Engaging customers can present a unique challenge for business-to-business (B2B) vendors. With various stakeholders and multiple channels in play, combined with varying needs and business segments, there’s a lot to consider. In this article, we’ll dig into why it’s so critical to boost channel partner or customer engagement, along with best practices for further engaging your B2B customers.
There are three key benefits that result from effective B2B customer engagement strategies:
- Improve customer satisfaction — engaged channel partners are better equipped for through-channel sales, ensuring customers are as happy as possible.
- Build customer loyalty and retention — better-engaged channel partners boost customer loyalty through improved satisfaction.
- Get referrals from loyal customers — your most loyal customers are the most likely to refer you to other companies, helping to grow revenue.
How Do You Engage B2B Customers?
Nearly 70% of customers are ready to take their business elsewhere, meaning there’s no room to sacrifice customer engagement. In fact, maintaining an engaged customer base is critical for business stability and growth in a post-COVID world. No matter which vertical you operate in, leverage the following best practices for engaging your B2B customers.
You likely work with a few different types of customers, and you shouldn’t speak to all of them the same way. You want each customer to feel like you’re talking just to them and are focused on helping them specifically.
With this in mind, consider segmenting your customers into different groups in your relationship management (CRM) or sales & marketing platforms. Consider segmenting by customer:
- Industry or vertical
- Organization size
Once you have your customer segments established, leverage them to send targeted messages to each audience. You might send regional content, industry-specific insights, or other resources unique to those customers’ needs.
After segmenting your customers, you’ll also be able to gain better insights into your sales and marketing efforts. By reviewing each segment individually, you can evaluate which efforts work best for your different audiences. After all, emails with ebooks may be useful for one audience, while other segments won’t appreciate them as much. Without segmentation, it will look like ebooks are a non-starter for your entire customer base, when in reality, they work great for a specific audience.
In line with customer segmentation, personalization helps your customers feel like each interaction is tailor-made. Personalized messaging also helps you forge emotional connections with your customers and partners, which is vital to maintaining an engaged audience.
Get optimal messages to the right customers on time using these marketing tools and features:
- Dynamic content, which adjusts based on who is viewing it
- Content tokens in emails, which automatically populate based on customer data
- Personalized offers and discounts, targeted based on your customer’s interests
Excellent Customer Experience (CX)
By delighting your customers with a fantastic experience, you’ll drive increased engagement, loyalty, and lifetime value. Consider a few top strategies for providing a top-notch experience:
- Single sign-on functionality
- Mobile-friendly resources
- Multimedia content formats so partners and customers can consume information however they prefer – SMS, social media, email, PDFs, videos, etc.
- Accessible, intuitive website, with search functionality, live chat, and more
- Use tools such as heat maps and surveys to assess users’ experience with your platforms, then make adjustments accordingly
Incentive Rewards & Gamification
Incentive rewards help customers and partners understand exactly which actions they should take next, providing an added benefit to them in the process. You can provide reward points for customers based on certain actions taken, then allow them to spend those points in a catalog of exciting rewards.
You may provide points for survey completion, training or certification, warranty registration, marketing engagement, and more. That data will then allow you to further personalize future offers and marketing content.
Gamification forges an emotional connection for your customers and partners, driving increased engagement with your solution. You might consider the following to gamify your customer’s experience:
- Public leaderboard to rank your resellers or distributors, sparking sales with a bit of friendly competition
- Virtual games like spin-to-win or scratch off to boost interest and investment.
- Rewards for correctly answering daily trivia questions, encouraging customers’ and partners’ expanding product knowledge and habitual interaction with your brand.
Drive Engagement with Your Channel Partners & B2B Customers
Improving customer and partner engagement is vital to driving business stability and growth. The more engaged your customers and partners are, the more loyal your audience will be, driving increased lifetime value.
By leveraging a mix of the strategies mentioned above, you can increase engagement across your entire audience, while forging deeper emotional connections.
Want more engaged B2B customers? Contact us!