Is Your Competition Beating You with a Better B2B Customer Retention Program?

by | Jan 2, 2018 | B2B Marketing, Channel Incentives, Channel Sales, Customer Loyalty, Customer Relationship Management, Distributor Loyalty

B2B customers have no shortage of businesses to buy from. Are you doing everything you can to stand up against the competition and keep your customers from straying? There are many ways you can differentiate your business and make your customers feel valued and, in turn, create loyal customers. A customer loyalty program gives your business and edge by offering B2B loyalty rewards to your customers, encouraging them to choose you over the competition. So, how does your B2B customer retention program stack up?

A few signs that you’re losing customers due to a lacking customer experience, loyalty strategy, or customer retention plan.

Your VIP channel partners may not see you as a trusted advisor or partner. One reason for this could be because you don’t share marketing strategies and insights with them. Your clients look to you for guidance. You need to show that you want to contribute to their achievements to build customer loyalty. This will show that your business and service is of value to them. Engage and allow them to seek out your valued knowledge and expertise. Continue to create helpful content for your customers and allow for their feedback to better their experience. This will build a lasting relationship with your customers and lead to stronger customer retention and loyalty.

Another sign you could be losing customers is that you aren’t investing in them. You want their loyalty, so be loyal to them. The old ‘Do onto others’ saying. Show you care about their business. Have you ever thought about taking your customers on an incentive trip? Well, you should. Not only is an incentive trip a huge perk for your customers, it also generates trust and loyalty for you and your business.

Why is your customer experience and loyalty value lacking?

1. Your customers do not see a real difference between you and the competitors.

When trying to differentiate between similar businesses, customers make emotional decisions, not rational. In fact, according to a study done by CEB, “personal value has twice as much impact as business value” that only appeals to logic and reason. B2B buying has a greater personal risk, so personal value is key for a greater incentive plan. So, how does your business build a better loyalty system when your customers aren’t making decisions based on business value? You need to take time to understand your customers’ personal goals and craft messages directly to them. Show your time and investments in their needs. And, make sure communication is always possible. Communication for you to better understand your customers, and communication for them to express what they need and want from you.

2. Your tech is lacking.

Today’s world is fast. Consumers want information to be quick, easy, and accessible. So, you need to be too. And technology doesn’t just benefit your customers, it helps your business too. According to a 2016 Salesforce study about B2B customer loyalty, 77% say tech has significantly changed their company’s expectations of how companies should interact with them. Technology does so much more than just make yours and your customers’ lives easier. It gives you an insight into their needs and behavior. Your loyalty program needs to be integrated with your CRM. Integrate with your CRM to collect data that gives an idea of who your customer is, how they behave, and how to best reach and sustain their business with you.

Not only should you be integrated, you need to be mobile. People depend on their phones for all kinds of information- news, entertainment, social media, work, etc. Your program needs to keep up with your B2B customers. Meet them where they’re already at- their phones.

3. You’re not properly tracking the sales and measuring the results of your program and switching gears accordingly.

To create customer loyalty and therefore, customer retention, your programs must be precise and effective. Use your data to consistently measure customer retention, measure your sales, and adjust your program for optimal success. With incentive program reports and analytics, you can learn customer trends and behavior that lead (or don’t lead) to their purchases within your program. Learn what is effective and what is not in order to properly adjust your program to your customers’ needs.

4. You’re not getting the expertise and incentive strategy advice that could be making your loyalty program better.

According to the Incentive Research Foundation (IRF), 90% of those who have non-cash reward and recognition programs work with a supplier of reward items, an incentive company, or both. Companies such as these can guide your business to use your loyalty program effectively. If you’re among the 10% running your own b2b customer retention program, your competition is probably getting incentive program ideas, best practices, techniques, technology, etc. that you don’t have access to.

Considering how important customer experience is today, it’s very likely your customers could be ditching you because the competition has a better B2B customer retention program. Take a look at the surrounding factors, determine if lacking customer retention program is the culprit. Ask customers how you can make their experience better, do some research into what they get from the competition, and apply those strategies to your B2B customer retention program.

<strong>About </strong>Luke Kreitner

About Luke Kreitner

Luke Kreitner is the VP of Sales at Incentive Solutions, an Atlanta-based incentive company that specializes in helping B2B businesses accelerate growth, increase sales, motivate channel partners and retain B2B customers.

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