B2B marketers all over the globe were caught off-guard when COVID-19 hit in 2020. The pandemic has since spread rapidly throughout the world. Obviously, it affected marketing and sales for almost every industry. We can certainly say that the COVID-19 pandemic was one great element of uncertainty of the past decade, or maybe even two decades. In such times of uncertainty, B2B professionals resort to loyalty marketing to sustain their business. This is definitely a smart way to survive such periods. Keeping this in mind, we wanted to talk about what to look for in a B2B Loyalty Program in times of uncertainty. What is the best B2B loyalty program for uncertainty? In this article, we’ll talk about the concept of utilizing a B2B loyalty program for uncertainty.
B2B loyalty program for uncertainty
As we said, no one really expected what happened in March 2020. In fact, a stable environment was expected for the year. However, with the spread of the pandemic, the unemployment rate sky-rocketed. Millions of businesses were on the verge of closing down forever. So yes, a period of uncertainty started all over the world. Such uncertainty causes your customers’ behaviors and habits as well as priorities to change. You might have had channel partners that thought about adding new categories who now have issues in supply chains.
In spite of all these changes in priorities and all the chaos, you might still have the same B2B loyalty program in place. If so, you might consider a change yourself. B2B loyalty programs should be adapted to the changes in the market. Choosing to ignore market conditions may project you as an unsympathetic B2B marketer when it comes to the needs of your loyal customers.
What to do at times of uncertainty
When you are adapting to the uncertainties of the market, your B2B loyalty program should keep it simple. Remember that what your customer really needs is not necessarily a brand new piece of technology. A B2B loyalty program for uncertainty is one that is able to prioritize in accordance with the needs of its customers. Providing solutions that are well-thought and targeted will relieve your customers of all the worries they may have. Just make sure that the communication flow is always smooth so that your B2B customers feel they are heard. So let’s see what you can do to re-image your B2B loyalty program for uncertainty.
Lend an ear
Make sure your B2B loyalty program actually listens to your customers. With a smart B2B loyalty program, you can communicate with your most loyal customers and hear them out efficiently. In order to promote and encourage such feedback, you can use various rewards and bonus points too.
On-time feedback is important but it’s also crucial that the insights you get are actionable. In that respect, you could first discuss top matters with your sales team. Later on, you can collect insights from your customers. Another option is to send out surveys to your loyalty group to see if the insights and solutions you brought with your initial group are reflected overall.
Show that you are in the same team with your customers
It is quite understandable and in fact normal that you cannot solve each and every problem. This, however, should not keep you from recognizing these issues. Take it this way: sometimes every one of us just needs a friend to hear our problems. We wouldn’t even expect them to solve it, we want to be heard. The same goes for your customers.
Obviously, the situation is trickier with your customers. They also want the B2B they are working with to be experienced in the industry. Where do you stand in the industry you are serving? Will you be able to recognize an issue you cannot resolve? The more you understand and hear your customers, the more credible you will be in their eyes.
As much as it is important to understand and acknowledge an issue, getting creative to solve it is equally important. B2B loyalty programs provide a strategic advantage if used correctly. They can help you see the customer aspect, find solutions, and test new ideas with the loyal crowd. In order to keep it fruitful, a B2B loyalty program needs new people to join and needs them to be active. When the attention is almost entirely on incentives, however, it quickly becomes an arms race, with rival systems constantly and the stakes.
It’s much more difficult to replicate strategic programs. Finding a new merchandise award or gift card is one thing. It’s one thing to start a conversation with your participants, organize capital to respond to your findings, and building goods and services that customers value. Executive support is needed for a strategic program, as it necessitates cross-departmental cooperation. An executive champion will serve as the company’s voice to program participants while also emphasizing the importance of program learnings as a strategic advantage for the company.
B2B loyalty to solve customer issues
Innovation isn’t all about coming up with new goods or services. Streamlining processes can be a hugely beneficial breakthrough for both consumers and the bottom line of a company. A strategic initiative with a large executive sponsor can have a huge effect on customer-facing policies and procedures. Consider how simplification of procedures will motivate operations staff to innovate. Consider the imagination that can be ignited when back-office personnel has a greater understanding of the customer’s needs. This is how successful a strategic B2B program can be.
Help customers get rid of uncertainty
Some of the problems you come across may simply be out of your league. Customers in the B2B sector are still on the lookout for information. Solicit advice from experts in the field when you’ve identified a broad concern. Your curriculum should act as a link between participants and the expert advice they need. Just make sure that the content you provide is credible so it doesn’t tarnish your reputation in any way.
B2B loyalty program for uncertainty
As we mentioned, the best B2B loyalty program for uncertainty is one where customers feel understood. As long as you hear your customers, prioritize in accordance with their needs, and come up with solutions that will relieve them of their stress, you are sure to overcome this stressful period yourself. Apex Loyalty also offers tailored B2B loyalty programs to help you strategize in such uncertain times. If you need professional support regarding B2B loyalty programs, you can always check our blogs. You can also contact us for further info and support.
You can read our previous post on https://www.apexloyalty.com/salesforce-for-b2b-ecommerce-during-covid/