Using Experience and Technology to Drive B2B Loyalty
Technology - it's pretty amazing, right?
It allows you to do things in a way you probably never thought you could before. Without a doubt, technology has helped us achieve new heights, delivered solutions and achieved results which ten years ago we wouldn’t have even dreamt of. Before we know it, flying cars will be here and maybe even robots who cook for you and clean your house... well, wouldn't that be lovely!
But even to this day, we have lawnmowers that only need perimeter measurements to cut the lawn to perfection, sat nav systems which identify new routes before you hit congestion, as well as tracking your speed, Bluetooth headphone connectivity without the need for wires from one device to the other, fridge freezers that recognise and create lists about what items require replenishing. Just to name but a few things! Oh and let’s not get started on that little friend we call Alexa! We’re living in a technology-obsessed but smart world!
But let’s be real! As smart as technology is, it cannot perform standalone. Us humans still need to be involved for the tech to even function in the first place. Things like how-to-guides, chat bots, explainer videos and FAQ’s have to be created to enable the tech to function with a user in charge.
The same applies when launching a B2B customer loyalty programme. Sure, you need technology to run the programme, but what it can’t bring is the nuggets of wisdom and experience of a customer loyalty agency. It can’t replace those personal, real-life connections you make with another human.
Like Forbes said in an article “tech, as ever-present as it is, won’t magically result in audience engagement and stronger relationships!” so the human touch really does make a difference! It has to be integrated as part of a customer loyalty strategy which aims to achieve the objective you set.
Let’s explore how technology with a human touch can help drive B2B customer loyalty.
Getting the most out of a customer loyalty agency
Ok, first things first - don’t underestimate the value of support from professionals who have been doing this for years! You wouldn’t take on your company finances on your own if you weren’t at least somewhat experienced in accounting practices!
Customer loyalty agencies that have experience in creating B2B loyalty programmes can help you understand what objectives you are trying to achieve and break these down into meaningful tasks with measurable actions. It’s not a guessing game either! They’ve done all of these before with many clients so they know what works and what doesn’t.
Without such insight, the results can be expensive, time-consuming, frustrating and counterproductive. Opportunities for engagement can be missed, unnecessary delays can occur, and you may pay the price elsewhere for the time and money you think you may have saved. It really is a guessing game if you don’t have the facts or stats to prove what you’re doing is going to work.
Of course, the experience and expertise of a customer loyalty agency comes at a price, but deploying the skills of a professional service provider should be considered a cost of doing business. In the long run you are more than likely to come out ahead and with positive results, and this "cost" is likely to not exist.
When we on-board new clients, we allocate them a Client Success Manager. This person advises and guides the client on how to get the most out of their programme, with regular reviews and consistent communication to ensure the client is happy with how the programme is performing.
Using a SaaS based B2B customer loyalty programme
A SaaS based customer loyalty programme software will contribute toward driving B2B customer loyalty by providing the business with all the relevant functionality and features. It provides 24/7 accessibility, compatibility to your own business needs, and built-in operational management tools, enabling control and ownership.
Choosing the right B2B incentive programme provider makes a huge difference on how your programme will function so you need to be aware of all the functionality and features. Consider the following:
- Can it integrate with your CRM to provide a single view of your customer information?
- Can you white label it to fully brand the platform as if it were your own making?
- Is there a wide range of rewards which are relevant to the value earned but inspire to motivate?
- Can it reward more than just sales? Think learning, case studies, reviews and social sharing.
- Is it easy to navigate?
- Does it provide the option to favourite certain rewards for users to work towards?
- Is there a simple basket and payment facilities aligned to B2C customer expectations?
- Does it offer built in communications to keep customers in the loop?
- Is there advanced reporting dashboards so you can review performance, measure activity and learn as you go?
Additionally, SaaS models offer lower upfront costs than traditional software download and installation, making them more available to a wider range of businesses, and importantly making it easier for smaller companies to participate in this way.
Utilising both experience of an agency and advance technology is the ideal solution. Whilst nothing can replace support services and experience, without the technology, it’s impossible to deliver a programme. This is especially true in B2B.
One of our clients, a global leader in optical products, found that their previous customer loyalty programme was not achieving the desired results due to the lack of functionality within the system. Lack of integrations between systems meant processes were extremely time-consuming and manual. When we took them on board as a client, we not only migrated all their data from the old platform to ours, but were also able to offer advanced features, plus the addition of a Client Success Manager to ensure the technology intervention actually worked to achieve the programme objectives. Now they are seeing the results they wanted – automated processes, an engaged audience and increased sales!
Choosing the perfect B2B customer loyalty programme provider can be a tough decision! It comes down to what you’re trying to achieve. To make the decision that’s right for you, start by writing down your goals and desires. Then, why not give us a call or book a chat to discuss? We’d be happy to help guide you to creating a successful B2B customer loyalty programme.