Secret to B2B success in 2012: Customer loyalty supported by the right messaging

by Karen

How do you retain clients and customers? How do you keep them coming back for more of your products and services?

Customer loyalty is one of the HOT topics for 2012. More specifically it’s identified as “… one of the top 10 nonfinancial business challenges for companies in 2012.” (by Protiviti – a global consulting firm)

Discounts and other pricing considerations alone won’t get the job done. If your B2B company hasn’t already developed a game plan to handle this challenge, well … I suggest you get right on it.

Your game plan for increased customer retention and loyalty ought to include these elements:

Exceptional customer service at every touch point.

This includes all your marketing communications as well as every human interaction (e.g., call center, reception desk, sales force, etc.).

The copy in your marketing and sales material must be reader-centric, engaging, compelling, relevant and of value to the reader. Gather and track data – including that in social media and your loyalty program – to make your messages more targeted.

By the way, “Some 78% of consumers believe that having a great customer experience makes them loyal, a recent poll by Loyalty 360 found.” And remember, the buyers of your B2B products and services are also consumers! The take-way from this stat is that their B2B buying behavior is typically analogous to their consumer behavior.

Deeper engagement.

In your marketing, encourage customers and prospects to review your products or services; share their experience with their own network; share your B2B offers with their network; etc.

Engagement also includes downloading content … watching videos … filling out forms, surveys or polls … answering quizzes (test their knowledge) … and perhaps playing a game related to a product or service.

Team up with a nonprofit whose mission relates to your business.

A study by Echo Research and Cone Communications “… found that consumers are more likely to pick a brand based on charities or causes it supports.”

“A full 94% of responding consumers said they would abandon their typical brand for one of approximately equal quality and price if it backed a social issue.”

As marketers we have our work cut out for us in 2012 and beyond.

It begins by viewing your clients and customers as real people and not merely a source of revenue. They deserve your very best in terms of clear messaging … easy to read and understand marketing pieces, emails and websites … easy to understand forms and websites … and targeted, relevant messaging.

They’ll also be more loyal if you keep them engaged, and if you demonstrate your social responsibilities which now goes beyond environmental issues.

See you in 2012. And our best to you for a Happy and Prosperous New Year!


[Note: Quoted material is from a Dec 23, 2011 post by Marketing Profs, Top 12 Customer Loyalty Trends for 2012.]

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