A critical assessment of unexpressed needs, a 4-phase cycle moving from prospecting to relationship maturity, the effective anticipation of weak signals of discontent, and so on… In B2B, client loyalty is so strategic that it is the subject of a wealth of literature describing every single brick of its construction (see, for example, Loyalty Management, published in French by Eyrolles). Nevertheless, when all is said and done, success is based above all on a few operational keys vis à vis one’s client. These five winning tips should be put into practice without further delay.
1. Let it be known that you will move mountains to deliver your promises
In a B2B context, reliability is the number-one priority for your loyalty strategy. However, you will never escape those few cases of force majeure that prevent you from providing complete satisfaction. If you are faced with such a difficulty, this is the ideal moment to demonstrate to your client that you’re the type to do your utmost to go beyond their expectations. As long as this inconvenience is not too common an occurrence, of course, your relationship will come out of it even stronger.
2. Give more… for the same price
We have seen this in particular in the very competitive world of Internet access provision, where some operators have not hesitated to reduce their tariffs in the hope of retaining consumers. It is rare to go as far in B2B, yet nothing is stopping you from offering a new advantage for the same price. Until now, you’ve been delivering three times a week? There’s no doubt that your client will be delighted if you tell them there’ll be an additional, fourth delivery but at no additional cost!
3. Play the “goodwill gesture” card when required
It’s pointless to delude yourselves otherwise; some of your loyal clients will not hesitate to call your good relationship into question with the first mistake that causes them frustration. Even when the responsibilities are shared (or even totally attributable to your client…), the worst response is to endlessly argue about your incomparable service level. Without going as far as claiming imaginary shortcomings, don’t hesitate to offer a gesture of goodwill by way of appeasement.
4.Don’t spare your thanks
Insofar as the success of a business relationship is based on the win-win principle, then, in theory, you don’t have any particular reason to spend your time thanking your client. That is the theory…For, in practice, these simple “thank you for your trust” prove to be remarkably efficient. And this is just as relevant for long-lasting partnerships.
5. Be proactive
Don’t make the mistake of believing that we enjoy the eternal trust of a client on the pretext that we’ve had it for several years. All the more so because this is how you risk settling into a routine that will inevitably lead to the reduced quality of your services. In this area, the best loyalty technique consists in showing proactivity. You can thus propose a new service, a new organisation of your partnership, a reappraisal of your services with the aim of increasing their efficiency, etc. Above all, the aim is to show that you are not taking your position for granted, forever.