You need to find love in B2B markets also

This article originally appeared on Livemint.com.

Passionate customers who love doing business with you: They only matter to consumer-focused companies, right?

Think again. Even in business-to-business (B2B) markets, customer loyalty can accelerate growth and create competitive advantage. With an economic upturn expected, B2B businesses need to focus on loyalty if they want to capture increased growth in the next few years.

Most B2B companies still lag on customer-focused metrics. In a recent survey of top executives across business-to-consumer (B2C) and B2B businesses of a large Indian conglomerate, B2B executives unequivocally said that they lagged on key customer metrics when compared with their B2C peers.

B2B marketers need to focus on loyalty to retain their most important customers, to grow their share of business with them, and win new business through their referrals—unsolicited or otherwise.

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