Businesses of all shapes, sizes and sectors have utilised customer rewards programmes to great effect. Boots, Starbucks, Nandos and Tesco are just a few of the giants who have a highly successful B2C reward scheme. Ask most people on the high street and many will have a card from at least one of these!
But what about those businesses that work within the B2B sector? Are rewards programmes as valuable to those whose goods and services are tailored for other businesses? Of course they are. In fact, we would argue that they can be even more valuable due to a number of unique advantages, of which we are going to discuss just a few!
More targeted audience
B2B audiences are often far smaller than that of a B2C audience. For someone such as Tesco the entire 60 million population is a potential customer (or future customer). The number of UK businesses is a much smaller audience, as of 2017 there were only 5.7 million SMEs.
This is exactly why a B2B rewards programme can be so effective, with a much smaller pool of potential customers it’s essential that B2B businesses are finding new customers whilst simultaneously retaining their existing ones. A good rewards programme will work as an effective lead generation tool to improve customer acquisition, as well as a retention tool to keep current customers from wanting to leave.
It’s also easier to tailor a rewards programme to a smaller audience. A B2C business will have to create something that appeals to the mass market, whereas B2B businesses can often create a programme that appeals directly to their more niche audience. For example, a B2B business works primarily with trade type businesses will know that their audience is mostly male and have a good idea of their interests and hobbies.
Differentiation in an increasingly busy marketplace
As previously mentioned, rewards programmes in the B2B sector are not as common as in B2C. This is exactly why they are hugely advantageous to those who take advantage. It can be the difference between your business and a competitor’s as rewards programmes are very much a desirable novelty that has not yet been mass adopted by B2B business owners. It’s the perfect selling point and a sure fire way to differentiate a business with a unique selling point.
Whilst it’s true that rewards programmes are scarce in the B2B sector, they are also on the rise with more and more businesses adopting them as a tool to increase and retain their customer base. Now is the time to steal a march on competitors and be one of the first to implement a B2b rewards programme. The alternative may be that you’re last to the table scrambling to put together a programme to compete in your marketplace. It’s always better to set the trend than to follow it!
Supercharges a referral rate
You may have heard it before, but word of mouth is the strongest marketing channel there is. Nothing beats a recommendation from a trusted friend or family member, the only trouble is convincing people to recommend you. However, it’s clear that businesses who have their own rewards and loyalty programmes typically have a much higher percentage of brand advocacy.
To put it simply, when you give people freebies, discounts or added value, they tend to feel a much stronger connection with your business! And when people feel good about the brands they use, they’re far more likely to tell their friends and family about it. Expand your sales team to include your own customers by implementing your own rewards programme and watch the new leads roll in.
Lowers the cost per acquisition
We’ve known for a long time that the cost of acquiring a new B2B customer is tenfold that of a B2C customer. In most cases, it takes a full sales and marketing team to edge a potential customer closer and closer to conversion. A B2B lead cycle, depending on the industry, can be weeks, months or even years! It’s a complex decision process that often requires the input of more than one person.
A rewards programme helps with this in two distinct ways. Firstly, it can genuinely help to differentiate the business and push a potential customer towards conversion earlier. We’re not saying it will necessarily be solely responsible, but it could certainly be a factor. Secondly, it’s also cheaper to retain current customers than to attract new ones. A B2B rewards programme can increase loyalty exponentially! A customer will think twice about leaving if it means they will lose access to something they deem to be of great value.
Boosts customer satisfaction
A happy customer is the only customer type you should be concerning yourself with. An unhappy customer isn’t likely to be a customer for much longer. Customers are most happy when they feel valued, and what better way is there to do that than thanking them with rewards that you know will delight them.
A rewards programme that offers a percentage discount is one of the most effective ways to do this as a discount represents a tangible saving to the customer. If the customer can quantify a saving then it makes them less likely to leave as they will also have to factor in the loss of that saving! PERX users, for example, can easily save thousands of pounds a year by taking advantage of the many discounts available.