Marketing Strategy
Top Customer Retention Strategies for B2B Marketers

Top Customer Retention Strategies for B2B Marketers

January 3, 2023
5 min read

With a new year on the horizon, the chatter of a recession, and a marked increase in reports of poor client retention, it’s more important than ever that B2B marketers focus on retaining reliable clients. Aside from increasing lead generation efforts, ensuring client satisfaction is vital to keeping your business profitable.

No one likes losing customers, but it does happen. And when it does, many business leaders start racking their brains, polling their teams, and trying to figure out where things went wrong. There’s not always going to be a cut-and-dry reason that a client leaves. But when customer retention poses a threat for an ongoing issue, a few strategies can help you hold on to patrons, keeping your business on a successful track for the year ahead. Here are key customer retention strategies your business should consider for next year.

Deliver a Thoughtful Onboarding Experience

Remember, a client’s journey doesn’t stop when they sign a contract. You must continue providing support and value throughout your relationship. Onboarding is the first chance for your team to deliver and delight through communication, videos, guides, and emails that welcome new customers, offer value, and create a strong foundation with your team, products, and services. Take this further and personalize the onboarding process and content to help bolster customer retention, which leads to the next strategy…

Personalize, Personalize, Personalize

Your customers will likely be very different from one another, and more than likely have different needs. A basic one-size-fits-all approach will ensure some customers fall through the cracks. People want solutions and experiences tailored to their needs, scale, timeline, and preferences. Personalization ensures relevance for the client now and flexibility in the future. This will help them address the problems they enlisted your business to resolve, which boosts customer retention because you’re proving to be attentive for the long haul.

Build (& Maintain) Trust

Trust is a hard thing to come by. It takes time and effort to build trust. And just because your client signed a contract, doesn’t mean trust is a guarantee. You must stick to your brand promises and remain reliable throughout the relationship. If you consistently deliver, trust will follow. If you fail to do so or constantly change your brand, you’ll naturally lose trust with existing customers and stall trust-building with prospects. Consistency and reliability are critical: stick to them!

Provide High-Quality Content

Did you know that providing high-value, educational content is one of the best ways to improve your Google ranking? It’s true. Google knows the value of relevant content, and so do your customers. You can become a knowledgeable resource when you provide valuable and engaging content, like eBooks, whitepapers, and informative blogs. This builds the trust mentioned above and helps your business stand out. Educational content is helpful content. It can boost your position as a thought leader and add to your customer’s impression of your credibility, insight, and usefulness—all of which can increase customer retention.

Show Your Appreciation

Who doesn’t like to feel appreciated? You’re building a stronger relationship with clients by going out of your way to show your appreciation. Sending a gift, exclusive benefit, limited offer, or even a hand-written thank you note can go a long way. Customers don’t forget when you surprise them with kind words or attentive offers. Showing appreciation further separates you from a careless competitor, builds rapport with clients, and makes them feel confident about your relationship.

Monitor Client Satisfaction

Monitoring client satisfaction is straightforward but challenging. Stay engaged with clients through monthly or quarterly touchpoints to gauge satisfaction levels. You’ll learn directly what they’re happy with and what needs to be improved. There are several ways to monitor feedback, including surveys or focus groups, online reviews, and general communication. Once you know client likes and dislikes, you can apply that data to immediate issue resolution, improving processes, products, and other business areas. And you’ll be able to show your clients you value their opinions and ongoing success, encouraging greater customer retention.

Making Customer Retention a Priority

Marketers have been reporting lower customer retention rates over the last year. Don’t wait until after you start losing customers to make satisfaction and retention a priority! Leverage these strategies today, and you’ll be ahead of the game (with a suit of armor when facing outside financial pressures).

With a new year on the horizon, the chatter of a recession, and a marked increase in reports of poor client retention, it’s more important than ever that B2B marketers focus on retaining reliable clients. Sure, you might be killing it in lead gen, but if you’re losing clients left and right, you’re basically running on a treadmill, not moving forward. A business can’t survive solely on new leads; retaining existing customers is not just important, it’s essential.

Why Customer Retention Is Important

Before we dive into the strategies, let’s look at why customer retention is so vital. According to research, it’s 5 to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep an existing one. Plus, existing customers are more likely to buy from you again and even spend more. So, if you’re not focusing on customer retention, you’re basically leaving money on the table.

Deliver a Thoughtful Onboarding Experience

Onboarding isn’t just a one-off event; think of it as a honeymoon period for your new client. Use this time wisely. Offer a well-designed onboarding package, maybe even throw in a webinar or two, and you’ll not only set the stage but also lay down the tracks for a long-lasting relationship.

Actionable Tip: Create an onboarding checklist to ensure every client gets a consistent and complete experience.

Personalize, Personalize, Personalize

If you’re not personalizing your interactions, you’re basically saying, “I don’t care who you are.” Use data analytics to segment your client base, and offer tailored services and products.

Actionable Tip: Use AI or machine learning algorithms to analyze customer behavior and preferences. This will help you offer more targeted solutions.

Build (& Maintain) Trust

Trust isn’t built in a day. It’s like planting a tree; you need to nurture it. Transparency is key here. If you messed up, own it. Your customers will appreciate your honesty more than a well-crafted excuse.

Actionable Tip: Use social proof like case studies or testimonials to show that other clients trust you too.

Provide High-Quality Content

You want to become the Wikipedia of your industry. No joke. If your clients have a question, they should think of you first. And hey, Google loves this stuff. More content equals better SEO, but don’t just churn out articles. Make sure they’re high quality.

Actionable Tip: Create a content calendar focusing on topics that matter most to your audience.

Show Your Appreciation

Surprise and delight—that’s the game. And no, I don’t mean just during the holiday season. Random acts of kindness can make your customers’ day and keep you top of mind.

Actionable Tip: Implement a loyalty program with various tiers to encourage repeat business and reward your most loyal clients.

Monitor Client Satisfaction

This is the business equivalent of asking, “How are we doing?” And you should ask it often. Tools like Net Promoter Score (NPS) can provide quantifiable data, but nothing beats a good ol’ conversation.

Actionable Tip: Introduce a quarterly business review (QBR) to discuss results, expectations, and areas for improvement.

Conclusion: Make Customer Retention a Priority

Look, the writing’s on the wall. Customer retention rates are not what they used to be. But instead of just wringing your hands and hoping for the best, take action. Leverage these strategies, and you’ll not only keep your existing clients but turn them into raving fans.

Bonus: The Role of Tech in Customer Retention

Technology is a game-changer in enhancing customer retention. Whether it’s CRM systems, chatbots, or advanced analytics, tech can make your life—and retaining customers—a whole lot easier.

Actionable Tip: Invest in a good CRM system that allows you to track interactions, preferences, and history. This will enable you to anticipate client needs before they even realize them themselves.

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Mark Schmukler

Mark Schmukler, CEO and Co-founder of Sagefrog Marketing Group, brings more than 30 years of global marketing and consulting experience to the agency, leveraging his B2B background to lead brand strategy and business development. Headquartered in Doylestown, PA with offices in Philadelphia, Princeton, Boston and Washington, DC, Sagefrog is a top-ranked B2B marketing agency with specialties in healthcare, technology, industrial, and business services. Founded in 2002, Sagefrog’s mission is to accelerate client success through branding and strategy, websites and digital, content and inbound, and traditional marketing services. Visit or call 215.230.9024.

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