Previous research from Part 1 of Merkle Loyalty Solutions’ “The Ideal B-to-B Loyalty Program: What Should It Look Like” research indicated that marketers were placing a greater priority on acquiring new customers, rather than retention. Now, Part 2 is shedding light on what encourages existing customers to stick with a B2B provider over time.
Part 2 of the report revealed that for the majority of North American customers (77 percent) reliability is what earns their loyalty. This is followed by prices/discounts (63 percent), excellent customer service (60 percent), and 24/7 support (57 percent).
“Attuned as they are to the importance and profitability of sustained relationships that build loyalty, B-to-B programs can leverage dedicated support to build and sustain relationships with their own business members,” explained the researchers of the report.
B2B marketers who want to acquire loyal customers may want to focus less on selling their products/services and more on their audience’s needs. The majority of respondents (65 percent) claimed that their greatest challenge in finding a B2B service is dealing with vendors/reps who are more interested in making a sale than solving their customer’s pain points.
B2B Marketers and Customer Acquisition
In Part 1 of Merkle Loyalty Solutions’ “The Ideal B-to-B Loyalty Program: What Should It Look Like?” research showed that B2B marketers were more interested in acquisition than retention, and it was costing their companies in the long run.
The report found that 72 percent of respondents prefer to focus on acquiring new customers, rather than retaining existing ones. Acquisition can cost businesses up to five times more than retaining customers.
However, research showed that marketers had not entirely abandoned retention. Many admitted to maintaining loyalty programs, and 48 percent said they believe spend-based pricing is what their loyalty program members valued the most.