There was a time not too long ago when B2B marketers could count on their customers and prospects being at their desk, in an office, during normal business hours. The biggest concerns then were catching people in between meetings and having a better brochure than the competition.
Those days are long gone. Hybrid work environments, fragmented work schedules, and home-related distractions have forever reshaped how we consume information and build relationships with brands.
What’s more, Dan Gingiss, author and customer experience expert, points out that “most companies must realize that they are no longer competing against the guy down the street or the brand that sells similar products. Instead, they’re competing with every other experience a customer has.”
While this shift poses a challenge, it also offers an incredible opportunity to those willing to commit to an effective customer engagement strategy. We’ve compiled some interesting statistics to illustrate:
FULLY ENGAGED CUSTOMERS
A Gallup analysis found that only 29% of B2B customers are fully engaged — that is, emotionally and psychologically attached to the companies they do business with. That could be because only 13% of leaders recognize the critical relationship that exists between their brand and customers. In other words, the door is wide open.
EXPERIENCE IS AS IMPORTANT AS THE PRODUCT
Research from Salesforce has found that 80% of customers feel the experiences provided by a company are as important to them as its products and services. The other 20% are probably price shoppers. Is that where you really want to compete?
PERSONALIZATION MATTERS TO MOST
66% of customers expect companies to understand their specific needs and demonstrate how their products/services address them. In other words, stop assuming customers will connect the dots themselves — they’re too busy for that. Instead, you should be prepared to personalize information, offers, and interactions at scale.
MULTICHANNEL IS PREFERRED
Omni-channel customer engagement is now preferred by almost 78% of the customers. 76% of customers also expressed they prefer one channel over another based on the context of the message. So the question now becomes: how do you keep all your messaging consistent and “on brand” across all channels?
THE POWER OF GIFTS
61% of customers believe surprise gifts and offers are the most important way a brand can interact with them. This speaks volumes about the continued value of branded promotional products, even to longtime customers. How are you showing your appreciation to customers?
LOYALTY AS A FUNCTION OF FREQUENCY
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to hear that regular engagement with existing customers dramatically impacts loyalty and advocacy. What’s eye-opening are the numbers: 87% daily, 64% weekly, 49% monthly and 33% few times per year. Creativity and automation are key to leveling-up your customer touchpoints.
FOCUS ON LONG-TERM
Seasoned BDRs know that existing customers are often the greatest and most profitable sales source. This explains why 86% of sales reps feel it’s more important to focus on building long-term customer relationships rather than trying to land a quick sale. B2B companies that successfully engage customers realize 63% lower customer attrition, and also achieve a 55% higher share of wallet.
ENGAGEMENT DRIVES REVENUE
86% of companies that successfully engaged their customers reported an increase over previous year’s revenue and were twice as likely to see an increase in market share.
PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER
Committing to meaningful customer engagement can yield significant growth and clearly, opportunity exists. The stats and observations above point to three fundamental requirements for a successful strategy:
1. Automation: Given the number of touchpoints and channels required for successful engagement, integrated technology will be crucial to managing assets and workflows. (Read more about that here)
2. Experiences: You’ll want creative and exciting touchpoints spanning many channels. They should be seamless and specific to a very defined customer segment (think about your different personas and their journeys).
3. Empowerment: Your sales reps and customer service team have their finger on the pulse of their customers. They should have the tools necessary to quickly personalize and deliver branded collateral.