Customer retention is an important aspect of any business, including companies who sell B2B. According to KISSMetrics, acquiring a new customer costs seven times more than keeping an existing one. On top of that, existing customers tend to spend more than new ones do. The math is easy. If it costs less to retain a customer who will spend more, then at least some marketing resources should be spent on improving customer loyalty.
Here are three customer service ideas that will boost wholesale customer loyalty.
1. Accommodate the Customer
Flexibility is an especially important aspect of customer service for wholesale companies. Your customers already have a way they like to run their business. The more your company can accommodate that workflow the more willing your customers will be to continue doing business with you. Go out of your way to make your customers’ lives easy by:
Accepting orders through an online portal that is specifically designed for the needs of B2B customers
Providing multiple shipping options
Offering 24/7 customer support with a customer portal that integrates with your accounting software. Paying someone to answer the phones early in the morning or late at night is impractical. An integrated portal that enables customers to answer his or her own questions is a cost effective solution that may give you an advantage over your competitors.
2. Anticipate Customer Needs
All of your B2B wholesale customers need other items besides what they purchase from you. By anticipating and meeting these needs, you will improve customer satisfaction and may also increase revenue. You may be able to provide your customers with additional value by:
Partnering with other companies that provide complementary products or services
Adding another product line to your catalog
Providing training on the goods you sell
3.Make It Personal
Ultimately, there is no better customer service, nor is there anything better for customer loyalty, than a personal connection with your customer. In a wholesale environment, the wholesaler and customer may technically be businesses, but people still conduct the transaction. Even if everything is conducted online, people ultimately make the decisions.
To whatever extent it is possible, make purchasing from your company personal. It may not be practical to reach the same level of familiarity that baristas have with their latte-sipping customers, but some level of personal interaction is always possible. Send personalized emails. Ask about families and vacation plans. Have salespeople periodically connect with their customers. All these little efforts will show in customer loyalty.
Increasing Customer Loyalty
Providing a great customer experience is the best way to improve customer loyalty, even when conducting business-to-business transactions. Be flexible, meet customers’ needs, surprise customers and create personal connections. Follow these guidelines, and you can expect an increasing number of returning customers.