Winning new customers is not the only measure of the success of marketing campaigns and strategies. Retention ideas in B2B marketing are equally important for business success. Research from a Pathwwway Panama poll in 2016 found as many as 71 percent of B2B clients are disengaged and seeking to take business elsewhere. If your B2B marketing team wants to prevent a sizeable percentage of these from being your customers, they need to evolve new client retention ideas and innovate with the times. How do B2B businesses retain clients? Here are some major retention ideas for B2B marketing teams that seek to stay ahead of the curve.
#1 Evolve Product and Service Offerings
This retention idea holds greater value in B2B than any other marketing sector. Taking customers to the next level involves asking them what they seek from the relationship, how they want to proceed and achieve their goals. Demonstrating value and merit through product and service integrity is a critical step forward for retaining your clients. If acquisition led KPIs like online conversion and lead generation are excessively stressed on, this can act as a potential deterrent in retaining clients.
#2 Objective Research, Understanding the Numbers
All B2B firms need to carry out customer research to offer not just the way but also the high level overview in terms of quantitative and qualitative dimensions in a bias-free way. Research that overlays customer analytics with objective third-party analysis can work. Ultimately, the sales figures and customer feedback need to be broken down into an understanding of what the customer wants and actionable insights pertaining to this.
#3 Making Your Consumer Your Brand Ambassador
Loyal customers are critical for client retention and acquisition. Clients which are businesses need to go social with their inputs, so that your B2B firm can derive mileage from these and fuel growth. Keeping existing business clients engaged is also a good way to attract new firms who will sit up and note your offerings based on positive reviews and feedback.
#4 Align Departments, Initiate Retention Processes
Another core retention idea is not just a focus on sales and marketing. Every department in the B2B organisation needs to have a voice and a say in the retention process. This includes not just the B2B marketing team, but also data teams, post purchase salespeople and customer support. B2B companies need departments dedicated to existing customers ranging from sales and marketing to expanding products or services invested in. Post purchase customer service departments and tech support also need to be in on customer retention processes, so all departments can work in tandem to listen to what the customer needs.
#5 Actionable Insights Matter
While client feedback has value, it offers a pathwwway to success only if B2B companies listen and act on it. As a business is their customer, a B2B firm needs to understand how to contribute to the growth of the client company and communicate active involvement for engagement. This can make all the difference to client retention rates for B2B businesses. Running faster just to stand still means you are facing an analysis paralysis. Time and resources need to be allocated to fill the lead funnel and sales pipelines, as well as retain existing clients.
#6 Client On-boarding Matters
Whether it is termed client education or an introductory session, client onboarding is critical. Show your customers around and help them to get the most of your service or product, if you want to retain them. From video tutorials to webinars or case studies, the goal is ultimately to drive home the point that your B2B relationship is valuable and a number-one priority.
#7 Content Marketing For A Positive Customer Journey
Customer acquisition and demand generation is not the only function of marketing through content. Client retention is an equally important aspect of using incisive and engaging content to communicate your brand value. Customer journeys don’t end once the order is placed, they begin. So, clients should be valued through content that is relevant for them and sustains a positive impression.
#8 Monitor Your Client Usage Rates
Making a great first impression is easy. Sustaining it is hard. For understanding how B2B clients perceive your service or product offerings, it is essential to track and monitor customer usage. For example, if a business client has not ordered for some time, or not logged in, send reminders or reconnect to understand and bridge the gap.
#9 Value Your Client
This can range from reward points to discounts and actively listening to what the client has to say. The help desk needs to provide regular support and customer service is one of the biggest factors, when it comes to retaining customers. Reps need to be given the resources they need to solve problems, not become the problem! Ignoring or dismissing complaints is something a B2B marketing team does at its own peril. Criticism is a constructive step forward and an opportunity for growth, if you are able to respond effectively. Complaints are not just precious in terms of information, but also in the context of implications for business operations.
#10 Client Retention From Churn Rate Measures to Customer Win-back
There are a whole host of client retention ideas ranging from tracking the churn rate to having a customer win back program in place to regain lost customers. Only a minority of B2B companies track churn rate, ignoring the cardinal rule which says that which is measured shall improve. This means a competitive advantage for companies that engage in churn rate prediction and monitoring. Researchers estimate a 20-40 percent chance of landing business from a current customer by regaining them as against a chance of only less than 20 percent, if you try to drum up new business. Not communicating with ex customers is, therefore, a wasted opportunity.
Customer Retention and Smart B2B marketing
You are only as powerful as the weakest link in your chain. Smart B2B marketing focuses on prioritising customer retention. Whether it is in terms of creating engaging content, improving products or personalising services, or even staffing customer care units well, a lot depends on how the B2B marketing team focuses on prioritising client retention. Delivering on promises, affinity merchandise, quick customer service, penetration marketing, preventing defections, and constant relationship-building form the core of effective client retention.