As we established in our previous post on the challenges of implementing a B2B loyalty programme, B2B is a complicated landscape, and it can be tricky to devise an effective loyalty programme.
Comarch has found that there are three clear steps that businesses can take to ensure their B2B loyalty programme is a success.
The programme should target a specific set of clients rather than try to appeal to every client the business works with. It must be founded on measurable objectives and everything added to the programme should adhere to its purpose. Finally, the programme needs to be part of a larger customer-centric ethos in the business.
Step 1: Identify the beneficiaries of the programme
It’s essential that businesses running a B2B loyalty programme first define who they’re targeting and what actions they want to encourage.
What we tend to see is businesses trying to target all their customer segments in one elaborate programme. But, in trying to fulfil the needs of everyone, they end up satisfying no one.
Instead, try to identify which clients it will be most valuable to incentivise – those with the most potential to grow and need new products and services.
Step 2: Define the programme’s objectives
Loyalty programmes need to be built on clear, measurable and realistic objectives to be effective. These need to be linked to the goals of the business.
These programmes should be strategic rather than tactical. All departments must be involved in its delivery and execution; each should be invested in the loyalty programme’s success and work to a common strategy to achieve its goals.
At their core, most loyalty programmes can be boiled down to – helping the business make money and keep clients loyal. But it’s often more complicated. Companies are finding that their loyalty programmes need to focus on building awareness around available products and services – to let clients know what’s on offer and how these products and services can help their businesses. Businesses that focus on awareness first tend to see better results.
We’ve found that businesses which focus on acquisition, rather than looking after their current client’s interests, are shocked at their high churn rates. The truth is, you can have an excellent product or service, but that’s the basics of developing loyalty. Everyone expects to get what they paid for; it’s the companies that provide extra incentives and rewards that produce true, long-lasting loyalty.
Step 3: Provide a positive and consistent client experience
B2B clients have unique requirements from loyalty programmes and need more sophisticated triggers for the scheme to work. Exclusive perks that are designed for high-value clients and personalised for the client and their decision-makers will be much more effective than consumer-focused incentives like points or vouchers.
B2B loyalty programmes should offer top-tier rewards and exclusive access that engages and educates clients – such as providing VIP access to training and skills programmes. Gamification elements help to create an ongoing process of feedback and rewards.
Creating a positive client experience should be a given. By adding a rewarding loyalty programme to the mix, businesses prove that they aren’t taking the client’s business for granted - that they aren’t going to ignore them until it’s time to renew the contract, or they want to sell them something. Loyalty thrives on consistent engagement, without this any loyalty programme will fail.
In a 2018 survey of 1000 business decision makers, McKinsey found that their biggest “pain point” with suppliers was the speed of service they received (two times more people complained about speed of service than they did about the cost of services).
Businesses have different priorities to consumers when it comes to loyalty rewards. But they won’t be swayed by a personalised loyalty programme alone. Businesses must build customer experience, and a reduction of customer effort, into everything the company does. It’s loyalty programmes that enhance already excellent experiences that achieve the most success for businesses and their clients.
To find out more about this topic, read our brand new white paper ‘B2B Loyalty & Engagement Programmes – Do they really work?’
Blog Post Author: