Your customer is no longer sitting at her desk flipping through a paper catalog, ordering the same item season after season. Instead, she’s looking for a dynamic experience that involves both digital and human interaction. She wants you to take her on a buying experience and help her solve her business challenges.
In fact, 20 percent of new sales come from existing customers. When it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than it does to increase sales from existing clients, putting time and investment into customer engagement makes financial sense.
Creating meaningful relationships
When it comes to defining B2B customer engagement, Gallup has perhaps the best take on what it means to create meaningful relationships in this market: fostering real change in the customers’ business that “significantly improves their business performance.”
For the wholesale market, this could be as simple as offering digital assets such as an online catalog, or offering paperless ordering at a tradeshow.
Another way to increase your customer engagement is to understand who your “buying center” is. Gallup defines this as the group of individuals within a B2B organization that comprise the decision-making team. Get to know each of these individuals and help to ease their pain-points.
What a fully engaged customer looks likes
If your B2B customer is fully engaged with your brand, they know:
1. How your products offer a competitive advantage and how that will help them make money.
2. You understand their business challenges.
3. You know how to help them overcome those challenges and can execute with speed.
What you’re selling needs to go beyond a product. What else can you offer your customer that helps them do business?
Lend a helping hand
In its simplest form, customer engagement is just an updated way of saying that relationships matter. What those relationships look like, however, has definitely changed. Maintaining a personal connection with your customer through periodic phone calls and in-person meetings is crucial, of course, but so are the ways you can extend that relationship digitally.
Offering your customers content that educates and explains the current market challenges, new developments in their industry and how they can adjust to those changes and challenges is a great way to keep the conversation going and stay top of mind.
Work together with your marketing department to generate these assets, or even just take it upon yourself to stay on top of your industry and email interesting data and articles directly to your customers.
In the B2C world, a customer who is fully engaged represents a 23 percent premium in terms of revenue growth and share of wallet. B2B customers are equally inclined to remain loyal, if you’re prepared to take that extra step in your sales process.