B2B companies are surrounded by fierce competition that is growing by the day. In times like these, businesses’ customer engagement practices need a major revamp to rise above the rest.
A recent Microsoft study claims the attention span of modern consumers is about 8 seconds — that’s shorter than a goldfish. Therefore, while your customers are hopping between apps, it’s vital to catch their attention while it lasts through solid engagement strategies.
This article will walk you through the eight best B2B customer engagement tactics you can implement to strengthen customer relationships.
8 best practices on how to keep B2B customers engaged
- Hyper-personalize communication and customer experiences
Generic communication leads to a weak customer-brand relationship and poor customer experience (CX). Hyper-personalization is currently the best competitive differentiator and the answer to building a strong bond with your customers.
How can you hyper-personalize messaging and communication?
Using proactive customer segmentation based on their product usage. Most B2B businesses have simple lists such as users that are active, inactive, and churned — which are impractical for personalization.
Product usage-based segmentation is an integral part of behavioral segmentation. Using both, you can segment your users based on how they interact with your products, how much time is spent inside your product, and how many features are used.
Further, track product usage and customer behavior to glean valuable insights and to iteratively improve your customer engagement strategy using hyper-personalization.
Sulekha, the leading digital platform for businesses, saw a 2x revenue boost through data-backed hyper-personalization that effectively engaged its daily website visitors and, as a result, nailed its engagement game.
- Embrace video storytelling and embed it into your product experiences
Videos showcase brand storytelling in a fun and creative way — something that not many articles can do. Video storytelling presents your products visually and in action, thus instantly engaging your customers and grabbing their attention right away.
Stories can bring your products to life. One way B2B businesses can do this is by creating a video story, naturally embedding the product within the video, and conveying a message that enhances the customers’ overall product experience.
Besides websites and advertising, B2B businesses can use video storytelling in email newsletters and social media, too.
Here’s a popular example by Beco, that promoted its platform by leveraging WebEngage to send real-time video updates to customers.
Beco incorporated an innovative way to interact with customers where every time a customer receives their order or abandons their shopping cart on the website, they receive a video message from Dia Mirza on WhatsApp. By integrating Dia’s Digital IP, Beco was able to hyper-personalize communication it sent to its users.
- Drive customer engagement and strengthen relationships with customer loyalty programs
Incentivizing customers is a sure-shot way to drive healthy customer engagement. Not just this, rewards-based customer loyalty programs also trigger brand affinity and lucrative relationships between businesses and consumers.
Here’s a list of some save-worthy B2B customer loyalty program examples you could choose from:
- Provide exclusive discounts on orders that can be used for future purchases.
- Run referral programs to upgrade or extend user plans based on the number of referrals sourced.
- Offer complimentary products by partnering with related third parties.
- Create an exclusive partnership program with premium products based on the customer’s lifetime value.
Use gamification to increase engagement
Gamification is widely used in B2C businesses to generate traffic and is equally effective for B2B as well.
In B2B, gamification elements and strategies motivate customers to keep engaging with your platform and products. Leaderboards, badges, and certificates are examples of gamification elements.
Gamification lets your users enjoy your products and explore more features while allowing you to upsell or cross-sell products. So reward your customers once they reach certain milestones by offering additional product benefits, setting up a usage plan of X months, upgrading their subscription plans to paid, and more.
You can also experiment with gatekeeping features or exclusive content. For example, if someone is making use of feature A, target them with a message that shows how others are also using feature B alongside – but they need to pay an additional fee for the same.
This way, you create a win-win situation — you receive more active engagement, and your customers get to enjoy more accessible premium benefits.
- Engage customers with personalized in-app product messaging
In-product or in-app messaging is a type of communication executed with your customers inside the product while they are using your product or application. In-product messaging can be operated irrespective of the device your customers are on.
Such messaging lets you create a personalized communication channel with your active customers and engage them for longer. Other than pop-up messages inside your platform, you can provide real-time customer engagement with live chat options, a chatbot, and in-app messages to notify your customer of a product/feature upgrade, steps to use x feature, and more.
Note: ‘In-product’ can apply to any product, such as websites, software tools, or mobile apps.
Here’s a perfect example of in-product messaging in action – the WebEngage chatbot:
- Create a sense of FOMO among your consumers
Creating a sense of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is a game-changer in engaging inactive users. FOMO is a popular marketing tactic, aka. consumer behavior trend, where brands let consumers know what they’re missing out on by showcasing a compelling reason to turn them into visitors or purchasers.
How can you, as a B2B business, use FOMO? Communicate with your consumers using solid social proof to let them know what they’re missing out on. Add real results from real customers, including testimonials, add use cases, and let inactive consumers visualize that it could be them achieving the same results.
For instance, communicate how the consumer has been using push notifications for cart recovery, but a similar brand has been doing it using your email marketing tool and fetching exceptional results.
Below is a good example of how Grammarly Business used the FOMO strategy using a countdown:
- Host events
Events bring people together and let impactful, engaging face-to-face conversations happen. Physical conferences or even virtual events like webinars humanize your business and let you connect with your customers, educate them about your products, exchange ideas, and collect direct feedback.
Semrush, for instance, hosts multiple webinars and in-person events to connect and engage with its consumers, investors, and community. Such events also help shorten the sales funnel and increase customer retention rates.
- Provide proactive support and ongoing education with a resource center
Provide proactive support and ongoing education with a resource center
Customer engagement for a B2B business should not be solely focused on ‘selling’ but also on genuinely educating its consumers.
And one significant way to proactively offer consumer support and education is through a dedicated free resource center. Resources such as interactive guides, feature explanations, video tutorials, etc., help increase customer satisfaction and engagement.
To understand consumer requirements, use analytics to track and measure user needs and get to know the most accessed resources to tailor your content accordingly.
But as the product evolves and our user base expands, we also monitor how these documents are being consumed – this has helped us categorize documents and expand resources in a strategic way, letting our users guide the path.
Consider cultural differences and personalize accordingly
One way to evolve your service and customer engagement game is by being mindful of the variety of cultures your consumers belong to.
So things like preferences, education backgrounds, communication skills, and tech savviness, among many others, should be given close attention while creating any engagement or marketing strategy. This way, you ensure consumer inclusivity by being thoughtful.
Shopify leads by example for this principle. The brand runs localized campaigns with exclusive benefits and discounts that appeal to a specific set of audience. It recently launched additional help for its Indian merchants as the brand realized it needed more help setting up the platform.
Psst. WebEngage is also on Shopify. Check it out here.
Some final thoughts
The ultimate objective with B2B customer engagement is to let your consumers feel heard and develop an intuitive relationship with them while working on their feedback.
We’ve discussed some tremendous result-driven customer engagement methods for B2B businesses. But your engagement strategies can vary based on who you’re addressing. Therefore, you must know your target market and create an ICP (ideal customer profile) before you go head-on with any of these best practices.
Looking to transition your business with exceptional hyper-personalized customer engagement strategies?