Whether your products or services are made for consumers or businesses, connecting with your customers is crucial to your business’s bottom line. But, at the same time, the way you go about B2B marketing is significantly different from how you would approach B2C marketing.
For instance, instead of winning over an individual, you are often appealing to a team of decision-makers to prompt a purchase. As a result, the B2B buyer’s journey is usually a lot longer than B2C customers. Also, there are intense consequences attached to bad business decisions, so company leaders often put them under a microscope before making anything permanent. These differences make it challenging to create genuine relationships with B2B customers. Still, there are specific tactics you can implement to build solid connections with your B2B customers and prompt lasting relationships with them. Here are five strategies for B2B marketers to improve their customer retention.
1. Learn All You Can About Your Customers
We always hear about how important it is to know as many details as possible about your customer to launch a successful B2C marketing campaign. The same sentiment is true when it comes to B2B marketing.
If you're not collecting data on your B2B customers, you’re a step behind your toughest competition. Without customer data and the ability to analyze it, you’re missing out on a tremendous opportunity to learn more about your customers' needs and improve upon your product, sales process, marketing tactics, and customer service for better retention.
Before choosing your data analytics tools, do thorough research on those tailored explicitly to B2B businesses. Next, make a list of your top choices and see if you can sit down with a representative to go over exactly how these tools work and what they can do for your business. Then, you can make an informed decision on which tools work best for your goals.
Another strategy for improving B2B customer retention is to develop a detailed onboarding process.
2. Develop a Thorough Onboarding Process
When you think about an onboarding process, your mind likely goes to an employee’s onboarding process when they get a new job. This process probably includes:
- A tour of the office
- An information folder or booklet
- An introductory meeting with the manager
- A guide on where to find important information
A thorough onboarding process makes an employee feel comfortable and confident in entering their new role. Creating a detailed onboarding process for your B2B customers is just as effective. By onboarding customers, they too can feel confident in their decision to work with your company to better their business.
Your B2B customer onboarding process can include:
- A behind-the-scenes look at your business
- Introducing company leaders and employees
- Introducing the rep they can contact directly
- An onboarding email series that guides them through the first month
- An invitation to meet their specified representative virtually or in-person
- A file of valuable resources that will help them use your product/service
- Gifting them swag
Prioritizing customer support beyond the onboarding process can also improve your B2B customer retention.
3. Prioritize Customer Support
As stated above, one thing you can include in your customer onboarding process is a file with valuable resources that walks them through how to use your product or service effectively. However, with that being said, there’s more to this tip than sending them a file with links they can explore when they have questions.
The customer experience doesn't stop once they make a purchase and go through the onboarding process. If you want to improve your customer retention, your support and guidance should be a lot more hands-on and long-term. Show your customers how they can optimize product/service use with ongoing support and a resource center.
For instance, you could get trained in video editing or hire a video production team to create helpful video tutorials your customers can access any time to learn to use your product. You could also develop a knowledge base or resource center with blog articles, links, infographics, and other content that answers questions your B2B customers are likely to have about your product and business.
Also, take your customer support to the next level with consistent communication.
4. Improve Your Response and Turnaround Time
Business owners are all about good products that improve their business’s bottom line. But what’s also important to them is working with a company with good products and reliable customer service. In other words, B2B customers value prompt responses and service turnarounds.
Customers hate when a company takes forever to respond or resolve an issue, so much so that they will cease doing business with that company altogether. B2B customers are no different. In fact, company owners may take it even more seriously than a consumer making a personal purchase because slow responses and lack of resolution from you directly impact the success of their business.
Do everything you can to maximize productivity and improve your response and turnaround times so you can best serve your customers. You can do so by:
- Ensuring your employees are trained on how to respond promptly to customer service and other inquiries.
- Delegating tasks to the appropriate teams so there is a consistent workflow
- Eliminate workplace distractions that hinder productivity
- Consider restructuring your business model to better service turnaround time
- Recognize and reward employees with exceptional customer service
- Revamp workplace conditions to encourage a cohesive operation
5. Sweeten the Deal With Some Swag!
Everybody loves a good gift to feel appreciated and welcome. Consider sending your B2B customers some sweet swag. This featured swag pack is a great option because it allows you to send a personalized note, a notebook for jotting down important information, and some fun wearable items as well!
THE CREW SAYS:
Not sure what to gift your B2B clients with? You can’t go wrong with the offsite essentials pack. This is a practical swag pack for people that are often on the go that keeps them prepared for whatever the day might bring.
SWAG HIGHLIGHTS: A friendly welcome card, a handy pen and notebook, a water bottle, a comfortable t-shirt, and a reusable shopping tote.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Clients who work remotely or travel often.
🌟 FEATURED SWAG PACK
THE CREW SAYS:
Is the client you’re working with a tech company? Or are they just enthusiastic about the latest gadgets? The Tech Pack is a great choice for tech-lovers as it features high-quality headphones and a charger for all their devices.
SWAG HIGHLIGHTS: Comfort-fit headphones, a durable portable charger, a multi-use charging cords, and a bluetooth device tracker.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Tech-enthusiasts or clients working in the technology industry.
THE CREW SAYS:
Now that we are headed into some cooler months, your B2B clients will love being treated to a hot cocoa pack! Warm their bellies with some high-quality hot cocoa and warm their hearts by writing a nice card to thank them for their business.
SWAG HIGHLIGHTS: Cocoa Santé hot chocolate, a branded mug, and a thoughtful card.
RECOMMENDED FOR: Clients who live in a colder part of the country or anyone who loves a sweet treat!
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About the Author
Jori Hamilton is an experienced writer residing in the Northwestern U.S. She covers a wide range of topics but takes a particular interest in covering topics related to business productivity and marketing strategies.