Result-oriented B2B loyalty program techniques you should try

Business to business transactions can be recurring but also impersonal, devoid of a loyalty connection and binding that prove to be so rewarding. You will find that customer experience and customer satisfaction are important but customer loyalty in B2B is no less so. It can generate better results and more revenues with a little effort in crafting and implementing strategic B2B loyalty programs. This is how you could go about it.

Keep your house in order

Take a look inward first so that you create the right infrastructure and set up for your B2B loyalty program.

I. Website

Not all B2B customers walk through the front door or use email or snail mail. Many will arrive at your website from different starting points. You could do this as a preliminary to the loyalty program step:

Create perfect landing pages leading to pages with well-written, informative content with customer testimonials and reviews. Ask yourself if the site is fully e-commerce enabled and if not, get it converted. 

II. SEO and content marketing

You must have a documented content marketing strategy to generate sales and keep customers coming back for more. Lead generation is a challenge with B2B marketers assigning it a priority. 93% of marketers use content marketing according to TopRank.

Let your content flow to social media and reward customers for sharing posts.

III. Employment empowerment

In large business organizations it is the employees who are the movers and shakers.

Craft a motivational, engaging and interesting loyalty strategy for your employees at a micro level so that they love to engage with your B2B customers.

You’ll create that vital emotional connection translating to loyalty and more sales. 

IV. Analysis

You could engage an external digital marketing expert or a big data analytics service to analyze data about market sentiment, what B2B buyers are looking for, what they expect by way of service and similar trends.

Use social media and the social media monitoring tools to find out metrics of interactions with your brand and the competition. 

V. Surveys and customer research

It does help to find out from your B2B customers their opinion and expectations. An email survey should be easy to carry out so you have some data on which to craft your B2B loyalty program. Parameters that influence loyalty in B2B customers may differ from the B2C sector. For instance, B2B customers expect top quality service. 80% of customers switched to another supplier simply because of bad service while 86% will pay more for superior experience, as some survey results show. 

Get a B2B loyalty tech platform

You will not get far with manual records or excel worksheets for your B2B loyalty program. It is best to get a tailored tech platform by using affiliate marketing software with features such as: 

  • Backend customization where you can create various user accounts for your team members, each one handling a specific set of customers. This enables better control, tracking and connection building with employees. Let your employees be account managers, specifically assigned a set of buyers. 
  • A front end app for B2B customers. The customer need not be the end buyer but is the wholesaler, distributor and retailer in the chain. They can download the app and keep track of their purchases, points, rewards and redemptions.

Then you are ready to craft loyalty programs in the backend that suit buyers’ expectations (not what suits you or is cheapest or most convenient). With a superb affiliate tracking platform in place, you can be prompt, responsive and accurate thereby avoiding any cause for complaint in your rewards program.

But while we all agree that tech is an extremely helpful thing, do not forget business is also about relationships and building an emotional connection. 

Building B2B loyalty – the emotional aspect

A Capgemini report shows that emotions play a significant role in engendering loyalty. It matters more than simple rewards, discounts and incentives. An Oracle study shows that 86% of customers with high emotional connections stay loyal to the brand or supplier and 80% will promote brands. Having that in mind, there are 2 key notes to consider:

  • Recognize that your B2B customers are human, have emotions and egos. Sometimes, something as simple as keeping in touch and sending out greetings on anniversaries, birthdays and festivals can strengthen emotional bonds and nurture loyalty. People want to feel appreciated and cared for. 
  • If customers are connected emotionally, they stay loyal and spend more. 

There is more to it than just sending greetings. You can delight and surprise B2B buyers with programs that are fully personalized and adjusted to individual preferences.

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Loyalty programs for B2B customers differ from B2C strategies

B2B buyers may not care much about accumulating points and then redeeming them. Instead, craft programs ideas that will be welcome are:

  • Incentives for higher volume purchases
  • Incentives and discounts for faster repayment
  • The reward for a record of timely payment in the form of cashback
  • Surprise gifts when least expected such as a voucher for hotel discount or airline discount
  • A VIP club offering for elite ranking and an invitation to VIP events
  • Affiliate marketing program – can work nicely for SaaS or online service companies as advocates selling your product often become long-term clients too
  • Referral program – this may be extremely beneficial since in about 84% cases buying starts with a referral (according to Annexcloud)

Boost your B2B loyalty program with praise and flattery

You have dozens of B2B buyers and a few are stellar performers. How do you grant them recognition besides giving them benefits from your loyalty program? Enmesh them further in loyalty to your company by holding conferences, online or offline, featuring them in webinars or podcasts, and singling them out for attention. You will find out just how good it makes them feel and eggs them on to do better for you, besides inspiring others.

Always ask B2B customers for feedback 

B2B buyers may be hard-nosed businessmen. But as stated before, they are also human and in a position to give you advice, opinion and feedback on products and service improvements that will lead to business growth for you. What exact steps can you take here?

  • Seek their feedback after every transaction
  • Obtain comments and opinions about products and suggestions on what would make your product better
  • If they’re not the end users, offer to train their employees to better handle your product sales.

B2B distributors or wholesalers are not there just to fulfil sales targets. They also gather intelligence and information. Why not seek their opinion and benefit from it?

There is plenty you can do in your B2B loyalty program, either on your own or with the help of an expert. The crucial thing is just to get started.

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