Marketing & Growth

8 Secrets to Creating Customer Loyalty

By Rieva Lesonsky

Create loyal B2B customers for your company

B2C companies have plenty of loyalty marketing tools at their fingertips—from loyalty cards to mobile apps. But what about B2B companies? Building customer loyalty is just as important for you. In fact, 44 percent of B2B companies report that 60 percent or more of their new sales are made to existing customers, according to a study by Loyalty360 reported in MarketingProfs. Here are 8 effective ways to create b2b loyalty:

Start them off right.

Once you’ve delivered your product or service to a new customer, ensure they know how to make the most of it. Provide training if necessary—either in-person or online—so they can use your product or service correctly to maximize its value. Follow up to see if they are satisfied or if they need additional assistance (or other add-ons).

Share useful content.

Once the basic how-to’s are handled, keep providing customers with valuable content to help them run a better business. The goal is to educate them—not just about the product or service they’ve purchased, but about all the ways your company can continue to help them in the future. Explain how advanced features or add-on services can make their lives easier. Sharing content related to your industry—not just your business—will help position you as a valuable resource for customers.

Communicate regularly.

For best results, let your customers choose how they want to receive communications from you. Some may prefer email newsletters; others may want to view videos; still others may like listening to podcasts. Try creating your content in multiple formats so customers can select the one that best suits their needs. And remember, plenty of customers still like communicating in person—so schedule times to check in by phone, drop by their offices or meet for coffee.

Host events.

Hosting events for loyal customers is a smart way to strengthen ties while showing how much you appreciate their business. Hence, try hosting an awards dinner to honor the customers who’ve gained the best results from working with you; inviting customers to a quarterly luncheon; taking individual customers out to ball games, golf or dinner; or inviting customers to your company’s holiday party.

Hold educational gatherings.

Consider hosting a conference or seminar for your customers. You can partner with one or more complementary businesses to boost attendance and share the burden of planning. Customers appreciate the chance to network and learn new things while you and the other partner companies get the opportunity to highlight customer success stories, new products or new services.

Make them feel special.

Giving loyal customers early access to a new product or service or inviting them to participate in product testing or focus groups makes them feel like part of an elite group. Consequently, they will also feel more invested in your business once they’ve provided you with feedback on product or service development.

Connect online.

Customer relationships start in the real world, but interacting online helps cement the ties. Have each member of your sales team take just 15 minutes every day to connect with a certain number of clients on social media. Making an encouraging comment on a post or sharing a useful hyperlink is all it takes to keep your company top-of-mind.

Get their feedback.

Perform an annual or semiannual check-in with customers. Visit their business to find out what their current challenges are? How they’re using your product or service? What issues you can help them with? This is the time to get honest feedback about how well your product or service is (or isn’t). Therefore, paying attention to customers’ wants and needs not only makes them feel cared for, but can also guide your company’s future growth by meeting customers’ needs, and what they’d like to see in the future.

 

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