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B2B Customer Retention

B2B Customer Retention

B2B customer retention isn’t something that’s getting a lot of focus these days - but why? It could be that those who are running B2B companies think they can rest on their laurels when it comes to customer service - after all, surely you don’t need to put in the same effort with a ‘company client’ as you do with the individual customer on the street?

Wrong. If you’re a B2B company, then you’re undoubtedly selling a more complex (and pricier!) product or service than a B2C company, which makes it even more important that you keep those customers happy instead of slipping right through your fingers and into the arms of the competition.

Flowbird takes a more in-depth look at how you can ensure that those B2B customers stick around and keep coming back repeatedly and which tools to use to give the very best in B2B customer service…

B2B Customer Service

Direct and constant communication is key to providing good customer service to your client companies. You need to ensure you’re answering all of the questions they might have and have the resources to solve any of the issues they might have. Examples of ways to do this include help centres, chatbots and customer service representatives who can give swift advice over the phone or electronically.

Your relationships with your B2B customers are always going to be a lot more complex than it would be in a B2C situation. This is largely down to the fact that instead of dealing with one individual, you’ll be concentrating on building good relationships with entire teams, and it can be a real juggling act trying to keep track of several people within one company who are using your product or service.

But it’s not just the higher volume of individuals you’ll be dealing with that makes customer service with B2B companies an entirely different beast - it’s the problems as well. You’re not going to be working out simple problems like replacement items or issuing refunds - it’s not just problems that could ruin someone’s day - it issues that could have a serious, far-reaching and negative impact on an entire company. That’s a lot of weight on the shoulders of your customer services team.

Relationships with your B2B clients will break down pretty damn fast if you can't resolve the issues that will affect the operations of an entire company! For this reason, your customer service process needs to be beyond flawless, or your B2B customers will lose trust in your company and product instantly.

If you want to avoid this sweat-inducing scenario, you must provide your customers with round-the-clock technical support. They don’t just want you always to be where you are - they want their online interactions with you to be seamless and super fast, particularly if you provide services that include software essential for their billing, accounts and order.

B2B  Customer Retention Strategies

B2B customer retention strategies are often overlooked, but they are crucial for the success of any B2B company. Unlike B2C customers, B2B clients are not easily swayed by flashy deals or gimmicks.

They value long-term relationships and want to work with companies that help them effectively run their businesses. That's why it's essential to have the right CRM and marketing automation systems in place to understand and meet your client's needs at each stage of their customer lifecycle. A reliable CRM system will help manage and retain these relationships, as well as track individual leads and guide them through the sales funnel. In the complex B2B environment, where transactions are higher in value and involve multiple decision-makers, visibility at each stage of the sales process is crucial. By implementing effective B2B customer retention strategies, you can ensure that your customers stay loyal and become advocates for your brand. So, if you're looking to boost profits and keep your customers coming back for more, consider investing in a well-integrated CRM system. 


Retaining B2B Customers

B2C customers are a fickle bunch, prone to flights of fancy and having their heads turned by the promise of a better deal and a free baseball cap with every purchase, but not so with B2B customers. These clients want to forge close ties with you and enter into a long-term relationship - they don’t want to be having to look elsewhere. Let’s face it if you’re working with a company helping you run your business effectively. They’re doing a good job; you’re not likely to disrupt your whole team and the processes you already have in place and go looking for someone else only to have to start the whole rigmarole from scratch and learn to trust someone new.

Well then, if that’s true, surely B2B customer retention is a piece of cake? In theory, sure, but if you don’t have the right CRM and marketing automation systems in place, you will struggle to understand what your clients want and need at each stage in their customer lifecycle.

The big challenge when it comes to B2B customer retention is that because the environment you’re dealing with is a lot more multifaceted than if you were dealing with an individual consumer, it’s difficult to know WHAT your clients need and when, and this is where CRM comes in…

The Role of CRM Systems In The B2B Sales Funnel

It really doesn’t matter what type of business you own; your main aim should always be to get your potential customers through that sales funnel through expertly tailored content that takes them all the way from becoming aware of your brand right through to you making a sale and following it up with fantastic customer care.

When it comes to managing your existing and future customers as a B2B company, it’s a decent CRM system that will help to manage and, in turn, retain those relationships. It will also be instrumental in helping your sales and marketing teams track those individual leads and determines how best to influence them to move onto the next stage of the sales funnel.

The biggest difference in CRM systems for a B2B company compared to a B2C business is that B2C systems are designed to give you numerous sales over a long period - whereas you want a B2B system to aid you in managing individual company leads in the long term.

The Stage of the Sales Process

It’s probably no surprise to hear that there are more stages in the sales process when it comes to B2B transactions. This is mostly because these types of transactions are typically higher in value, and you’re probably not dealing with just one decision-maker. Once your CRM system has alerted you to where your B2B lead is in the sales funnel, you can make sure that you communicate with them effectively. This is why having high visibility at each stage of your sales process is vital.

This is much more important for B2B businesses than for B2C companies. With B2C companies, you’re generally talking about more consumers but less complexity, making it less necessary - and maybe impossible - to track each stage in such great detail.

Your typical B2B sales process might look a bit like this:

  • Focus on getting your customers to share their info and generate leads using specially targeted marketing campaigns.
  • Lead scoring and qualification. This is where you assess the compatibility of your leads and prioritise the most promising ones!
  • An initial consultation with your lead gives you a chance to prove to them that your product or service can solve whatever problems they might be having.
  • Nurture your lead by showing them why your product or service is indispensable to them, and prompt them to ask for a quote.
  • Send a quote. This speaks for itself.
  • Make sure your sales reps follow up with the lead regularly, addressing any concerns the decision-makers might have
  • You’ve made a sale! CRM will now help you manage your new customer in the long term, helping you retain them and them being advocates for your brand.

These steps are not set in stone and will vary from business to business depending on the market and your product or service.

The whole purpose of a good CRM system is customer retention, moving those leads through your sales funnel and making them go back through it repeatedly and as loyal and valued customers.

If your B2B business could benefit from a well-integrated CRM system, contact the experts at Flowbird. We can create the best software package for your business to make sales, boost profits, and keep your customers returning for more.