How to Improve B2B Customer Loyalty
But in order to retain those profitable business customers requires proven methods that will not only help you generate repeat purchases but also improve customer referrals.
To improve customer loyalty and keep your business customers out of your competitors’ hands, try the following methods.
Step 1: Under Promise and Over Deliver
This is the best approach to running a successful business. Follow through your commitments and exceed what you said you would do. This practice will inevitably build a loyal customer base.
Don’t ever promise something that you have no chance of delivering on just to make a sale or to make a customer happy. Always be honest and make commitments that you know you can deliver on much better then you are quoting.
For example, when a customer makes a purchase order, quote a slightly longer delivery time. This gives you a little room if any challenges happen to arise during product fulfillment. By completing the delivery ahead of schedule you over deliver on what was promised which makes the customer extremely satisfied.
Step 2: Reward Customer Loyalty
Customers are the lifeblood of your business. Take the time to say “thank you for your business”.
You can get really creative with this but the whole idea is to let them know you care and show them you appreciate them. You can offer special incentives, discounts, thank you cards, a complimentary newsletter, or just make a simple phone call.
Providing extra value also goes a long way when learning how to improve customer loyalty. For example, add additional benefits for doing business with you like a free quarterly newsletter, ezine, or monthly product workshop.
Step 3: Offer Flexible Purchase Options
In today’s economic environment conserving cash flow is critical to small business owners. Offering flexible purchase options like a line of credit is a great way to improve sales and repeat purchases by as much as 50%.
Extending vendor credit is a powerful way to help your business customers fund their short term needs. At the same time you can provide them a way to build business credit history by reporting their payment experience to a business credit reporting agency.
In addition, supplying trade data helps reduce the risk of default and improves collections on accounts that have gone south.
If you decide to use this method you would need to assess the level of risk your company is willing to accept. You will also need to implement a credit policy outlining the terms and conditions.
Retaining business customers takes a strong focus on exceeding customer expectations, showing them you care, and putting their needs first. By following these proven methods you will harvest a loyal customer base eager to refer others to your company.
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About the author
Marco Carbajo is a business credit expert, author, speaker, and founder of the Business Credit Insiders Circle. He is a business credit blogger for AllBusiness, a subsidiary of Dun and Bradstreet and author of “Eight Steps to Ultimate Business Credit” and “How to Build Business Credit with No Personal Guarantee.” His articles and blogs have also been featured in American Express Small Business, Business Week, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Tribune, Scotsman Guide, Alltop, Entrepreneur Connect, and Active Rain.