6 Marketing Strategies for B2B Customer Retention

Serena Dorf

Business-to-business marketing is one of the most challenging facets of the marketing industry. Businesses aren't like retail customers. The requirements in B2B model are different. You deal at a level and the businesses are your core customers.

Without taking care of your core customers, your business plans will soon falter, and your brand will suffer. B2B marketing is more technical than B2C. Businesses are constantly looking for premium service, and one simple mistake can cost you a valuable customer.

How does one manage to keep customers engaged and loyal to their brand? Is preventing defection even possible? It most certainly is, and we’ve decided to aid you in accomplishing that.

To promote customer retention and strengthen your B2B marketing scheme, we’ve assembled this list of six key strategies you can use.

1. Set and exceed expectations

In classic marketing, the goal is to meet the expectations that you’ve set. Letting your customers know that you’re dedicated and consistent is always good. However, B2B marketing is different because success is all that matter.

No matter how consistent you are, a business will easily seek the services of another marketer if they provide a better service. This can damage the growth of your business, but how can you counter it?

By exceeding expectations, you show that you’re willing to go the extra mile and provide excellent service. Just meeting the expectations isn’t enough. Doing more than you were required is probably the best way to send a message that you intend to provide businesses with a service like no other.

“Excitement is the most powerful tool a marketer can use in any B2B industry”, elaborates Brandon Hart, an expert on psychology and marketing at EssayOnTime. “Nobody can outdo themselves all the time, so you have to schedule it. A surprise from time to time will engage businesses to stay loyal to you.”

2. Customer service

Problems are bound to arise in just about any situation. As a marketer working with businesses, you must make sure they are swiftly resolved. A common mistake we notice is that brand managers get too caught up preventing problems.

As a result, they don’t know how to provide the right customer service when a problem arises. Buyer expectations are always on the rise, so you must maintain excellent customer service.

The first staple is response speed. After that, it’s all about communications and making up for the mistake in the first place. In every B2B industry, the quality of customer service is closely connected to customer retention. If you are to keep your customers, you always need to be one step ahead.

3. Penetration marketing

Customer attraction is something most marketers focus on these days. The attractive numbers from new visits and conversions can get in your heads easily. However, customer attraction is only seen as an investment before you manage to retain the same customer.

After managing to score conversions, you should focus on penetration marketing and developing your strategy. What is penetration marketing in the first place? Well, it relies on digging deeper into the existing customer body and optimizing sales to your current customer body.

While businesses seek stable and consistent services, new offers and better conditions will cause them to pledge their loyalty to you. In most businesses, penetration marketing is also known as account marketing. By using analytics, experience and other tools, you can keep your customers happy with up-selling and cross-selling.

4. Prevent defection

Every marketer has to be alert at all times, mostly when he’s dealing with other businesses. While it may be difficult to do so, you have to recognize the signs of possible defection and counter them.

Decreased interest, lack of purchases or communication are all clear indications that you might see a customer defect. To prevent that, you have to make additional changes to your strategy. Adding more incentives erases any second thoughts when contemplating defection. An analysis of the defectors and stayers in B2B model comes in handy.

Additionally, you have to work to prevent, not to soften blows that your strategy has already received. Identify the key variables and make sure to keep them consistent and you’ll lessen your defection numbers by a thousand fold. For each variable, think of a corresponding prevention program.

5. Non-stop relationship selling

As any marketing expert might tell you, we are slaves to one-off sales. When we sell a service or a product to a business, we have the urge to sell them something once again.

Even though you have the best intentions, urging your associated businesses to buy things they don’t need is a bad thing. Instead of coming off as a service provider, you will be deemed as a pest. The solution to this marketing malady is continuous sales.

Before selling, explain to them why they need a certain service. Then, instead of making it a one-time purchase, make sure they agree on a continuous delivery system. Of course, make sure that some components in this delivery system are free of charge, as a gesture of gratitude.

6. Reward loyalty

The theme in B2B marketing is always about rewarding. A business wants to participate in the services they are already being provided to. For that participation, they deserve to be rewarded with various loyalty programs.

The possibilities are truly endless. From gifts, coupons, promotions and everything else, to special programs, you can reward your associates heftily.

Loyalty rewards also hide a special benefit for your brand. As you are sure that your customers are loyal, you will have more time to focus on existing services and improve them. The move will, in turn, improve every facet of your cooperation with businesses and cause even better customer retention stats.

To conclude

In B2B marketing, creativity and stability are essential. Thinking of new ways to approach your customers is important, but so is providing a stable influx of services. Every business wants to know what they can expect, and you must provide them with just that.

Serena Dorf is an enthusiastic content writer in Los Angeles. She is passionate about marketing, personal development, and public speaking. In her free time, she is reading classic American literature and learning Swedish. Feel free to connect with her on Twitter.