Designing a customer-centric approach is the primary objective of B2C companies. However, it is now becoming critical and expected in B2B as well. B2C companies score 65 to 85% when it comes to customer experience (CX) index ratings, while B2B segments significantly lag in this area with an average less than 50%, as per McKinsey report.
This gap indicates a substantial opportunity for B2B companies to offer a sophisticated level of support and positively influence the bottom line. But, we know that a B2B company’s customers and their buying patterns are more composite than those of retail customers. Indeed, it requires specific strategies for B2B marketing masters to differentiate themselves via customer experience.
To help you out, we have listed some tried-and-tested ways to improve customer experience in the B2B space.
Enhance Customer Satisfaction
No one would argue the importance of keeping customers satisfied. It plays a vital role in the company’s overall growth. However, to enhance customer satisfaction as a B2B firm, you need to consider various factors revolving around it. The customer satisfaction score is the first and foremost element here, which can be determined by organizing surveys.
Image Source: B2B International
A happy and satisfied customer is a person who will definitely score you 9 or 10 (out of 10) and buy from your business again and again. However, to make that happen, the B2B marketers and sales representatives must follow specific tips:
- Treat your customers the way you would love to be treated.
- Don’t make a promise that you can’t follow through on.
- Communicate regularly with customers and also respond to their issues or complaints quickly.
- Provide additional benefits, such as offers, free coupons, etc.
Prioritize Customer Retention
According to the Harvard Business Review, obtaining a new customer is 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining an old one. And, these numbers make sense too – you don’t have to spend your resources or time finding a new client. Instead, you have to keep the existing one happy.
So, the bottom line – retaining the customer is crucial for business today.
Customer churn rate is the key metrics to understand if your company is retaining the customers or not. Changes in a churn rate (if the number goes up) could be a warning that something isn’t working well or needs addressing.
Jill Avery, the senior lecturer at Harvard Business School, says, “Looking at churn rates by customer segment illuminates which types of customers are at risk and which may require an intervention. It is a nice simple metric that tells us a lot about when and how to interact with customers.”
So, it’s clear that analyzing the churn rate eliminates the roadblocks to brand growth and helps you retain the customers. Apart from that, one can also retain the relationship with the B2B audience by involving technologies like Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software in the process. These tools keep track of customers, their position in the sales funnel, and much more to help you boost the retention rate and sales numbers.
Anticipate Client’s Behavior
When it comes to any industry, the secret to more sales is understanding the client’s behavior and learning what they want from your brand. However, analyzing customer behavior in the B2B environment is an extensive and intricate task. But with the right research mix, the B2B marketers can get a detailed understanding of the client’s interests.
These findings can then be utilized to inform the product development process. That is, the product developers can identify the customer activities that run counter to a brand’s outlook and discover the needs that haven’t yet been recognized. And, to tell you the truth, this is an ongoing, cyclical process. So, don’t expect the result overnight!
Virgin Atlantic is one such example of a company that went extra mile to ensure their customers received top-notch services always. The company recognized the demand for in-flight entertainment since commercial flight became routine and figured out a way to provide TVs and Wi-Fi to passengers.
Image Source: Get Connected
Daniel Kerzner, Vice President of Passenger Experience, says, “At Virgin, we believe in giving our customers the best experience in the sky. We want them to be able to share that with others, and we also wanted it to be a seamless customer journey between being on board and being on the ground.”
Follow Personalized Approach
It goes without saying that personalization is crucial for customer relationships. According to research, 70% of B2B buyers expect personalized offers from sellers. And 65% look for other vendors if a company didn’t make an effort to personalize communications with them.
This clearly signals that customers want to feel that their money is well-spent, be it in B2C or B2B. And, it takes more than a quality product to make them feel that way. So, what are they? How to achieve personalization in the B2B industry?
- Firstly, understand who your customers are and their particular needs.
- Once identified, start segmenting them into different groups. It could be an industry type, location, gender, age, etc.
- Later, you can create a tailor-made journey for each group, in the form of a personalized email, webpage, FAQs, offers, and more.
Optimizely, one of the prominent personalization and A/B testing software have done some interesting customization on their webpage. They went from one homepage to 26 different versions, uniquely personalized to different visitors, including visitors who work at Microsoft, Adidas, Walt Disney, Target, and Sony.
Image Source: Clearbit
Now it’s Your Turn
Influenced by the consumer world, the B2B audiences are also seeking an improved experience in using a product or service along with a seamless and more convenient journey. Hence to be successful in the B2B market, you need to put the customer at the core of the company’s growth. This forms the primary base of B2B customer experience excellence in today’s businesses.
Robert Duke is a Marketing Manager at Blue Mail Media. With over 10 years of experience across B2B Marketing, Lead Generation, and brand marketing, Duke has helped several SMBs and large-scale organizations to elevate their marketing strategies.