Improving customer loyalty is critical to B2B companies. With a complex buying process that involves multiple people, it can take considerable time to acquire new buyers. Businesses thus tend to focus on long-term relationship building to maximize the value of each customer.
B2B companies have traditionally underutilized loyalty programs but are now starting to gain more interest. With a B2B loyalty program, companies can improve customer retention by offering additional value to their buyers.
Staples is an example. Although known for their consumer-facing Staples Rewards program, Staples’ key business driver is the loyalty program for their larger B2B customers. As an early adopter of B2B loyalty programs, Staples has executed well relative to its competitors.
That said, there are ways to optimize the program. Users sign up for the program by speaking to a sales rep rather than going online. Other companies are also struggling to overcome their technical limitations to create meaningful loyalty programs.
In this post, I will provide some steps for overcoming these limitations and optimizing your B2B loyalty program results.
Steps for Improving B2B Loyalty Programs
Define (or redefine) what a meaningful loyalty program looks like
Before you can create a successful loyalty program, you must define what makes a loyalty program meaningful to your customers. Doing so can be a challenge for B2B companies as it takes more than redeemable points for your program to provide value to other businesses.
Assess the needs of your target customer to determine what features to include in your loyalty program. Here are some benefits B2B loyalty programs can offer their members:
- Access to a member-only selection of products
- Information and resources
- Personalized content and communications
- Rewards for purchases
- Data-driven discounts and promotions
- Access to special events
Modernize your tech stack to support a scalable loyalty program
Technology remains a big block for companies stuck with monolithic legacy architecture. The one-size-fits-all infrastructure makes it difficult to leverage customer data to inject insights and calls to action into their customer journeys.
To create a loyalty program that is relevant to each customer, you need a modern tech stack. It means a flexible architecture that supports a seamless connection between all your systems.
Support multiple channels
Modern B2B loyalty programs must support an omnichannel experience. Customers should be able to access their accounts and redeem their membership benefits across any touchpoint.
With loyalty management software (LMS), you can connect your program features to each sales channel. The software seamlessly integrates with your data sources to create real-time sync of customer information. You can then use APIs to push this data to your different frontends to create highly personalized customer experiences.
Use customer insights to iterate and the improve program
The customer data collected by your LMS and other marketing software provides valuable insights into your loyalty program’s effectiveness. You can use these insights to test different features to see what yields the best results. Here are some questions to consider when analyzing your loyalty programs:
- Is your loyalty program leading to a higher retention rate?
- Are members using the promotions offered by the program?
- Does the program lead to a higher customer lifetime value among members?
- Are members using referral incentives to bring new members to the program?
Building B2B Loyalty Programs with fabric Member
fabric Member has tools to create lasting customer relationships. Its configurable software structures your programs based on your particular use cases. With a seamless connection to your other systems, you can combine a personalized experience with data-driven loyalty incentives. The result is a B2B loyalty program that is valuable to customers and your business.