As a B2B business, or any business for that matter, a key part of your strategy likely centres around attracting and acquiring new customers.
But there’s a risk that businesses can become somewhat one-track minded and devote so much time and resources to attracting new customers, their existing customers suffer. And it doesn’t take a genius to realise losing existing customers can be hugely damaging for a business.
The key is finding the right balance between keeping your current crop of B2B customers happy and satisfied, while also looking to add to those ranks. But what techniques and tactics are there that can help you achieve this?
Ultimately, the key to maintaining customers rests on you meeting their expectations on an ongoing basis.
They’ve signed up with you as a B2B partner because of what they feel you can deliver to their business. If you don’t meet these expectations moving forward, then the risk of losing customers to your competitors is significant.
In the modern age of online reviews, comments and discussion, this can damage your brand’s reputation. Therefore you need to have a clear idea of what these expectations actually are, and you need to maintain high standards.
Every interaction point is important to create the kind of experience that will keep customers loyal to you. Every email, call or conversation with member of your team through to every visit to your B2B website impacts a customer’s overall interpretation of your brand. Slip ups across any of these areas can have detrimental consequences.
So don’t say you will have a dedicated member of staff able to answer all their ongoing questions, then prove difficult to reach. Don’t say you’ll make regular updates to your stock and send suggestions over, then fail to do so. Don’t claim to have a flawless delivery service, then consistently fail to achieve the high standards you claim to pride yourself on.
What to focus on
Service: Set realistic and clear expectations from the off with customers. Are you able to offer dedicated account managers? Are you able to hold regular meetings? Make sure that what they can expect from a service perspective is made clear from the off, and stick to those promises.
Online: Today, more and more B2B business is being done online, so don’t neglect customer expectations in this space. For example, are you able to offer services such as punchout to make ordering from you easy? Does your B2B ecommerce site offer a great experience that keeps things simple for users? If not, then 2019 could be the year to make a shift on these fronts.
Delivery: If you’re a B2B business with a strong delivery service, do what you can to make this part of your offering exceptional for customers. And if you have depots, consider how you can enhance your in-store experience. This can turn the task of picking up products in bulk more appealing for the end customer.
Products: Speaking of products, make sure you shout about any new additions to your stock. For example, targeted email campaigns based on new products that may be of interest to existing customers can help them feel informed and valued.
Your key differentiators: What do you bring to the table that your competitors don’t? Try to identify the areas that bring you success, and consider ways to make the most of these for your existing customers and potential new customers alike.
Satisfied customers as an acquisition channel
In case you needed any more motivation to look after those customers you do have, consider this – you can use testimonials and feedback from existing customers to help acquire new business.
Customer feedback can be posted to your site using tools such as Yotpo to help provide potential customers with positive information about your brand from impartial sources.
Equally, on social media channels, there is plenty that can be done to develop a vocal community here. Encourage engagement and conversation, and allow for more people to see, become familiar with and potential get involved with your brand.
Keeping the customer satisfied
As we begin 2019, there’s no time like the present to analyse what you’re doing well as a company and where you might be able to improve.
And make sure you make the required efforts not to neglect the customers you have. By keeping your existing customer base satisfied, you give your business the stable basis to truly succeed over the next 12 months and beyond.
Looking for a new B2B ecommerce platform in 2019? You can get a quote from Cloudfy today.