Connecting Human Psychology and B2B Loyalty

Brand loyalty plays a powerful role in most customers’ decision-making. For many of us, we stick to specific brands – everyone’s got a brand of beer or wine that they prefer, most people are either Apple or Samsung when it comes to smart phones, and we generally have a brand of sneakers that we stick with, even when a competitor might be a better fit for our use.

This all comes down to connecting human psychology and B2B loyalty. Thought processes to deep-seated emotions all contribute to what motivates us, building on existing biases and motivations from previous positive experiences. By building an understanding on this, your business can gain the ability to drive customer loyalty, which is what many successful companies are already doing in the world of B2B incentives, rewards and loyalty programs.

Loyalty & Psychology 101: Where to Begin?

Let’s start with the basics! To improve B2B loyalty, incentives and rewards programs, organisations first need to understand how human psychology can influence these interactions.

There are countless different motivators that shape human behaviour, but only a few can help your brand capitalise on how to effectively engage and retain customers within a program. From the psychology of decision-making, to hitting specific motivational triggers in your customers, building a foundational understanding of psychological principles can cause your program to excel above competitors.

The two key points any brand should take away from this blog to enhance customer loyalty and bolster lasting relationships are:

  • Learning about human psychology
  • Implementing these insights into programs at every stage

Now that you’ve got an understanding of why we do it, let’s move onto how!

Planning and Goal Setting

Let’s start with a strong foundation – planning and goal-setting for your B2B program! This will allow you to clearly set out what you hope to achieve, and focus in on how you can implement this within your program. By setting specific goals and objectives, your brand can:

  • Measure progress towards achieving them
  • Identify and quantify areas of improvement
  • Ensure that you’re building towards these targets and measure progress.

Basically, this all provides you with a direct map for your program, and can organise efforts towards achieving your common goal.

Next, we need to identify how your program can align with the needs and desires of your customers, and this step requires a bit more understanding of the psychology world. Known as “Locke and Latham’s Goal-Setting Theory”, this all boils down to the idea that when setting clear, challenging and committed goals that consider both the feedback and complexity of the task, they’re more likely to be motivated to achieve them.

Let’s break that statement down into individual concepts and show how they can apply to your B2B program!

Clarity: Self-explanatory – the objectives of your business and loyalty program must be easily understandable, specific to what you hope to achieve, and possible to be measured. Next time you think about suggesting to “increase customer loyalty”, instead think to “increase customer participation in the loyalty program by 20% within the next six months”. This has a specific timeframe, allows all stakeholders to understand how you hope to achieve the loyalty boost, and is quantifiable to a specific point.

Challenge: Balancing between achievable and challenging is a tough task, but integral to the success of your goals. Using communications prompting your customers that their next reward is only two purchases away, you can make the redemption seem far more achievable, and therefore more likely to engage.

Commitment: By offering tiered rewards and incentives, your customers will feel more likely to engage and reach for their goals. This will also evoke a sense of recognition and self-esteem, playing into Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, which can motivate customers to go further and harder.

Feedback: By providing regular updates that are clearly measurable, your customers are far more likely to keep progressing towards their goals. This can be achieved with point statements and reward goal tracking, through graphs or leaderboards. This will give your participants a clear understanding of their position within the program, and keep them motivated to continue on towards that reward or incentive they’ve had their eye on.

Complexity: This one is easy – keep it simple! The more complex something is, the less likely people will engage with it. If you can’t explain your goal’s success criteria as bullet points, your customers will switch off before you know it!

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Motivating and Engaging Customers in B2B Programs

Beyond the above points, here are a few more tips that you can use to motivate your customers.

  • Attribute-framing bias theory posits that the way information is framed or presented can affect how it is received. By framing any potential rewards as losses to be avoided, you can motivate your customers to achieve the rewards and prevent any potential negatives from coming their way, with an added bonus of driving urgency towards achieving this!
  • Providing progress tracking can motivate customers to stay engaged with the program. By seeing how far they’ve come and how little they have to go, you can incentivise further action within the program. This can be achieved with regular communications via platform and email comms, framing their achievement with a sense of loss – “don’t miss out on your chance to redeem x! You’re so close!”
  • Recognition and appreciation goes a long way. Communications highlighting their status within the program and communicating your appreciation will connect your brand with a positive sense of self, which will come to benefit when they’re next looking to purchase.

Obviously, this blog only dips your toes in the pool when it comes to potential sources of motivation, but the point remains that understanding human psychology can boost your businesses ability to drive customer loyalty in B2B loyalty, incentives, and reward programs.

Ultimately, motivation psychology in B2B loyalty, incentives, and rewards programs is about playing mind games with your customers – in a good way! By understanding their desires, needs, and emotions, your brand can create an incentive program that keeps them coming back.

It’s not about tricking them into doing what you want – it’s about creating a genuine connection and understanding of what drives them to give them great value and obtain their loyalty. This can be considered a symbiotic relationship!

So flex your mind muscles and start digging into human psychology within your programs. Your customers will love it!

Tell us about your pain points – we’re listening!

The highest performing loyalty programs come as a response to realised pain points faced by a business. By speaking with us and telling us what you’re looking to solve, we can create a bespoke loyalty program solution that can speak directly to your customers and build upon solving these specific pains.

Reach out today for an introductory meeting or a free demo from our experienced sales team, and let us show you what a B2B loyalty, rewards or incentive program can do for your business!

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