Five Customer Retention Strategies for Small B2B Companies

March 9th, 2021

Enhancing customer retention in the B2B marketplace involves more than just building relationships. Vendors have the opportunity to earn more money by keeping loyal customers. A survey conducted by Invesp revealed that increasing customer retention rates by only 5% can boost profits by 25%-95%. Successful B2B companies recognize the importance of feedback and use it to re-evaluate the needs of their industry. 

Finding the right customer retention strategies involves working on a tight budget. This is especially true for B2B companies. According to this post by Earnest, B2B product companies only allocate about 8.6% of their total budget to marketing efforts. Customer marketing programs typically get only a fraction of that spend. It takes a village, with marketing, sales, and support teams working together to retain customers.

Customer Retention StrategyWho Owns ItSoftware ToolsMediumExample
Resolve customer support issues quicklyCustomer SupportHelp Desk SoftwareEmail, Live Chat, ForumsCustomer Service Ideas Worth Stealing
Get customers to subscribe to your blogMarketingContent Management SoftwareWebsite/BlogUser-Generated Content to Inspire Your Campaign
Send promotional offers via email to loyal customersMarketingMarketing Automation SoftwareEmail, SocialBetterSpaces Campaign
Track customer contacts, interactions, and contracts in one placeSalesCustomer Relationship Management SoftwareN/A (Internal)Top 5 CRM Examples
Run surveys to get customer feedback and personalize everythingMarketing, Sales, Customer  SupportCustomer Experience Management SoftwareWebsite, Email, Social5 Winning Customer Experience Examples

This piece will help your small B2B product company choose the right customer retention tools based on common use cases. The five customer retention tools we will recommend for small B2B companies are:

Help Desk Software for Customer Support

Help desk software is crucial for improving customer retention. B2B customers often have questions about product features and usage. Quick, efficient customer service is the backbone of customer loyalty. According to this report by PWC, 32% of customers said that they would be willing to leave a company after just one bad experience. Small B2B companies should consider investing in customer self-service. This will help customers navigate any questions they might have outside business hours. 

Make Sure Customers Are Never Confused or Waiting on Help

LiveAgent: LiveAgent is a Top Rated help desk software that allows customers to receive assistance with their product questions. It is also great for customer service issues. This product distinguishes itself from its competitors by offering a Forever Free subscription. The option includes a customer forum and portal. 

The customer portal provides 24/7 support and links to the knowledge base. This is essentially a “self-service library” that indexes product information. Customers can search for the information without having to call the support number or submit a ticket. 

The forum helps promote community engagement and gives vendors insight into genuine feedback. The Forever Free plan also includes the use of the WYSIWYG (“What You See Is What You Get”) editor for service emails and knowledge base articles. To learn more about competing Help Desk software, read Top 10 Zendesk Alternatives for Superior Customer Service.

Bottom Line: The LiveAgent Forever Free subscription plan is ideal for small B2B companies This free option is a smart choice for those who want basic chat functions and enhanced self-service. The customer portal, forum, and knowledge base are easy to set up and highly customizable. Using LiveAgent to establish a customer self-service center will greatly decrease the amount of time spent answering repetitive questions. 

“For any virtually-based company, LiveAgent is an essential tool. It is easy to prioritize tasks and keep messages and responses organized.”

Alissa Burch | Director of Operations| Exito Travel, 11-50 employees

Content Management System for Brand Awareness

B2B customers are constantly on the hunt for engaging, informative content. Content Management Systems improve customer. This is done by allowing buyers to connect with your brand. Your small B2B company will want to look for a CMS platform with plenty of custom templates and SEO optimization tools. 

Delight Customers with Engaging Content 

WordPress: WordPress is a TopRated CMS software. Reviewers praise its usability and product features. The platform offers an affordable Business subscription plan, priced at $33 per month. This is specifically designed for small companies. With the Business plan, users get access to over 50,000 site plug-ins, 200 GB of storage, and a Google Analytics integration. 

WordPress also gives you the option to activate domain mapping if you have already established a primary website. This means that customers who visit your company’s website can click a link that automatically redirects them to your WordPress blog. Small B2B companies that choose to invest in WordPress can expect a high return on investment. Increased customer engagement is another perk

Bottom Line: WordPress is one of the most recognized Content Management products. This is no fluke, as it gives users plenty of features to improve brand awareness. The Business subscription plan offers more than enough storage and plug-ins to make your blog successful. The wide range of templates is crucial for saving small businesses time on creating web content. Some customers reported that there is a learning curve for WordPress

“WordPress is a pretty malleable platform. It can be used as a simple website, blog, or you can extend it with a variety of plugins to morph it into almost anything else. I have deployed this as both a website and a blog in multiple instances. I’ve also used plugins to secure the site as well as add additional features such as file sharing and media. It’s free software that can be quickly deployed and is relatively simple to run. Low cost and overhead make this a great tool.”

Verified User | Engineer in Engineering | Computer & Network Security Company, 1-10 employees

Marketing Automation Software for Personalization

Marketing automation software is an influential player among customer retention tools. For many, it simplifies reaching their customer base. 59% of B2B marketers agree that email is their main source of revenue. Small B2B companies will want to look for an email marketing software with high reviews for usability and price. 

Foster Customer Loyalty with Customized Email Marketing Campaigns

Mailchimp: Mailchimp is ideal for small businesses that want a more targeted approach to email marketing. Mailchimp consistently receives positive reviews for usability and price. This has earned them their Top Rated product status. The platform offers tiered subscription plans to support B2B vendors as they expand their customer base. 

The free subscription plan is designed to improve customer acquisition. Users are granted access to tools such as the Website Builder and Creative Assistant, an AI-powered template designer. The Free subscription plan limits businesses to 12,000 emails per month and 2,000 contacts. For a more detailed comparison of free marketing automation software, check out this post on the TrustRadius Buyer Blog.  

The Standard subscription plan is great for B2B companies that are already established in their industry. This starts at $14.99 per month. The plan contains enhanced features for insight into customer behavior.

These features include send-time optimization, A/B testing, and customer journey maps. The $14.99 per month starting price only covers 500 contacts and 6,000 emails. However, the Standard plan adjusts pricing according to the total number of contacts and supports up to 100,000 contacts. 

Bottom Line: Mailchimp is a great resource for small B2B companies looking to improve customer retention. This is where their email marketing campaigns shine. Mailchimp adds an extra touch of personalization and style. This is true if you want to send regular newsletters covering product updates or special discounts to loyal customers. In summary, Mailchimp outperforms its competitors by offering the highest quality at the lowest price tag. 

“Mailchimp is certainly well-suited for all scenarios where professional, stylized communications from an organization are required. Certainly in fields or scenarios where product sales are the goal. An organization that does not have the resources to manually manage lists (if your database does not integrate with Mailchimp) would struggle to ensure those lists are accurate and up to date.”

Verified User | Director in Information Technology| Education Management Company, 51-200 employees

CRM Software for Maintaining Relationships

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software can improve customer retention for many businesses. This is especially true for small B2B companies. Users can access all their buyer information in a single location. CRM software can help you with customer retention. You can forecast which customers are likely to renew, which customers are likely to churn, and which might be ready to buy more. 

Connect Directly with Customers and Evaluate Their Needs

Less Annoying CRM: Comparing software prices, features, and plan limitations can lead to a major headache. Less Annoying CRM is designed for small businesses that do not want to spend extensive time learning how to use their software. Unlike other CRM software products, Less Annoying CRM does not use tiered pricing or set user limits. 

The price stays firmly at $15/user/month, and you can add as many users as you need. Less Annoying CRM prioritizes team collaboration, customization, and contact management. Their platform is web-based, which means you can access your information from any device. Less Annoying CRM offers in-house integrations with Mailchimp and Google Calendar. It also integrates with Google Contacts, and Outlook Calendar. To compare Less Annoying CRM with similar products, check out 4 Best CRM Software for Small Businesses and Who Should Use Each

Bottom Line: As the name implies, Less Annoying CRM is perfect for small B2B companies that value simplicity. This product emphasizes transparency in the subscription process. There is only one affordable base rate with no user limits. This product is best suited for a team with less than ten users. The software integrations are pretty limited. You may want to consider other CRM products if you prioritize automated workflows. 

“We have tried a few different CRMs but, being a small company (2 employees), we don’t need the complicated and robust features of many of the other CRMs. Less Annoying CRM is the first one that is truly customizable which means we can make it as simple or as complicated as we want. It is exactly as we need it and only the features we truly need show up.”

Jenny Steadman | Publisher/Owner | Macaroni Kid Cleveland East Marketing and Advertising, 1-10 employees

Customer Experience Management (CEM) Software for Centralized Interactions

Customer Experience Management (CEM) software takes the software on this list and connects them. Consider investing in CEM software if your small B2B company can spend a bit more on subscription costs

Receive Customer Feedback from Multiple Channels 

Zoho CRM Plus: Zoho CRM Plus is a one-stop-shop that links sales, marketing, and customer success teams. This tool is great for those who do not want to manage across multiple platforms and vendors

There are many channels where you will receive feedback in this tool. Omnichannel engagement pulls valuable customer data from various sources. This includes live chats and survey responses. The AI sales assistant, Zia, automates data extraction and makes predictions about the likelihood of closing a deal.

Zoho CRM Plus is one of the more affordable options. Customer Experience Management Software is usually a bigger upfront investment, The software is priced at $50/user/month billed annually or $60/user/month for a monthly subscription. 

Bottom Line: Zoho CRM Plus is ideal for small-to-mid-sized B2B companies. User should be familiar with the Zoho suite or want a unified Customer Experience platform. The user interface helps multiple departments access customer information and interact with new leads or long-term buyers. Even though Zoho CRM Plus is a larger monthly investment, it could eliminate the need for managing multiple subscriptions. The level of customization in Zoho CRM Plus guarantees a high return on investment for any small B2B company. 

“I believe Zoho fits all kinds of businesses. The flexibility with custom modules allows anyone to create solutions. The workflow rules and automation are amazing for any need you might have. I’m sure, and have seen in the past, that Zoho will provide a solution to many different problems.”

Juan Carlos Calvo Orrego | Head of Sales Marketing| Buenas Vibras, 1-10 employees

More Resources for Finding the Best Customer Retention Strategies

If you’re looking for a more advanced solution to coordinate your customer retention strategies and manage a team focused on customer retention, check out Customer Success Software.  ChurnZero, Gainsight, or Totango could be a great option for your business.