Many B2B companies put a strong focus on generating leads. Marketers and sales teams are challenged to keep the lead pipeline full and close new business. But, what about your current customers? Are you putting enough focus on those that have already committed to your company, to ensure they don’t turn to the competition?
While companies should certainly expand their customer bases to help meet business growth goals, they must also capitalize on the opportunities that exist with current customers. According to Managing the Professional Service Firm by David H. Maister, existing clients make attractive business opportunities because you have already earned their trust and confidence. Plus, there are less financial and time resources needed to retain existing business, versus securing new clients.
Here are several ways to help build customer loyalty:
1. Differentiate your business from the competition
It is important to remember that a customer’s commitment to your company cannot be assumed or taken for granted, and the competition will always be there with another offer or a lower price. You can nurture client relationships and build loyalty through content marketing – providing valuable, relevant information to customers to help them solve their problems and improve their businesses.
Your content must work to differentiate your brand and consistently communicate your leadership position in the industry.
2. Provide value beyond products and services
Customers want you to make their lives easier. So, after they’ve purchased your product or service, consider what you can do to go the extra mile. You can do this by offering resources that help customers run their businesses more efficiently. For example:
- Develop a how-to eBook relevant to your industry. Repurpose for each vertical market you serve.
- Create an online portal with curated industry articles and resources.
- Offer a web tool or mobile app.
By adding value through content, your company can become a trusted industry expert and a valued partner that customers just can’t part with.
3. Stay in touch and be proactive
Stay top of mind with customers by proactively communicating on a regular basis. For example:
- Distribute an enewsletter with original articles, important updates on products, recent blog posts, etc.
- Create a blog dedicated to each buyer persona. Contribute new content at least weekly.
- Send personal communications to customers when you have published or found a content piece you know they will be particularly interested in.
- Have regular conversations with customers about their industry’s hot topics to tap into customers’ changing needs and identify opportunities to develop new content.
4. Connect and engage
While providing great products and services is the foundation of your business, customers also like to develop a personal connection and build a trusted, mutually beneficial relationship with their business partners.
- Connect through social media to stay in touch with what is going on in your customers’ businesses and personal lives.
- Showcase exclusive premium content and product offers online and in social networks.
- Create a community around your business on social networks, such as a LinkedIn group, to foster discussions and encourage new peer connections.
It’s always about taking care of your customers first. Your current customers can be your organization’s biggest advocates, and present your greatest opportunities to generate more business. Sell your value every day.
We invite you to share ideas and strategies that have helped your business succeed at customer retention. Please leave your thoughts in the comments.
- Conversation Agent: Content Strategy for the Post Purchase Phase
- MarketingProfs: 10 Tips for Building Customer Loyalty
- Mashable: HOW TO: Use Social Media to Retain Customers
- Small Business Trends: Paying Attention is a Good Sales Strategy
Christy Barksdale is content services manager and consultant for PR 20/20, a Cleveland-based inbound marketing agency and PR firm. Follow her on Twitter: @ChristyHaj.comments powered by Disqus