Motivational Monday: Doubted & Tested

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If you want to be successful, be prepared to be doubted and tested.

How does a brand “prove” itself? Flashy marketing tools? Backing claims with metrics? Customer analytics and retention data? A/B testing every communiqué? Customers who walk around smiling all the time?

Truth be told, it’s a combination of all of the above with a healthy dose of consistency. Customers need to know what to expect and how your value is delivered, plus they should be able to rely on you time and time again…and few good surprises and the occasional wow factor doesn’t hurt either.

So how do you get there? Build your reputation by doing what you do best, time and time again. Offer your customers stability. Grow your brand and company steadily, in a trajectory you can support and maintain. Have an infrastructure to support your needs and keep customers loyal to your brand by monitoring their happiness and satisfaction.

  • Customers can see through buzzwords and jargonese. Show your relatability by avoiding internal language—it drives away customers.
  • Improve your website by monitoring traffic and getting a handle on what’s drawing in customers and what isn’t. Use a heat map to discover what’s working on your site and what’s being ignored.
  • Knowing your customers can help you understand what’s important to them and how to best hold their interest over time. To be successful, pay attention to these 10 customer metrics.
  • Help your customers, and you will stay top of mind. This means sending them information they find relevant, avoiding digital pollution, and being there for each customer when they need your services.
  • Believe it or not, price isn’t necessarily the deciding factor when it comes to brand loyalty. Engage your customers, offer value and keep your reputation for quality. Showing your appreciation to your customers and making personal connections will keep them coming back time and time again.

For ongoing tips for passing your customers’ tests and doubts, be sure to follow Cultivate on LinkedIn or subscribe below to receive Motivational Monday updates in your inbox each week.

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3 Big Ways Top B2B Companies Retain More Customers

For B2B, nurturing existing customers is even more important than in B2C. Your business depends on recurring business—and oftentimes from fewer clients. You need a revenue stream that flows every month…you’re not just luring in random new customers with “The Biggest Sale of the Year.”

The customer retention danger zone? Complacency.

Assuming your customers are happy is a dangerous. If you’re sitting on the status quo, confident your customers are secure because you’ve been working with them a long time, it’s time to take a look at just how much things have changed…and how these changes have brought us full circle, back to personalized human-to-human customer service.

Excellent customer service isn’t a new concept, but it got lost to technology for a long time. Automation killed the personal touch and with nowhere else to turn, customers put up with it. There are some perks to automation, like reminder triggers and easy ordering, but customers today want more: They want a deeper understanding of your company and the products and services you provide.

Here are 3 ways you can deliver more than expected and retain more customers:

#1: Open the Doors of Communications
Achieving primo customer service starts with communication. Don’t accidentally mistake advertising for communication. Advertising is telling customers why they should buy your product. Communication is asking your customers how you can improve, and then responding with meaningful action.

Bill Gates may have put it best years ago when he said,

Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.

Here’s a great B2B example:

Hootsuite is a set of tools for social media monitoring. After launching a new update, they responded to customer complaints about their “terrible” new interface by channeling a Jimmy Kimmel show bit that’s become a cultural meme: “Mean Tweets.” The important thing to understand is Hootsuite’s response. They acknowledged the validity of the criticism (despite the curse words) and redesigned the UI for a cleaner, prettier, and more useable interface.

#2: Encourage Customer Loyalty
Everybody loves swag—and customer loyalty programs are remarkably effective. IBM does B2B customer loyalty exceptionally well, even offering deals you can offer to your customers to help build your business. Their incentives don’t stop at completion of the initial sale, they continue throughout the business relationship. Well done, IBM.

#3: Create Helpful User Tools
Gordon Food Service is a food distributor that goes well beyond its purpose to help business working in the food-service industry. On their website, restaurant owners can find menu planners, cost calculators, a staff scheduler, and much more. By investing in technologies designed to help customers effectively run their business, GFS competes against some very formidable businesses.

3 Big Ways Top B2B Companies Retain More Customers: Great Example of Creating Helpful User Tools

We all know B2B is all about developing long-term relationships, your customers’ expectations go far beyond what’s on sale today. They want to deal with businesses they know and trust. Careful consideration goes into that decision to work with you, and it’s up to you to deliver on that promise of service. These three approaches can help you deliver more than expected helping retain customers and increase sales.

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Additional Resources

Manufacturer’s Guide to Attracting More Customers: How Top Manufacturers Are Driving New Revenue By Attracting More CustomersNo matter what industry you’re in, the competition is heating up, so traditional marketing methods simply aren’t enough anymore.  Check out these five B2B case studies and learn replicable marketing strategies from leading manufacturers. Get this step-by-step guide for creating a workable content and social marketing strategy for your B2B company. Get ahead of the curve.

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