As consumer expectations and technology evolve, providing a customized experience to drive loyalty becomes increasingly difficult. One Bain & Company study found that 68% of respondents said customers are less loyal than they used to be.
B2B marketing can often be difficult as customers are not individuals, but groups of executives or managers making purchase decisions. Marketers often face a similar challenge in B2B loyalty: retention efforts must be focused on the buying stage, customer journey, and industry standards of more than just an individual decision maker. Personalization of each decision maker’s priorities and a narrow focus on each benefit will assist in capturing collective attention.
Drive Loyalty Through Innovation
Insights gleaned from existing customers can effectively establish loyalty through innovation. Do existing customers have industry needs that could be addressed by your services? Even if not, innovation could grow the relationship and add to a B2B partner’s bottom line. For example, Bain & Company cites an Indian steel company whose insights led to the development of one of its most profitable products. The company learned from its insights that certain farm segments favored durability in wire fencing, leading the steel manufacturer to develop a profitable product designed to meet the target’s specific needs.
B2B customers weigh several factors when choosing a provider: can they provide economic and strategic value for the business and improve day-to-day operations, are they trustworthy, and do they deliver a positive and productive customer experience?
Relationship-building is key to establishing B2B loyalty, and a customer satisfaction score will do little to assist in that effort. There is little correlation between satisfaction and loyalty.
Get feedback from end users, and improve personalized communication. If end-user communication primarily funnels through third party intermediaries, consider improving the strategy to tailor the experience to the customer and industry.