Everyone knows the joy of racking up points on your grocery store’s loyalty rewards card or earning a reward from your favorite clothing retailer. Commerce companies have been taking advantage of these types of customer programs for decades, but a loyalty rewards card doesn’t quite work for a B2B company selling software or other products that don’t require frequent purchases.
So how can those companies get in on the action? Create a customer community! It will allow your customers to get rewards (either instantly or after an accumulation of points), of course, but it will also offer you so much more than repeat purchases. Here are five ways to use customer community rewards to your advantage.
When you run a grocery store, you want people to buy more. When you sell an enterprise product like software, you want people to use your product more, so it becomes so ingrained in their workflow that they can’t do without it. In your customer community, you can offer points or rewards for users who participate in product training programs. That way, you can show off all the new and lesser-known features of your product.
The training also has the benefit of building your customers’ product knowledge, allowing you to leverage your community as a support solution. When you reward customers for answering other users’ questions, you can cut down on calls to your care team. In fact, according to Verint, deflection of customer support calls is the fastest way to see a positive return on investment with your community.
Once you have a good number of active community members, it puts a research pool at your fingertips. Whether you want them to complete a survey about their product satisfaction or serve as a beta tester on a new feature, you can offer rewards to encourage participation. And by looking for participants among this already-active audience, the feedback and data will be even more valuable and useful than a wider survey of all customers.
Unlike a loyalty rewards card, which typically rewards only purchases, customer communities can offer incentives for all kinds of actions. Seek out members willing to do an interview for a case study. Invite them to refer a friend or colleague who might also be able to use your product, turning your advocates into lead generators. Request guest blog posts from customers at companies with a similar target audience as yours. There are endless opportunities to tap into your base of engaged customers to help your marketing and sales efforts.
While repeat purchases don’t come as often in B2B sales as they do for retails with a loyalty rewards card, your customers will likely need to renew at some point. With all the goodwill you’ve built up with community rewards, you’re more likely to get that renewal or even an upsell. A customer renewal is not only good for the bottom line, it also keeps your community active and increases its effectiveness.
Learn more about using communities and rewards to bridge the customer engagement gap by watching our webinar with Verint!