In ever more competitive markets, having an advanced customer loyalty programme is similar to a real "lethal weapon" allowing you to distinguish yourself from the competition, while exceeding the divisions of product differentiation.
In this article, we will review the interests of creating an advanced customer loyalty programme, the way in which you should put it in place and to finish, we will give you a few areas to work on to make an impact on your customers.
Why is the customer loyalty programme essential in BtoB?
You are convinced that you must develop a customer loyalty programme, but you can’t manage to unite the decision-makers in your company around this idea? Here are some arguments which will help you to convince them internally that a customer loyalty programme is essential in BtoB.
The democratisation of digital marketing has been a boon for professionals. It is now much simpler to give visibility to your offer with a targeted population of professionals. The other side of the coin is that your products are more visible, but those of your competitors too. It is for this in particular that the acquisition costs of a BtoB customer have exploded in recent years. It is an obvious statement; a new customer is more expensive to acquire than previously, which is one more reason to try to keep them beyond their purchase, so as to make the costs of acquisition profitable over time. The studies estimate as well that generating a new customer costs between 4 to 10 times more than the investments necessary to retain an existing customer.
A conclusion which it is all the easier to admit when you look at the turnover associated with these two profiles. According to a study conducted by the Harvard Business Review, a customer who renews their purchase spends more than a new customer. A ratio which is estimated in the following manner: +1% of customer loyalty is equivalent to 7% of additional T/O for the business vis-a-vis a new customer.
Customer loyalty is therefore a source of growth for the company and all this happens, of course, depending on the degree of satisfaction of your customers. A buyer who is satisfied with your product and the relationship with your company will be more inclined to recommend you to their professional circle. A natural process which is a gold mine for businesses. The probability of conversion of a prospect is multiplied by 4 when it is the result of a customer recommendation.
Creating an effective loyalty programme means successfully exceeding the transactional dimension of the customer relationship
To benefit from this virtuous circle of the customer relationship, you need to know how to create a differentiating and effective loyalty programme. To illustrate this, let’s take the example of the air transport sector.
The majority of companies offer many benefits to their regular customers (reduced rates, private lounge, premium seating…). The more they consume, the more they have an interest in continuing the relationship in order to benefit from privileges which will reward their loyalty. Yet, it is sufficient for a competitor to offer more attractive benefits for these customers to be likely to change airline. There, you can see the risk of limiting your customer loyalty programme to a transactional relationship. If you do not combine your programme with a more relational approach, you expose yourself to the competition.
Relational marketing, the key to your customer loyalty programme
What we call "relational marketing" is the fact of adapting your message to the expectations and challenges of your customer. The more you are going to deepen your knowledge of your buyers, the easier it will be to give them satisfaction and to anticipate their needs, and this has much more value in their eyes than a simple discount on your products.
Customer knowledge will allow you, in particular, to ensure that your customers use your products at 100% of their capabilities. If this is not the case, you can therefore support them in this way, which will, resultantly, improve their satisfaction and will increase the likelihood of renewal of purchase.
To do this, it is important to create regular get-togethers with your customers (lunch, invitation to events, surveys…), which will let you harvest valuable information about them, and initiate adapted actions. In this framework, the use of CRM appears to be indispensable. It will enable you to prioritise and save the information collected, as well as share it with all members of your business.
It is in this sense that a customer loyalty programme based on a relational approach will allow you to create and maintain a unique relationship with your customers, which will protect your business against the actions of your competitors.
To learn more about BtoB customer loyalty programmes, we invite you to register with our dedicated email programme. In this programme, we review in detail the good practices to follow to move from transactional marketing to relational marketing, the different levels of relationship between a company and its customer as well as, the strategies to follow to develop ambassadors of your business.