B2B marketing gurus around the world agree that being customer centric is important for success but there is still a lot of room for improvement. Every B2B marketing company should have customer engagement strategies that align with the core business objectives. Customer engagement strategies in B2B marketing are continually changing but they always lead to one same thing – a commitment from the clients to interact with the brand.
Arriving at that commitment means to build solid impressions that are both meaningful & consistent, whether it’s a “first date” with a client or as in majority B2B cases, a substantial re-ordering of products. The customer engagement process from the start to the end should be done with consistent speed, dedication & patience to reap the benefits & to be honored with leads that convert to actual sales.
Because of all this customer engagement doesn’t come easily. So how do we improve our odds?
For this B2B marketers should be asked some questions which include….
- How well do you know your customers as individuals?
- How does your customer want to interact with you?
- What do you know about their challenges, priorities & needs?
- How to make the interactions that are more valuable?
- How committed are the customers towards you?
The basic answers to these questions can be found out from your data or just by having normal conversations with your customers. Only thing is that the discussion should be focused on the client’s strategic areas and whether those areas are related to your business or not.
So, other than all this what can all B2B marketing professionals execute to boost customer engagement?
1. Customer support hub & suggestion tracking
Majority B2B companies provide a phone number for all their customer needs but they do not have a single place online with the same capabilities. Nothing more can irritate a customer than having information in many different places without a central location to access. B2B marketers should make use of the customer support software which also enables customers to view documentation & check on the status in real time. It’s also important that customer engagement & suggestions are tracked in a CRM system alongside other core KPIs. If a large number of customers are reporting specific problems or requesting certain changes, B2B marketers should be doing everything possible to adapt accordingly.
2. Boost Brand Promotion
It might be a bit confusing in our technological age, but direct referrals & word of mouth are even more important for B2B customer engagement. According to a recent HubSpot research, more than half of the B2B buyers rely on testimonials in the marketing materials, & look for ways to foster the existing customers for brand promotion. Marketers can also avail the help of B2B influencers to influence customer engagement. Having a referral program in place is also a great way to promote your brand. Bonus: 6 MUST FOLLOW B2B CONTENT MARKETING INFLUENCERS & 10 MUST FOLLOW B2B SALES INFLUENCERS OF OUR TIME
3. Being mobile friendly
Times have changed a lot. Statistics says that, about 52% of B2B customers are less likely to engage if their experience ain’t mobile friendly. But it doesn’t mean that you have to spend thousands on a mobile site by tomorrow itself for customer engagement, as it might not be realistic for many B2B companies. Here, creating a clear link to the customer hub of the homepage can be a good step. Today’s customers try to figure out things on-the-go and the right customer support software can automatically create a mobile friendly experience & a customizable customer support hub that facilitates optimal customer engagement. Bonus: HOW TO CHOOSE THE DATABASE TECHNOLOGY FOR YOUR MOBILE APPS
4. Strategizing with ABM
Account Based Marketing is nothing but putting additional focus on your customers & attempting to sell more to them. In ABM, each large account is treated as a separate market niche & marketing is directed to its most influential decision makers. When properly conducted ABM can greatly increase the value of existing customers while costing less than the usual new – customer acquisition costs. ABM is currently the norm for marketing in the B2B industry but done properly it can have a huge impact on customer engagement. Bonus: ACCURACY OF ACCOUNT BASED MARKETING
5. Sharing information through Omni channels
It’s amusing when B2B marketers are surprised to see how information can be shared with customer support software. Today this is especially true with the ticket creation process. Technology has made it possible for a conversation that starts on live chat to be automatically converted into email tickets with no information lost. This also implies in case the customer does not have enough time to get their issue resolved during the chat session. B2B marketers in pursuit of strong customer engagement should consider all the paths that are necessary.
6. Keeping the customer at the business thinking center
For years marketing campaigns have been associated with product lines & didn’t look from the perspective of what the customer needed. Things have changed a lot now. Studies on buyer personas & journeys have started to inspire different ways of thinking while making important decisions based on statistics, insights & analytics. Today if a particular strategy doesn’t satisfy the customer journey mapping, it won’t even be considered a priority for investment in organizations. Putting it concisely, it has become really important to consider customers as people rather than money making machines.
Hyped up to practice these strategies?
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B2B companies who provide awesome customer engagement experience throughout the lifecycle will stand a much better chance at generating serious ROI than those who adopt a half-hearted approach. A structured strategy with all the right tools & predetermined KPIs can make all the difference in becoming the next leading approach for successful B2B customer engagement. Also read on: SALES AND MARKETING ALIGNMENT – TIPS TO SAFEGUARD