- On September 15, 2020
Both B2B and B2C businesses lose an average of 45-50% of their customers every five years. Frequent small transactions and typical customer churn means this isn’t too worrying for B2C companies. Yet for B2B industries, this can be crippling. License and contract wins in our industry are far more valuable than B2C transactions, and certainly aren’t as frequent.
This means increasing customer retention is the fastest (and easiest) way to promote growth and increase ROI in B2B markets. It’s worth mentioning that American B2B companies alone lose $136.8 billion per year to avoidable customer switching.
To avoid this, vendors and their partners must focus on building relationships with their customers. I’m not talking about the ‘let’s go for dinner and see where the night takes us’ kind of relationship – I’m talking about aligning yourself with customer values to reduce churn and drive growth.
Let’s talk about the key methodologies top vendors utilise to develop customer relationships – and how they improve customer retention, brand image, and ultimately sales figures.
Focus on Value over Price
Customer relationships are forged through trust building over time. The simplest way to build trust is to provide further value to existing customers by solving pain points and improving services – well after the date of purchase. Ultimately, the more your company delivers (and exceeds) customer expectations, the stronger the relationship will become.
Increased customer retention isn’t the only reason to forge strong customer relations. Word-of-mouth has always, and will always, be a driving factor in company growth. Because of this, the better your existing services, the better your future sales.
Cater to Buyers on a Personal Level
Dealing with customers through a computer screen or over the phone can make it easy to forget we’re just people, dealing with people.
Naturally, organisations treat customers as figures. We target them, segment them and influence them with cross-selling and up-selling. Yet those we do business with have similar goals, with an equal amount of ambition for success.
The nature of B2B beast means we have powerful opportunities to aid customers. By helping them look great in their role and achieving their ambitions, the stronger our customer relationships will be.
Vendors can achieve this by actively demonstrating investment in customer success on a personal level. Below are some ideas to start with:
- Prepare supportive guides to help customers utilise your services
- Share extra data and product use cases as they become available
- Have reps participate in team meetings where appropriate
- Ensure contact is maintained well after purchase
By doing what’s needed to become your client’s best vendor, you’ll be seen as more than a faceless corporation. You’ll be hailed as a lifelong ally – even a friend – ensuring mutual benefits for both parties.
Customer satisfaction is imperative to the success of any B2B organisation, yet it’s those who take it to the next level that truly stand out from the crowd. Demonstrating you’re a group of human beings matters more than giant marketing budgets and baseless promises. From the zaniest designers to the dreariest of accountants, we’re all just people – and those who keep that in mind often see the greatest results.