The success of any business is profoundly dependent on its customers be it in a B2B or B2C environment. There is however a drastic difference in the approach and functioning of both these business environments. The customer loyalty strategies that are used in a B2C environment very rarely complement those that are required to be used in a B2B environment. 

A consumer driven organization usually is largely focused on a client base that has similar demands, which culminates in mass production with smaller transaction values. A business driven organization however in comparison has a lower client base and is dependent on higher value transactions. With the dynamics of individual clients the production is usually customized and pricing differentials occur. A B2B corporate environment has a much longer and complex selling process as that of a B2C corporate environment. One thing they both have in common be it is that both dimensions require sustainable long term loyal customers.

The black hole trap for a B2B company is to apply B2C focused successful customer loyalty tactics in a B2B environment.

The 3 ways to begin and formulate strategies for effective B2B customer loyalty are to

  • link benefits to the decision makers
  • make loyal customers a priority and
  • tie in the benefits to each client’s needs

Dealing with the decision makers

Unlike a B2C environment where an individual makes a decision if to buy a product or not, a B2B environment has multiple people involved towards the decision of partnering with an organization. A B2B business deals usually has large financial outlays, processes and quantitative requirements. This more often than not culminates in multiple decision makers of the organization getting involved.

Hence to build loyalty with a B2B focus it is important to first have a green signal from the decision makers of the organization. The initial focus has to be drawn towards collaborating with the organization and satisfying their demands and then moving vertically towards other individuals and departments.

Make loyal customers a priority

Loyalty is a customer’s commitment to carry out repeated business with your organization. In a B2B environment loyalty however goes far beyond repurchase. It encompasses a number of behavioural elements that strengthen the roots of loyalty. These behavioural value additions come from a positive spread of word of mouth, it creates  anopportunity for higher revenues, it builds relationships and it reduces time and money spent on new acquisitions apart from repeat purchases with nortmally larger ticket sizes. The realistic outlook to narrowing down who your loyal customers are is to analyse sales records, repeat purchase ratios and surveys.

Tie benefits to the organization

Within the domain of a B2B environment every client will come with individual distinct demands to be met. This usually requires the company to customize each client’s product, the quantity and the pricing. To win over the clients loyalty it is important to cater to the clients need through value delivery. Using the tactic of one coat fits all and a standard selling process in a B2B environment may give you early success but in the long run it will not result in loyal customers hence making strategies ineffectual.

Organizations in business markets should look at approaching clients with an outlook based on benefits (how our product or service can solve your specific problems) rather than features (how our product or service is superior).

It is both easier and cost effective to focus on retaining your existing customer. Acquiring new customers becomes a much easier battle if your customer retention strategies are in place.

Leading Customer Loyalty is a one-day work session to learn the principles and practices that are needed to win the hearts of customers. To drive this concept within your organization, register for the Leading Customer Loyalty workshop today.