Customer Loyalty: What Happens After the Sale
Customer loyalty is a hot topic in the retail world as more and more brands shell out points for purchases. Why is customer loyalty such a big deal? Studies show that it costs 5 times more to acquire a new customer than it does to generate new business from an existing customer, and 83% of consumers said loyalty programs make them more likely to continue doing business with certain brands. However, in the B2B sphere customer loyalty is a little more difficult to cultivate as purchases are made less frequently, are generally more expensive, and the nature of these purchases are different than that of retail consumers. So, how do you cultivate customer loyalty for your business? Here are a few ideas to try implementing into your sales approach to help build this loyalty!
Follow-up During Honeymoon Phase: Utilizing whatever customer data you have available, make an effort to reach back out to your newly acquired customer during what’s known as the “honeymoon phase” (shortly after a purchase has been made), to see how the product or service is working for them and if they have any questions. It’s important not to abandon customers after the sale, although it’s tempting to focus on the next one, make sure to orient your recent partners for success.
Email Newsletter: Keep your customer in the loop about business improvements and changes in inventory, special promotions, etc. through an email newsletter. The best way to accomplish this is by making sure to capture your customer’s email at the close of every sale so that you have this point of contact to communicate with them on a regular basis. It can be helpful to include educational information about how to care for different types of equipment or inform them of additional supplies or services that can aid their work.
Check the Pulse: Customer surveys can be extremely insightful in letting businesses know what’s working and what could be improved upon. There is a wide range of potential information to be gained by sending out a formal survey or simply surveying the customers in your dealership. For smaller business owners who know their customer base by name, take a few minutes to write down some names of customers who you haven’t heard from in a while, and consider sending them a note or giving them a quick phone call to check in. It’s the small touches that make customers notice and appreciate your business.
Build A Community: As we’ve highlighted already, interacting with your customer base on a regular basis is a great strategy for retaining them. Social media is a perfect outlet to grow and maintain your relationships with current customers. Active members of this community will likely be more loyal to your business. For more ideas on improving customer loyalty through social, check out this article by the Social Media Examiner!
Refer-A-Customer Program: While membership cards work great in the retail space, the infrequency of purchases makes it somewhat obsolete for B2B consumers. Instead of filling your customer’s wallet with another piece of plastic, why not give them an offer that could really pay off for them! Refer-A-Customer programs are great because it increases both the retention of your customer base and the size of it! Consider offering a discount on service, rental, or future product when current customers refer a peer who makes a purchase at your business.
By implementing these different strategies into your daily business operations and marketing strategies, you can increase your retention and customer loyalty of the most significant influencers of your business success- your current customer base! For further questions or ideas, let us know in the comments below!