Customer Retention: What It Takes
Article Date: March 15, 2022
Keep Loyal Customers and Win the Selling Game
New customers are important to grow your building materials business. However, studies have found that it costs five times as much to attract a new customer than it does to keep a current one. This makes your efforts to nurture and retain existing customers very valuable to your bottom line. Happy, repeat buyers are good for business and can contribute to organic word-of-mouth advertising and positive awareness. In the building materials industry, there are a variety of ways to earn repeat sales and garner brand loyalty. Identifying which tactics work best for your organization is essential when learning how to attract and retain customers in the long term.
Content is a key driver in bringing customers in the door, but good content also plays a pivotal role in keeping them around.
According to “How To Use Content Marketing To Support B2B Customer Retention,” published by Forbes, after a sale is made, “...value comes in the form of quality content that helps strengthen the relationships you worked hard to build during the sales cycle.”
One way to get sticky with customers for building customer satisfaction value and retention is to tap into their insight and perspective and publish thought leadership content featuring that customer. Expert-level thought leadership content can position your brand as a source of authority and also help deepen customer relationships.
Case studies are important, too. Showing how your products solved a particular construction challenge can be pivotal in earning business, even amongst those who have already purchased from you. Case studies serve as proof points that can be used to continue the conversation with both existing and prospective customers. These written (or video) pieces should emphasize storytelling. They should be written to highlight a particular challenge, the how and why behind your product solution, and the project’s successful outcome. As a matter of practice, make a habit of developing case studies on new customers’ projects to solidify these relationships. Similarly, gather testimonials from new customers that can be used in a variety of marketing materials such as social posts, video, on your website, or in an ad. Testimonials demonstrate the pride you take in working with a particular customer. It also provides their organization with additional exposure.
Education = Conversions
Product advancements and new innovations keep your building materials brand on the cutting edge of the industry. And current customers are expecting you to manufacture materials that help them solve ongoing building challenges and code requirement changes in the construction industry. However, it is important to properly educate new and old customers alike on your new products or services to avoid overwhelming them with new technical information.
Consider this an important component of your customer nurturing strategy. By investing in the development of how-to articles, brochures, easy-to-understand specs and technical documents, or even video demonstrations of your products and services, you have an array of assets at your fingertips to educate customers on their journey through the sales funnel. In the end, they will feel confident and assured they are making a well-informed purchasing decision.
In addition, it is wise to invest in training for customers to ensure they are comfortable working with and installing your products. Invite them to your facility for official installation certification or hit the road for on-site installation guidance and support. This will go a long way for customer retention by enhancing trust and removing the confusion around new products or procedures.
Now that you have an array of content developed, you need to get it in front of your valued customers.
Stay in Touch
You’ve sealed the deal with a customer, but the conversation shouldn’t stop there.
Prioritize keeping in touch with customers who have purchased from you. In the building materials space, the architects, specifiers, contractors, builders, and other construction stakeholders that made the decision to buy from you once will have an ongoing need to purchase materials in the future. Make your products the easy choice. Staying in front of them post-purchase will help you on this front.
You’ve Got Mail
Email marketing lead nurturing programs are a cost-effective means of delivering a steady diet of content to customers. All the content that you are developing – video, how-to articles, brochures, blogs, and more – should be repurposed and delivered right to a customer’s inbox. These types of lead nurturing programs can also feature automated touchpoints to make your content and outreach feel more personal and tailored to that specific customer. It is important to note that email communications to existing customers should remain a separate effort from lead nurturing programs designed for unqualified prospects. Current customers have a different relationship and level of familiarity with you, and you with them.
Get in front of customers early and often after a sale. In fact, according to Salesforce, it takes six to eight marketing touches to generate a viable sales lead. It’s important to continually engage with your customers and continue to re-qualify previous customers. Generating solid content and sharing it with your audiences at a regular cadence can deliver valuable ROI to your building materials business.
Don’t forget to maintain your database of leads to ensure you’re reaching out to viable prospects with updated email addresses. It can also help to segment your lists so that different types of content can be sent to specific groups of prospective customers in the various stages of the buying journey.
Open the Lines of Communication
Make it easy for customers to share their thoughts and opinions with you. Getting regular customer feedback can take on a variety of shapes and forms. It may be relatively informal through regular communication, surveys, meetings, or a visit to a customer’s headquarters. Some manufacturers opt for a more formal approach, such as project completion interviews, satisfaction surveys, or customer council sessions. These are all tactics that help your organization understand how to best service your customers and gives you direct insight into their needs. It also gives them a voice, and is a great way to strengthen the relationship and build loyalty with your brand.
Another effective means of sharing your content is via email marketing. Your carefully curated list of prospects is the perfect pool of people primed to want to read what you have written. Good thought leadership content will be welcomed in your recipients’ inboxes. In fact, interested readers will begin to expect and anticipate your regularly scheduled emails or quarterly eNewsletters that link back to full-length blog articles on your site. If the reader feels as if the information is valuable to them and their business, they’ll look forward to it, which will directly correlate to an increase in clicks and readership in your metrics reports.
A focused customer retention effort that utilizes fresh content, educates customers, and helps them overcome challenges they see in the field every day will help increase brand loyalty to you as a building materials manufacturer. Loyal customers who see value in your products and services will translate into repeat sales for your organization.
BLD Marketing can help you better understand customer retention strategies and the tactics that will increase the likelihood of a customer buying again, helping you win the selling game.
BLD Marketing is a results-based, digitally-focused, full-service strategic marketing firm exclusively serving the commercial and residential building materials category.