It is a proven and accepted reality in business today that engaged employees increase a company’s bottom line. However, new research from Gallup show that engaging B2B customers by establishing an emotional connection based on confidence, integrity, pride and passion is crucial to customer impact. Engaged customers deliver 23% more revenue than average customers in wallet-share, revenue, relationship growth, and profitability. According to the same Gallup research only 13% of B2B customers are fully engaged.
Engagement exists when customers go out of their way to favor a relationship over price. This deepens a relationship, and often customers are rewarded for their loyalty with either a discount for services rendered or other perks from the company providing the service. Treating customer engagement and employee engagement similarly will garner similar outcomes. Reward customers for any business you gain, the way you would an employee. Provide spot rewards, such as a small gift card for small business gained and for a major expansion in business or formation of an industry partnership, provide a broader reward. Creating a 360 degree customer feedback loop provides opportunities for relationship growth. Putting constant work into the companies’ relationship is crucial. The time you spend ensuring that your employees are loyal should be equivalent to the time you ensure that your customers and partners are going to continue to drive your business.
Rachel Merkin is a digital marketing professional . She has been exploring the worlds of social media and B2B gift cards since 2006. When she is not blogging, tweeting, or finding ways to leverage Facebook as a marketing tool, she spends as much time at the beach as she can.