Turning your B2B clients into company evangelists is one of the most effective ways to earn more customers. A Neilsen report found that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people in their network more than they do company advertisements.
B2B buyers are especially motivated by referrals since hearing that your company produced great results for their colleagues in the industry reassures them that your offering is a worthwhile investment.
Keep reading to learn how to turn your B2B clients into company evangelists.
Provide Exceptional Account Management
According to a study published in the Harvard Business Review, strategic account management programs create a 20%+ increase in client satisfaction and a 15%+ increase in revenue.
Exceptional account management helps turn your clients into company evangelists by:
- Helping your clients get the highest possible ROI from your product/service
- Quickly solving client issues so that they’re 100% satisfied with the results you deliver
- Developing strong relationships with key stakeholders so that you’re able to become an essential provider for them
When your account managers quickly address all of your B2B clients’ ideas and concerns, it proves that your business is reliable - a trait that’s absolutely necessary for clients to refer you to others.
Collect Customer Feedback and Use it to Continuously Improve
One of the most effective ways to turn customers who ordinarily wouldn’t talk about your company into brand evangelists is to take the time to listen to them and transform their feedback into product/service improvements.
Throughout your engagements with clients, have your account managers and/or account executives ask your clients how they’re enjoying your offering and see if there’s anything else they’d want from you.
If possible, immediately act on their feedback and show them the improvements your team is making. Doing so proves to your clients that you’re committed to their success and encourages them to share their positive experience with others.
Even if you’re a product company and can’t immediately implement customer feedback, you can still create goodwill by collecting feedback. The key is to create the results your clients want to see instead of the specific improvement they requested. For example, if they ask for a feature that your product team currently doesn’t have the bandwidth to develop, suggest workarounds that enable them to achieve similar results.
One of the companies that’s great at doing this is Lately. They’re a marketing management software company who is constantly improving their product based on customer feedback.
Every week, their customer success manager hosts webinars explaining how to use a product feature. At the end of it, they answer questions and invite customers to share their feedback about the service. If someone wants a feature that’s not currently available, they’ll share the idea with their development team and create it if possible.
Customers are loyal to Lately because they feel like the company truly cares about their success and is always improving their product.
Sustain a Strong Company Culture
Company culture plays a powerful role in the quality of service your B2B clients receive. Research from the Korn Ferry Institute found that companies who have a strong culture with highly engaged employees grow revenue twice as much as those with poor company cultures and disengaged employees.
They found that company culture has such a powerful impact on business success since highly engaged employees are:
- An average of 43% more productive than disengaged employees which enables them to produce better results for your B2B clients faster
- Demonstrate a positive, helpful attitude when interacting with your clients to give them a great experience
- Go out of their way to address client needs so that they feel supported the whole time they’re working with your company
- Spend more time collaborating with other teams so that they can develop holistic solutions to your client needs
Taking actions to keep your employees engaged ensures they deliver the positive experiences and exceptional results that drive clients to become evangelists for your brand.
Exceed Your Clients’ Expectations
According to Sujan Patel, Voila Norbert co-founder, you should always exceed your clients’ expectations. Here’s why:
"Exceed your clients expectations by smashing the KPI's you've set. You'll seamlessly turn your clients into company evangelists if your results are greater than what you had laid out at the start of the engagement."
To exceed your clients’ expectations, you need to do two things:
- Set appropriate expectations with clients. If they think that you can achieve results that are impossible or they have unrealistic ideas about how long your work is going to take, then you’re set up for failure. Prior to finalizing your agreement, make sure they have expectations that your team is capable of exceeding.
- At the start of client engagements, strategize how you’re going to exceed their expectations. Having a plan from the start ensures you’re able to reliably wow your customers while adhering to time and budget constraints.
Here are a couple of ways to go above and beyond your clients’ expectations
- Exceed the KPIs you promised. To do this, you need to start your engagement by setting goals that you know you can meet and work with your team to surpass them. For example, if you’re a web development agency, you may promise your client that you’re going to increase site speed by 15% and lower the bounce rate by 10%. However, you and your team need to work hard to hit those base KPIs as early as possible in your engagement so that you have time to surpass them.
- Accommodate your clients’ sudden and urgent needs. By occasionally stepping up and helping clients with projects that are outside of your agreed upon scope of work, you eliminate stress from their lives and prove that your business will do whatever it takes to support its clients.
Here’s an example:
Recently, we had a former client come back and they were scheduled to start service in the beginning of the following month. However, before their onboarding date, they had a backlog of expenses that needed to be done.
Though our contract with them hadn’t officially started, their former virtual assistant stepped up and worked overtime to file all of their expense reports by the deadline. Our client was super grateful and impressed that we got the work done on short notice. They’ve since referred us new clients.
Ultimately, the secret to turning your B2B clients into company evangelists is simple: provide an outstanding customer experience and deliver results that are so impactful that they’re eager to share their success with others in the industry.
About the Author: Emily formerly led Prialto's content production and distribution team with a special passion for helping people realize success. Her work and collaborations have appeared in Entrepreneur, Inc. and the Observer among others.