Customer Retention: The Next Frontier for B2B Marketers

Customer retention pays huge dividends, but with it being an uphill task, marketers find it a little invasive.

The truth, however, is that it pays off handsomely when you keep pace with customer retention strategies. Here’s a quote from a Bain & Company report by Fred Reichheld:

“… a 5% increase in customer retention produces more than a 25% increase in profit.”

Not many B2B marketers see customer retention as central to a business’s success.

Well, it’s worth knowing that retaining customers costs companies up to five times less than getting new ones.

In the B2B space, where the cost of contracts is significantly higher than B2C, the impact of customer retention is even more pronounced.

A Harvard Business Review research article by Frederick F. Reichheld and Phil Schefter bears our claim out by stating that customer acquisition costs push businesses into the quagmire of unprofitability.

Only by lowering costs per customer can a business turn into a profitable venture.

That happens with customer retention, as it turns a stray customer into a returning one. Trust between parties builds over time, and as their volume of purchases increases so does the ROI.

Customer retention strategies for B2B marketers

Let’s explore a few strategies for customer retention that B2B marketers can use right away.

1. Don’t let go of customers after they make a purchase.

A customer’s relationship with business doesn’t end with a purchase. A business’s long term relationship with customers begins with closure of a sale! If marketers see it as an end in itself, they’re committing a marketing blunder.

So, don’t let go off customers so easily.  Forge lasting relationships with customers by delivering welcome emails. Share webinars and tutorials for their edification.

Adding value to their purchase is the first step to hook customers for a lifetime.

After understanding customer needs, a business can assign a qualified person or direct him/her to self-help resources available in order to cater to customers’ necessities.

2. Keep in constant touch with your customers.

Active communication with customers is practically the best customer retention strategy B2B marketers can employ.

Hearing your customers speak about their needs could help a business serve them better. Their likes and dislikes can prove handy in improving customer experience.

A tip on the house: Businesses must conduct surveys to get firsthand knowledge of how customers rate their services and draw from it conclusions as to what else they can do to rectify problems and set issues straight.

3. Segment your customers into different groups.

It’s imperative that loyal customers be segmented from freebies – who don’t convert after the free trial.

B2B organizations cannot launch a well-directed customer retention strategy unless they understand their customer base precisely enough to target them in a personalized manner.

That is to say, marketers know exactly which group to target with conversion campaigns and which for recovery by segmenting customers into groups.

4. Resort to metrics and analytics.

Metrics and analytics play a significant role in streamlining marketing efforts.

Businesses can understand how marketing efforts fare and how it impacts the outcome in real-time with the help of metrics and analytics.

Besides that, marketers get first-hand data about customer behavior. Measuring customer interaction can help marketers optimize marketing strategies.

Customer data comes handy in identifying strong and weak points of your strategies and help you eradicate hurdles coming between businesses and customers.

5. Aim for customer satisfaction.

Every frontier of customer retention begins with customer satisfaction. As a B2B marketer, assessing how the business’s deliverables fare in the sight of customers and how you can improve their experience further, is key to ensuring your customers return.

The more focused you are on catering to your existing customer base and doing everything in your capacity to make their experience better every time they turn up at your business, you can be sure of their lasting loyalty to your business.

After all, customer retention and customer satisfaction are intertwined – and let them be!

Conclusion

These customer retention strategies help B2B marketers expand their base of returning customers. Customer retention is central to scaling up a business.

But with that being said, turning visitors into loyal customers is not an easy task either.

So, have your eyes set on benefits to reap, not the complexity of the task. Customer retention strategies are not about end results.

Instead, it prepares you to improve customer experience. With it, customer acquisition costs go down.

Besides that, returning customers explore new products and provide feedback on how efficiently your business offers solutions to each customer’s problems.

Sales no doubt increase, but positive word of mouth is the real gain for businesses implementing customer retention strategies efficiently, and helps create goodwill among the masses toward a business.