How to Improve B2B Customer Retention in 5 Simple Ways
While it’s fun to talk about customer support strategy and the future of the industry, sometimes all you need is that “extra little bit” to push your team over the edge and into greatness. Maybe it’s just a few more positive reviews to hit a milestone or one more contract renewal to break even!
Whatever your goal is, here are a few simple B2B customer retention strategies and tactics to improve your customer retention rate…
1) Schedule recurring follow up appointments with customers – Many businesses already do this, but there’s still an alarming number that don’t! All of your customer interactions shouldn’t be based around problem scenarios as it creates a poor image of your business in the minds of your customers. Instead, have recurring meetings with every major customer to discuss your business relationship and your own plans as a company. It gives your customers a time to speak when they aren’t trying to put out fires, and you can even proactively bring up potential issues before they become major problems.
2) Add “Contact Us” to every site page and email – Some B2B companies, especially those growing quickly, don’t always adequately educate their employees about all the partnerships and vendors they use. So, when a problem arises with a new deal, they may become irrationally frustrated with your business because they don’t know how to contact you. Even worse, the more you make all customers hunt to contact you when a problem happens, the less likely they are to reach out! Not communicating and having them give up on their quest to tell you about their issue is a terrible thing for your chances at retaining their business. To help prevent this, add ways to contact you to pretty much everything you do. It may seem excessive at first, but think of it as education by repetition more than anything else.
3) Customize responses when tickets are submitted – Some of the external-facing automated processes in customer support can be poorly received by certain audiences. It may be hard to believe, but many businesses still don’t send out ticket confirmation emails! Assuming you have these in place, many customer support systems let you customize these emails to add a first name, issue topic, company logo, agent information, and more. This makes these emails feel significantly more personalized and lets customers know their unique issue was submitted. If this process is too complex or time consuming, an agent can send out a quick generic response whenever they take on a ticket. A simple “Hello Jane, I’m John and I’ll be working on your ticket. Let me review it further and I’ll follow up soon.” can have a noticeable impact in retaining business!
4) Provide customers with immediate way to get new self-service content – More customers are relying on self-service support to answer their own questions now than ever before. And, too often, agents tell customers that a self-service page will be updated soon with the information they need and to “check back later”. A customer shouldn’t have to spend time checking your self-service portal several times a day because support promised new content. Instead, offer a sign-up option on the self-service portal that alerts customers of new updates in real-time. If this isn’t possible, an agent can assist by using a site tracking service like Visualping so both they and the customer know via email when the new content they are waiting for goes live. This way an agent doesn’t need to hear from the person who updated the self-service article that the content has been changed, and they can follow up with the customer only if needed.
5) Go above and beyond with a personal touch – For the last change, it’s time to step away from the computer or tablet. Sending a nice “Thank You” gesture to a B2B customer can leave a long-standing impression. A small “We Value Your Business” card (because, depending on your industry, not all customers can accept gifts) or a swag bag with some useful items featuring your company logo may not seem like much, but these gestures stand out in the long run as memorable moments. It’s a low cost, low effort thing to do that transcends most of the digital interactions we have in the workplace today.
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