How can a B2B loyalty scheme improve customer retention?

Posted by Helen Wheatley

In business-to-business (B2B) markets, showing your customers that you value their business is a great way to help them stay with you and keep using your services regularly. Keeping your customers with you means that you can spend less time replacing less responsive customers, and instead focus on providing exceptional services to those who engage with your business.

An effective customer loyalty scheme can be helpful for making your customers feel valued and encourage them to stay with you. This blog shows you how a good B2B loyalty scheme can help improve customer retention.

Showing that you understand and value their business

Loyalty schemes are a fantastic way that you can help retain your customers. For B2C markets, you’re likely to be familiar with things like paper cards in coffee shops, which incentivise repeat purchases and offer rewards.

However, in a B2B market, you might prefer something a little more sophisticated, which better scales to the needs of both your customers and your business. Online loyalty schemes that use a points-based system can be a great way to meet your needs and help your customers feel valued.

The way you organise and operate your B2B loyalty scheme can help the businesses you interact with feel more like there’s a positive relationship between your business and theirs.

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You could do this by trying to stay up to date with some of your bigger clients throughout the year. Loyalty schemes that feel personalised will help the businesses you work with feel like more than just customers, which helps them foster positive relationships with you.

It’s good to also know what’s happening with your clients and to keep your eyes open for positive news stories involving them. For example, a client has been with you for one full year and you want to thank the client for staying with you. Or perhaps a client has been presented with an award for exceptional service and you want to congratulate them.

Sending them a gift of some sort, like a hamper filled with treats such as luxurious chocolates and wine, can show businesses that you’re keeping your ear to the ground and keeping track of their milestones and successes.

When using an online points-based programme to more effectively manage your customer loyalty and retention efforts, you could have the system automatically send out thankful emails to your customers with complementary points, either annually or at certain points of year such as Christmas, for example. Your customers can then choose their own reward from a catalogue of possible options.

Effective loyalty scheme incentives can also provide a direct benefit to a client, which can make them more likely to stay with you. For example, loyalty scheme members could earn access to a member of your staff to act as their own personal account manager, giving them direct access to their email and phone number. This can help make the process quicker, easier and more personal when that business looks to make use of your services again.

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Retain existing customers by rewarding referrals

B2B is a very different market when compared with business to consumers (B2C). In general, customers for B2B companies have a relatively high associated cost to acquire them. As well as this, some customers may use services only a few times each year.

However, B2B customers also come with a much higher value. This means, every time they do use those services, it will often be a large transaction which provides a great deal of revenue for that B2B business.

Individual customers often make purchasing decisions within minutes or hours, while the added scope and complexity of B2B industries mean a business customer’s decision can take days or weeks. Loyalty schemes can help to keep those clients in the fold once they do land, which means you don’t have to worry as much about lost time or money acquiring the client to begin with.

One of the key features of your loyalty scheme could also be a referral program. Essentially, with this, existing clients become a makeshift sales team, helping to spread the word about the benefits and features of the services you provide. You provide a great service to your clients, and they are rewarded for telling other businesses about that service.

Incentivising repeat business

It might be that a business really enjoys and appreciates what you did for them, but, when the time comes to do something similar again, they’re a little on the fence for whatever reason.

Loyalty schemes can show businesses that you want to keep communications open with them, and that you’d like them to come back to you again in the future. They can do this by making future engagement with your business easier or more lucrative in some way.

Perhaps there’s a local company that you’re competing with for a customer’s business, for instance. The offering of a loyalty scheme can help make the customer more likely to come back to you, specifically, by providing incentives and rewards for staying with you instead of switching to your competitor.

A tiered loyalty scheme can help to add a sense of exclusivity, as well as further benefit your clients when they make use of your services again. For instance, repeat transactions of a certain value could take clients up a tiered ladder, where each successive order earns a greater discount or bonuses. You could also provide additional perks, such as free shipping if you’re a wholesale goods retailer. Or you could give surprise upgrades to a service or free products.

Helping your business with our customer loyalty services

Using a B2B customer loyalty scheme to reward your existing clients can encourage them to stay with you, benefiting both your business and theirs – you keep your customers and they gain incentives for staying with you. This also allows you to focus more of your efforts on providing exceptional service for them instead of replacing your lost customers. That’s why customer loyalty schemes in a B2B market can be so helpful to both sides of a business transaction.

At CR Worldwide, we can design, launch and optimise customer loyalty programmes that help to keep your B2B customers returning to your business again and again. Our customer loyalty schemes are:

Easy to implement — Our loyalty schemes can be tailored to suit your specific business requirements, allowing you to launch effective loyalty campaigns quickly and easily for your customers.

Easy to use — Our platforms are made to be straightforward, allowing you to efficiently track things like usage and product performance, while helping your customers to simply track their points, rewards and progress.

Easy to manage — Our programmes offer real-time reporting in participation with ROI and budget management. This makes managing, organising and tracking the success of your customer loyalty schemes quick and simple.

We love helping businesses to reach out, engage and retain their B2B customers, using our customer loyalty schemes. To speak to a member of our award-winning team: