In recent years we have seen a considerable increase in attention directed at improving customer experience (CX). For the most part, this is mainly attributed to business-to-consumer (B2C) markets. While business-to-business (B2B) companies may lag behind their B2C counterparts, many are beginning to catch up by adopting B2C strategies for the B2B environment.
According to Shift4Shop, B2B has overtaken B2C regarding the amount spent through online transactions, with B2B reaching a worldwide market value of $7.7 trillion, as opposed to the $2.3 trillion of B2C. So why are businesses not prioritizing their B2B processes like they are with B2C? Let’s talk about it and how you can construct a B2B CX that competes with the effortless, high-value desires of B2C.
B2C strategies to incorporate into your B2B CX
1. Immediately support and empower your clients, then ask for feedback
When clients understand the product, they are more engaged. Taking the time to introduce them to your services before and right when they become clients will empower them with the preparedness to use what you offer them to their full advantage and feel confident enough to reach out should they have any questions. Then, once they experience your services for themselves, they will have opinions on what works, what doesn’t, or what difficulties they faced along the way that you can turn around into improving your business.
Top B2B company successfully supporting clients from the beginning
IBM assigns each customer a team of specialists to help in integrating IBM Cloud Storage into existing operations by training them on the optimal applications for their business. Another admirable aspect of IBM’s B2B process is their consistent request for feedback from B2B customers. This not only contributes to the company’s positive brand retention rate, but it reveals the often simple-to-fix issues that consumers face when using a service.
2. Attract and engage your audience with content
The first step may seem obvious, but you really have to understand who your target audience is to create content that resonates with them or that they find interesting. One of the main reasons people use social media besides networking is for entertainment. Not only should you be publishing informative, niche content, but nowadays to make an impact, you also have to hop on trends and make them your own. All things social media aside, publishing blogs or other forms of context such as white papers or how-to videos are one of the ways to set yourself ahead of competitors and deem yourself as a forerunner in the B2B space.
Top B2B company successfully using content to attract customers
For more than a decade, HubSpot has been a trailblazer in content marketing and training others on how to create successful content. As a leader in marketing automation, HubSpot is constantly experimenting and broadening its content. Instead of sticking to tradition, HubSpot isn’t afraid of testing out new platforms or techniques. Before they reject something, they learn about the language or special characteristics of the tactic, how users connect with it, and how they may utilize it to help their clients.
3. Streamline buyers’ online experience
Making the purchase experience simple and convenient for your clients keeps them coming back. The reality is that B2B buyers want what B2C buyers want – the ability to pay in as few steps as possible. Create a more seamless buying experience by integrating a native payment function within your CRM. Your clients will thank you, and your sales will continue climbing.
Top B2B company successfully streamlining the purchase experience
In order to provide B2B customers with a B2C-like buying experience, Good Start Packaging redesigned their website. The new version has a modern design, live chat, high-quality product photos, product videos, and simple navigation. With the addition of simple filters that allow users to drill down by brand, material, product measurements, and hot or cold food, Good Start Packaging implemented detailed search functionalities. Another aspect of their website that provides them with credibility and proof of positive UX is the small button on the bottom left corner of their site that links to Google Customer Reviews. B2B buyers looking to purchase can browse through customer reviews to demonstrate the company’s high quality.
4. Track behaviors to personalize the experience
Mastering personalization in the B2B world is a bit difficult when compared to B2C. This is due to the hardships brands face in effectively fusing data, technology, and strategy. Providing corporate clients with quicker, more relevant experiences involves smarter targeting and better understanding.
Business buyers desire the same human touch as your B2C audience. Similar to how a B2C consumer researches a product before making a purchase, B2B customers do the same before speaking with a vendor. They typically know what they want and are prepared to make the purchase when they pick up the phone or reach out to a seller. The last step in any B2B journey is to build a relationship, where the deal is sealed with a personal touch.
Top B2B company successfully personalizing business-to-business CX
In order to demonstrate its diverse capabilities, GE has two CX centers in Pittsburgh and Munich. Potential clients can visit the centers to witness GE’s production systems in operation and talk with representatives about a customized plan. The customer experience centers allow businesses to see precisely how GE could assist their business rather than just telling potential clients about what they can do. The experience is completely personalized for each business.
5. Improve support with a self-service community
Help your clients help themselves. By giving them independence they are genuinely happier and oftentimes, it’s more convenient to search for an answer as opposed to calling in to support or messaging a chatbot. Not only that, but it reduces business costs and increases sales when customers can find immediate, easy solutions to their problems.
Top B2B company successfully utilizing a self-service community
The majority of Jamf clients try to resolve issues on their own or by asking other customers for help through ‘Jamf Nation’ - a community for customers to connect with other IT professionals and learn about the latest Apple products. It encourages clients to collaborate and ask for assistance to enhance business operations. Jamf also organizes conferences and events to build a community that is extremely valuable for customer retention.
6. Automate for your clients’ best interest
When accomplished correctly, automating processes is going to yield many positive results for your business. Your clients will be much happier with the faster and smoother flow, and you will save money and time where your employees can focus on other priorities. Don’t be afraid to test something new!
Top B2B company successfully optimizing CX
Before Kabbage implemented an online solution that approved loans in under 10 minutes, customers had to wait ten days for loan approval. This online method truly optimizes CX by removing all the unnecessary steps, tedious paperwork, and lengthy approval process that slows down workflow. Kabbage’s clients were able to launch their own companies more swiftly as a result.
Consider developing a B2B portal if you want to better assist your clients. Basic tasks will be automated, and it will communicate with customers in real-time, inform them, and provide post-purchase support. Most importantly, it will increase the productivity of your business.
It’s time to transform your B2B CX
Business-to-business transactions still involve people. Remembering that there is a human being behind the business and that you’re talking to consumers, not just a company, is a practice that continues to improve the overall B2B customer journey. I’ll leave you with a quote and rhetorical question by Annette Franz, Founder, and CEO of CX Journey Inc.
“You can’t transform something you don’t understand. If you don’t know and understand what the current state of the customer experience is, how can you possibly design the desired future state?”