Customers are like Frodo, sellers need to be Sam
I don’t want to say they're climbing Mount Doom, but B2B buyers are definitely carrying a lot of weight right now.
The economy is forcing leadership to cut budgets, time, and even employees, leaving those left to stagger uphill to complete objectives.
This makes consumers skittish. Like Frodo, they're a bit paranoid about those around them trying to take the gold from their pockets. Loyalty is starting to wane.
- Hubspot reports that 55% of consumers trust brands less than they did in the past.
- During the pandemic, up to 75% of consumers tried new brands (Employee Benefits).
- The average customer retention rate for more than half of all industries is below 50% (SurveySparrow).
If we want our customers to trust us, we have to be the Sam in their stories. We have to prove time and time again that we will get them up the mountain.
But, just like Sam, we can’t do it alone. It took a fellowship to get the job done.
Connection keeps customers
“There is something about being human that makes us want to connect with others. Customers don’t want to be seen as just another win on the board; they crave trust and deep connection—yes, even in business.” —Vaughn Mordecai
The plus side is that our customers want to be loyal. They want to find a home with their products (and they definitely don’t want to waste time shopping for and implementing new ones), but they aren't going to settle either.
Companies have to focus on 3 key motions if they want to retain customers today:
- Quality: Product quality is the chief reason 74% of loyal consumers resist switching brands. (KPMG)
- Experience: Up to 93% of consumers would return to a company if their previous experience was positive. (HubSpot)
- Community: 25% of consumers state that a sense of community encourages them to stay loyal to a brand. (Clarus Commerce)
This is where partnerships come in. Instead of carrying your Frodos up the jagged slopes alone, you can tap your and your customer’s trusted network to build a world-class experience and sense of community.
1. Use a tool like Reveal to find who in your network has the most customer overlaps with your company.
2. Prioritize partners based on your company’s overarching goals, customer feedback, and product roadmap.
3. Tap those partners by creating a service offering, building an integration, etc.
4. Collaborate with your Customer Service team to create partner-led trainings, meetups, and content.
5. Repeat. Get customer and partner feedback regularly to improve your overall experience.
Home Depot’s building its ecosystem
The tough truth is that every single market is saturated. B2B clients aren’t putting up with standardized offerings; they demand solutions that align with their unique challenges and objectives.
This is precisely why Home Depot has decided to build a Partner Ecosystem, a decision they made after seeing the most significant revenue decline Home Depot had experienced in the past two decades, PYMNTS reports.
And while the ecosystem is still under construction (🤓), they are already seeing positive results.
“Today, we’re very encouraged by the signals that we are getting from our Pro customers as they engage with different pieces of the ecosystem,” Hector Padilla, Home Depot’s Executive VP of Outside Sales and Service, explains. “…Pros continue to engage not only in the supply chain assets that we have built, but they are visiting our stores on a more frequent basis.”
Stuff you don't want to miss!
- September 7, 4-10 PM EST – INVITE-ONLY EVENT – Nearbound at Night – We're partnering with HubSpot for some major fun on the green. Only a 5-minute walk from HubSpot's Inbound 2023 conference. VIP guest list. Toasts from industry leaders like Scott Brinker, Harbinder Khera, Tyler Calder, and more. Request an invite here.
- September 28, 12 PM EST - Game Changers: Isaac Morehouse — Isaac will join Oana Manolache to talk about how to use content creation to define a category. He'll share the 3 elements to help you build brand awareness, drive pipeline, and unite your team. Register here.
Let's get out of Mordor together
Share the PhD with your own fellowship.