they’ve reached a minimum quota. When people can see the impressive awards they can earn, they’ll come back to you, over and over again.
In a world where online reviews are increasingly important when winning and keeping clients—86% of people hesitate to purchase from a business that has negative online reviews—it’s more important than ever to recognize your loyal customers and ensure they become advocates for you.
A little bit of recognition and appreciation for B2B customers goes a long way in ensuring their loyalty to you. After all, extrinsic awards are only one kind of motivator—other motivators like preferred customer status and public recognition are other great ways to ensure the loyalty of your team.
One unique way of benefitting your company and your customers’ is showcasing customer successes. Case studies are proven to be an effective way to market your business, and publically recognizing customer success is a perfect way of building rapport and loyalty.
Today’s distributors face incredible challenges, many of which can be conquered with a strategic loyalty program. Learn why loyalty programs can improve performance and help distributors conquer today’s challenges in Aberdeen’s recent study.