Businesses must develop relationships with customers and grow their loyalty over time. Customer loyalty is essential for B2B companies considering it eventually leads to new cross-selling and upselling opportunities along with referrals resulting in new business.

B2B loyalty programs also help enhance the customer experience, minimize natural customer churn rate, and retain existing clients, which is a strategic imperative for any B2B enterprise. To develop a meaningful B2B loyalty rewards program, it’s important to define how to use customer data to enhance customer relationship.

In the above picture, you’ll see what’s called a Baya weaver’s nest. These nests are known for being elaborately and strongly woven. A loyalty rewards program should act like these nest in that it is unique & robust. Once you understand your customers’ needs and interests then your loyalty rewards program will easily take off.

Let’s look at some similarities between a Baya weaver bird’s nest that should be seen in any B2B Loyalty reward programs-

Focus

A baya weaver is absolutely focused on constructing its nest. When establishing the right strategy for a loyalty program make sure you know what the business objectives of the organization are. From there, align the goals of the loyalty program to match those objectives. Aligning your program with your business goals will lead to successful implementation.

Focus is critical when designing a loyalty rewards program. As each business is different, there is not one answer for which customer segment you should focus on. It is important to identify the business customers or partners who would be motivated and incentivized through your program.

Right Mix

The baya nests are woven with all different kinds of materials. In fact, the male bird is known to make up to 500 trips just to complete a nest.

Similarly, it is important to deep dive and gather relevant customer insights to develop more exclusive, relational benefits that will make your clients feel special and establish an intimate connection between them and your brand.

For a loyalty rewards program to be successful, it must have the right mix of rewards and perks catered to the interests of your business partners.

Customization

While all baya weaver’s nest may look the same, each one is different in its own special way.

Comparably, brands that customize their loyalty program, as per customers needs, have greater chances of success. Track the effectiveness of your efforts with a simple formula using Repeat Customer Leverage.

A good way to achieve this is through tiered loyalty programs. This is one of the most effective ways to motivate desired behaviors from customers, especially when the upper tiers convey a sense of exclusivity. One example of this is Sephora’s Beauty Insider loyalty program. This program does a great job at attracting users with the ‘exclusivity’ of each tier

Commitment

A baya weaver’s’ nest is not an easy one to build, it takes committed efforts by a Baya to create the perfect nest.

To gain a loyal customer, it is important for companies to show their commitment to their vendors, wholesalers, retailers etc.

According to Accenture, 90% of B2B leaders believe that customer experience is crucial to their companies’ strategic priorities. Digital transformation plays an essential role in building the customer experience capabilities that are required, to drive relevant interactions. A B2B buyer wants the same level of highly personalized service as they get in B2C channels.

Inviting your best clients to exclusive conferences, special forums etc can help strengthen your relationship with them. Litmus, an email marketing software provider arranges free and paid conferences, trade shows, meetups, and retreat events for its B2B users, to increase loyalty and educate them on the industry-related issues. Small tactics like sending a personally written holiday card to your client can also go a long way!

Perfection

A baya bird keeps improvising its nest, ensuring every twig is in its place even after the nest is ready.

After launching a loyalty program, it is critical to keep monitoring the performance and make necessary tweaks that make it attractive for customers to return. Many brands have revamped their programs to offer better rewards and benefits to customers.

Quality

Although the baya nests look precarious, most are tightly attached to the tree and are impossible to remove without severely damaging the nest. The quality is not compromised at any stage when these nests are being built.

Likewise, a good loyalty program must come with high-quality service. No one likes a program that is complex, not responsive and doesn’t offer any explicit benefits.

For creating and maintaining the attitudinal loyalty of customers, one must focus on building a relationship based on building the customer’s trust, maintaining customers commitment level and having excellent service systems in place.

Conclusion 

To maintain customer loyalty all four aspects of a quality relationship must be enhanced. These include trust, commitment, satisfaction and service quality. If you include the above qualities when building your B2B loyalty program you will without a doubt enhance your customer experience which will result in a higher customer retention rate.

Samir Palnitkar

VP of Customer Success     

Samir Palnitkar is the founder of Zinrelo, a technology company that specializes in loyalty rewards programs. An expert on building and growing “retention-first” businesses, he frequently writes on customer retention, loyalty and rewards programs. Samir is also the founder of four other successful startups, holds five technology patents, and is the author of two technical books.

LinkedIn: Samir Palnitkar Twitter: @samir_palnitkar