Good news! A PR was released today announcing our CEO and President Mark Herbert’s recent article published in Contractor Magazine’s June 2020 Issue! With over 30 years in the incentive industry, we are proud to share Mark’s insights for plumbing and heating professionals during times of social and economic uncertainty.

Released on June 17th on Contractor Magazine’s virtual site as well as the physical magazine (download the digital PDF here), Mark’s article, “Customer Retention Strategies During the Pandemic,” is part of a larger section of industry leaders offering “Best Practices” for businesses at this time. Mark focuses specifically on the importance of financial growth, personalized marketing, and customer retention strategy with the help of incentive technology and customer loyalty programs.

Mark Herbert Contractor Magazine

Download Contractor Magazine June 2020 Edition

Customer Retention Strategy #1: a Clear Brand Value

As all members of the B2B channel face the effects of “production hurdles and transformed business practices,” Mark begins his article with a strong call to action:

“In times of uncertainty, the tendency for businesses is to react, often make swift decisions to reduce spending and minimize financial loss. It is in these definite moments, however, that a business must do its best to respond, contemplating strategy and investing in viable solutions.”

The first viable solution? Investing in the communication of your company’s brand value. Security is scarce for both customers and businesses, and competitor’s marketing budgets are decreased. This means there are marketshare and mindshare up for grabs in the B2B channel, and customer retention hinges on whether your brand offers solutions. The key is fighting the urge to react and instead, calculate a response:

“This is the time to revisit current marketing strategies and determine the best brand message that will address the pain points of customers in the current business climate.” Invest in marketing your solutions will serve your business well both during and after the pandemic.

Customer Retention Strategy #2: Provide a Digital Customer Experience

Mark notes that digital transformation in the B2B channel is not new, but merely accelerated due to social distancing guidelines, and that many businesses have been caught in a scramble, losing their main avenues of connection with channel. Those that have invested in eCommerce and digital communication routes before the pandemic are suddenly at an advantage:

“…the foundation of customer loyalty lies in satisfying customer’s needs quickly and easily. In today’s world of technology, digital communication routes make connection easier than ever. E-commerce strategies allow customers to find a business, absorb its value proposition, and purchase products or schedule services all from the convenience of their own home…Investing in these platforms increase customer engagement with both an instant and cost-efficient connection.”

The good news is that hope is not lost, as it is never too late to begin enacting digital elements to your business and building an online presence.

Customer Retention Strategy #3: Focus on the Your Top Performers

With his argument for marketing and building an online presence established, Mark encourages business owners to turn their focus toward top performers: “It is well-known that 80 percent of revenue comes for 20 percent of the client base. In an economic downturn…identifying top plumbing and heating customers is key to keeping business afloat.”

Once this audience is identified, Mark suggests enabling a targeted approach: what do your top customers need in order to keep selling your product? Gathering data via a customer survey or purchasing data will help cultivate a clear understanding of their needs and how you can fulfill them.

Customer Retention Strategy #4: Invest in a Customer Loyalty Program

Mark explains the various brand marketing, digital communication, and channel enablement benefits of a modern customer loyalty program, including:

  • An online platform to communicate sales promotions.
  • A personalized digital customer profile to track sales progress and redeem rewards.
  • Performance tracking capabilities to track data across multiple verticals
  • Virtual learning opportunities to educate channel partners on products.
  • Incentive to easily submit referrals or complete surveys.

A customer loyalty program becomes a one-stop shop for digital presence, virtual communication, sales motivation, and customer satisfaction, all of which are essential for business growth.

Customer Retention for Growth

As Mark puts it, “regardless of where business was at the start, it is important to never stop growing.” Especially in times of financial hardship, your business’s future hangs on your ability to grow despite economic obstacles.

While a customer loyalty program is an investment, the variety of benefits are not just a short-term solution; it is a forward-thinking, adaptive strategy that will help maintain relevance in a digitally competitive and “ever-evolving” sales channel.

For more information on Mark Herbert and his customer loyalty retention strategy, check out our latest articles and resources:

<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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