The Human Psychology Behind B2B Loyalty Programs

You don’t need to be a licensed psychologist to understand the effects of loyalty on the human psyche. Loyalty is considered one of the most admirable traits around – the ability to stand by someone or something that has a proven track record and provide support and defence is considered honourable, and it’s the biggest reason we love dogs!

Considering the economic factors that are making growth increasingly difficult across Australian and New Zealand markets – high interest rates, supply chain struggles, and other micro- and macro-economic issues, finding ways to capture this sort of loyalty from your customers should really be at the forefront of the continued success of your business.

However, capturing loyalty isn’t a one-way street. Loyalty comes from a strong feeling of support or allegiance – so what are you doing to support your customers?

Since 1996, we’ve been helping businesses support their clients, and in exchange, they’ve received solutions to existing pain points within the business which allow them to stand apart from the competition and thrive through difficult economic times. If your business is ready to step up and thrive, read on – or reach out today to see what we can do for your business!

What Loyalty Looks Like in B2B

Circling back to what we said in the last section, regardless of what pain point is the primary issue facing your business, whether that be economic, market-based, or otherwise, an absence of loyalty exacerbates each of these. Inverting that, you could consider each major pain point facing your business to be loyalty-based.

With loyalty such an integral key to the success of your business, what can you do to ingratiate a sense of loyalty into your customers? The first step is breaking down the components of your customer base to better understand them.

In the B2B space, this commonly falls to three major players:

  • Individual contractors
  • Dealers
  • Distributors

Each of these can have its own interactions with loyalty specifically relating to your brand. The contractor may have a great personal relationship with your sales team or channel partners and therefore sticks solely with you. The dealer may purchase directly from you, despite your competitor offering slightly lower prices, due to a set routine and a disinterest in change. The distributor may spend their entire share of wallet with your brand, allowing you to consistently exceed sales forecasts each month.

It might sound simple to go out and get new customers if your current base doesn’t interact with your brand like this, but it’s five times more expensive to obtain new customers than it is to retain your current base and cultivate loyalty in new customers who don’t have connections with your brand makes that even more expensive.

Creating a rewards program could be a set-and-forget solution, but it’s not as easy as that to change behaviour. In fact, changing behaviour is most achievable through changing what your business is to your customers. One of the best ways to define that is what value you can provide to your customers, on top of what your products already offer.

That’s not to say that a rewards program doesn’t provide additional value – in fact, many of our loyalty programs include rewards components, but it takes more than just that single aspect to truly redefine the relationship between business and customer. Your brand must provide something that has real value to them, not just something that they’d like. Rewards change, and loyalty stands the test of time.

So, how can you cultivate that sense of loyalty in your customers?

There are two major ways that you can add value to your customer’s life – either business value or personal value. Tying these into your loyalty program can be tricky, but don’t worry – we’ll help you break it down.

  • The effectiveness of status within loyalty programs has long been accepted, but has your organisation considered tying status to exclusive business perks to provide value to your customer base? Providing things like specific delivery times and concierge phone lines to exclusive high-spenders can establish value in the relationship between your business and it’s customers.
  • Business rewards such as assisting with their business through tooling, local area marketing and signage can provide a sense of value while helping elevate the status of your customers. Certain industries can even provide these perks through regular customers, allowing a networking aspect to your loyalty programs.
  • Tying sales planning to your big spenders allows you to help your customers by increasing the profit from their sales events, by letting them in on exclusive offers ahead of time.

Similarly, providing value to their personal needs and wants can come in the form of some of the below perks:

  • This is where the previously-mentioned rewards aspects enter the discussion. By providing a bespoke range of aspirational rewards targeted at your ideal customer base, you can add an extra level of surety to the loyalty of your customers.
  • Experiences not only provide networking benefits to add depth to the relationship between customer and brand, but also allow once-in-a-lifetime experiences that can be funded through specific sales targets, allowing the existing loyalty within your customers to build the foundation of further growth.
  • A loyalty program needs to have convenience at the forefront – after all, no one’s interested in trying to gain value when it’s needlessly complicated! By providing an easy-to-use program for time-poor participants, you demonstrate understanding of the customer’s needs and ensure future loyalty.

These aren’t the only ways to gain loyalty, but they do illustrate important points to consider when considering what your customer’s needs are and how you can solve them and provide additional value to them in a way that benefits their lifestyle or business.

However, some of these do require a level of understanding of your customer base, especially with relation to how they engage with your business. It’s important to break down your customer base into personas and segments, as deploying these tactics without proper understanding can come across as disingenuous or out-of-touch and may risk alienating them from your brand.

If you’re interested in gaining knowledge into your customer base, reach out today for a consultation – this is included in each of our loyalty program developments, and can help you gain insight into what makes your brand so successful – as well as finding how to elevate that to unseen levels. We’ve been doing this for almost three decades – we know what we’re talking about.

Let’s talk loyalty programs for your business!

Fill out the form below and let’s talk about your next Loyalty, Incentive or Digital strategy.