Gallup just completed a study of B2B companies entitled, “Creating Impact In B2B Relationships.”
The report identified two components needs to created high-impact customer relationships:
- Customer engagement — which is defined by Gallup as “the relationship between a company and its customers.”
- How well that company delivers on its brand promise in upholding its end of the contract.
Fully engaged customers average a 23 percent premium over typical customers in overall wallet share, profitability, revenue and relationship growth.
To effectively engage a customer in the B2B sector, you need to understand the level of engagement your company has with that customer.
A “fully engaged” customer has a strong emotional attachment to a product or service and unlikely to switch.
An “engaged customer” is emotionally attached but can switch if another offer comes along.
A customer who is “not engaged” is neutral about a product or service.
An “actively disengaged” customer is detached and might even be antagonistic toward a company.
According to Ed O’Boyle, global practice leader of Gallup Marketplace, the following will help companies become more impact focused:
- Leadership alignment is key. Upper management will need to be committed to making a customer impact-minded strategy work.
- Create a 360-degree view of the customer. A sales-oriented account rep will focus on growing the top-line revenue. A service-oriented rep will try to ensure on-time delivery and service efficiencies that will improve the relationship over time.
- Align the right players. Staff an account based on the level of service and type of relationship you want to have with an account. Know who is empathetic and wants to build a relationship versus those who just want to make the sale and move on.
What do you do to engage your B2B customers?