Customer Experience Becoming Critical to B2B
“The customer is always right.” Such is the mantra of service-oriented companies whose front-liners would probably bend over backward just to ensure that every customer is satisfied.
However, this mindset is more commonly present in B2C companies. After all, they serve the customers and end-users directly. It’s easier for them to gather feedback on customer experience and satisfaction. Meanwhile, for B2B companies, their primary agenda is to sell and close deals with other businesses. The priorities revolve around boosting sales, improving efficiency, and lowering costs.
The truth is, B2B companies have been too focused on these three points for far too long. As a result, they have lagged when it comes to customer experience. According to a McKinsey study, B2C companies are somewhere in the 65% to 85% range when rated for positive customer experiences. B2B companies, on the other hand, average less than 50%.
Why is this relevant? In today’s time, buyers and decision-makers are not at a loss for resources. Technology has made information within reach, helping customers make decisions on their own. If B2B companies don’t step up, they will lose to other B2B competitors who can provide better customer experiences with easier and faster access to information.
Here’s the question for B2B Companies: should they focus on enhancing customer experience, given the demands and preferences of today’s market? Or should they continue zeroing in on increasing sales and reducing costs?
How B2Bs can Beat their Competition by Focusing on Customer Experience
Focusing on customer experience can result in more sales and efficiency. Customers are willing to pay up to 16% more just to get a better experience. So how can you do it? Here’s how:
Know Who Your Buyers Are:
This is a must before you can create an impeccable experience for them. Develop your buyer’s persona and tailor your strategy accordingly. Once you know who your buyers are, what they need, and what they are looking for, you can effectively communicate with them.
Map Out Your Customer Journey:
Visualize and map out every single step in your customer journey—from the time they discover your product or service to the time they make a decision, and even up to when they start using your offering. That’s not all!
Remember, in B2B, you may not be selling directly to the users, but you have to include them in your customer journey.
Improve Your Online Resources:
A study says that 59% of B2B buyers prefer to do research online instead of interacting with sales representatives. Buyers always turn to the internet first to learn more about products and services before they make their decisions.
So how can you use this to your advantage? Provide them with everything they are looking for, making your company the only one in the market to provide a solution. Explore automation, applications, and integrations so that even something as simple as researching can already be tagged as a pleasant experience.
The site search is only one example. Did you know that only 34% of B2B manufacturing brands with site search tools allow site users to filter their site search queries? Only 26% of site search tools leverage auto-fill technology, while even less (24%) provide corrections to search queries.
Improve Client Retention:
Don’t always go looking for new clients. Instead, keep growing with the ones you already have. When it comes to B2B, strengthening relationships results in stable and consistent revenue. With improved customer experience comes improvement in churn rate. Invest in good customer relationship management software so you can stay on track when it comes to monitoring your customers.
Investing in improving customer experience should no longer be just an option when it comes to B2B. It should be a must. B2B audiences are looking for solutions to specific problems, so a great customer experience is always welcome.
The market has changed, and B2B buyers are hungry for tailor-made experiences. Prospects relationships with B2B brands have also become crucial selling points. Plus, as shown by McKinsey, the B2B companies that transformed their customer experience processes have already enjoyed the benefits such as revenue growth, better client satisfaction scores, and reduction in costs.
The benefits of improving customer experience have long been proven and studied. The challenge lies in striking the perfect balance between catering to customers’ needs and wants and managing ongoing relationships.
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