Acquiring and growing your customer base is often a top priority for many B2B businesses. A lot of time and effort goes into creating marketing strategies to gain new customers, and much of the digital strategies employed by businesses are created with one goal in mind: lead generation.
While lead generation is extremely important, it is imperative that you do not ignore the customers which you have already attained. Your current customers are essential to growing your business.
Now more than ever customers have greater access to information along with greater access to more and more options. Focusing your efforts on retaining your customers and increasing their satisfaction levels can be extremely cost-effective when done correctly. According to a study conducted by Signalmind, it is between 6 to 7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than to keep a current one. While the likelihood of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% compared to just 5-20% for a new customer.
Be sure to keep communication open between you and your customers following the closing of a sale. Contact them following their purchase and inquire about how satisfied they are with the product or service. Be open to answering any questions they may have and if there are any issues, assure them you will fix it ASAP. This shows the customer that you care about their experience with you, and that you are prepared to do whatever it takes to improve it. Continue to keep in contact with your customers on a regular basis. This ensures that they remain satisfied, and reduces the likelihood of them switching to a competitor.
Satisfied customers can lead to positive customer reviews. B2B buyers are spending more time researching their options both before and throughout their buyer journey. Reading positive customer reviews can help to sway a buyer in your direction. Delivering great customer experiences increases the likelihood of receiving positive reviews. Satisfied customers can often lead to warm leads. If customers are happy with your services they will feel confident in referring you to their contacts, who in turn may contact you about your product. They may even pass on the names of these contacts to you.
The customer’s journey
Once your marketing campaigns successfully push your customers through the sales funnel, they will reach the final stage: retention. It is now time to use all of this hard work to build a rapport and drive repeat sales. They may be at the end of the sales funnel but their buying journey continues.
Continue to engage with your customers as they continue through this journey. Aim to identify the stages where your customers may want to purchase more of what you have to offer. Prioritize delivering the best customer experience as they use your product and interact with your services. Mapping the customer journey once they are using your product is essential to understanding at what stages your upselling efforts will be most effective.
Contact your customers on an annual basis and suggest that you meet up. This can be an opportunity for you to assess their current circumstances and identify if your product is still suitable to their needs. A review gives you the opportunity to upgrade your customer or introduce them to a new product that may be greater suited for them. Not every annual review will result in a re-sell or new purchase, but it can leave a lasting impression on your customer that you care about their experience with your product.
Many companies offer new customers great sign-up deals and perks. Last year Sky TV offered a free 32″ LG TV when customers signed up to their Original Bundle & Box Sets or their Variety Bundle & Box Sets. If I hadn’t been locked into a contract with another TV provider I would have jumped ship. Offering a new customer a good deal can make you seem more tempting versus competitors. It is important, however, that you don’t forget about your already existing customers. Offering great new deals to new customers while offering nothing to your loyal customers can cause upset. Organize an annual event for your loyal customers, or offer discounts and competitions exclusive to your existing clientele.
Gaining detailed insights can help push your customer service to the next level. Gathering the correct data and identifying trends can reveal valuable information about your customers. Mapping an analytical strategy to your customer journey map allows you to alter your customers’ experiences in an effort to retain them for longer and push further sales.
Distributing surveys and feedback forms, along with organizing focus groups with customers are a great way to gather insights. The digital age has further provided businesses with access to real-time customer data. These internet research tools can only be used to monitor online activity and are extremely beneficial to digital selling companies.
Real-time customer experience data enables businesses to respond to their customers’ needs. Having an understanding of consumer behavior can help your business to adapt to your clientele and their changing preferences. It is a great advantage to have these insights on your customers, knowing what offers to send at the correct time can be a huge plus. You must be smart about how you use this data and to avoid any indication that you are ‘spying’ on your customers. Real-time analytics allows your customer experience to be adaptable to particular customers at different moments in their journey.