5 Steps to Encourage an At-Risk B2B Customer To Start Buying Again

Philippe Pavillet

Apr 27, 2023

If you’ve looked at Fructifi, you probably know that one of its main features of the application is its ability to detect the risk that a customer may currently stop buying your products and services.

This is achieved by predicting the date of the next order of each customer, based on their past buying behavior, and comparing this information with what has already been happening in real life. Accordingly, there are 3 possible risk statuses:

  • Active: the customer’s next order is expected to take place any day from today on
  • At risk: the customer has missed the date by which they were predicted to place their next order
  • Churned (or gone): the customer has not placed an order in a very long time. More specifically they have let a certain number of days pass since their last order, which our algorithm has detected as making it less likely that they would come back than the opposite.

Having this information is great, but more important is what to do with it. In the next 3 articles, we will focus on the actual strategies a salesperson should take when interacting with a customer in each of these risk statuses. We will start with customers at risk, because they are the ones where an action has the highest return on investment. Then we will continue with churned customers, and end on a positive note with the active customers.

So… What strategy should you use to encourage at-risk customers to get back into the active category?

The first step is to identify the root cause of the customer’s change of behavior.  Ask questions. Find out what is going on. As we have seen in our previous post, customers can leave for many different reasons, or a combination of reasons. You should understand exactly what these are.  Don’t hesitate to use other information collection methods, such as checking into the CRM for past interactions or conducting surveys -  these can also be quite illuminating.

Once the root cause of the customer’s dissatisfaction has been identified, you should develop a tailored solution that addresses the specific needs of the customer.  This is about offering a customized product or service that resonates with the customer. It could involve providing additional support or training, implementing changes to the ordering or delivery process, or even offering a completely new product or service that better suits the customer's needs. As long as it clearly answers the customer’s stated need, you are in the best position.

To really entice the customer to start ordering again, consider offering incentives that are hard to resist. These could take the form of discounts, free trials, or upgraded services. Your goal here is to build trust and demonstrate your commitment to the customer's success. It's all about making the customer feel that they are getting a unique deal they simply cannot pass.

Also make sure to keep in regular contact: this is key to maintaining a strong relationship. Customers who feel that they are important to you will stick around longer.  This regular interaction can take many forms, from personalized emails to regular phone calls and in-person meetings. We suggest picking the right method depending on the value of the customer: VIPs deserve your full time and attention, while small clients can potentially be handled via automation. During these interactions, check in on the customer's satisfaction and address any concerns in real time - or even before they appear!

Finally, always aim your focus on long-term value rather than solely on short-term goals. Addressing immediate concerns is good, but if you only do that you will end up constantly extinguishing fires. Instead, you should work to build long-term, fruitful relationships with your beloved B2B customers.  This means understanding each customer’s needs and goals and working to provide solutions that will help them achieve success over the long term. Including providing advice on aspects that may not be under your direct control - your knowledge of the ecosystem is very valuable to your customer! By demonstrating your commitment to the customer's success, you can build trust and encourage repeat business.

So there you have it: listening to the customer’s needs, finding a tailored solution that answers these needs and providing incentives to encourage immediate buying action. And then communicate regularly, with the aim of creating long-term value. This should be your strategy - apply it and you will soon see your customer churn rate fall and your sales increase!

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