In recent years, there’s been an increasing shift in focus towards customer experience (CX) as companies have begun to realize the value of customer-centric approaches. When it comes CX, however, the B2B market is falling behind while their B2C peers continue to consistently deliver outstanding experiences. A B2B International study found that only 14% of B2B organizations are truly customer-centric, with CX deeply ingrained in their company culture.
Meanwhile, McKinsey found that massive transformations in CX processes resulted in 10-15% revenue growth and a 10-20% reduction in cost to serve both B2B and B2C companies. These numbers emphasize the value of building exceptional B2B customer experiences.
To deliver the kind of experiences that customers want, B2B organizations need to understand their customers better. This involves identifying their needs, values, pain points, and purchase drivers.
Businesses need to leverage the wealth of data available at their disposal to get a closer look at their customers. Behavioral analytics can help them to assess how customers have behaved in the past and how behavioral trends are changing. This is essential for understanding what products and services to offer, plus how to position them in a way that resonates with the audience.
Moreover, sales teams can also leverage technology solutions powered by AI to deliver the kind of hyper-personalized buying experiences that customers are looking for. AI-assisted sales tools can help them quickly analyze customer data to profile and prioritize prospects and craft a personalized customer journey. This can involve tailor-made product/service offerings and delivering personalized content.
Consistency Across Touchpoints
From sales to billing to customer support, there are many departments customers interact with throughout their journey. They also utilize multiple channels, including websites, chat, email, social media, phone, and even physical offices in some cases. To enhance the experience across every touchpoint, businesses need to unify these interactions and maintain consistency across all channels and departments.
For starters, these channels and departments should have the same look and feel to create a strong brand image. Tone, messaging, and protocols should also be similar across the board so customers know what to expect. This helps to establish trust in the brand, reassuring customers that they won’t have an unpleasant surprise during any of their interactions.
Additionally, it’s important to improve the visibility of customer data across all departments and channels. This will help to seamlessly connect all touchpoints, providing customers with a consistent and unified experience no matter which channel they are using or which department they are interacting with.
Allowing customers to be in control of their own experience is another important rule. Businesses should give customers the flexibility to choose how they interact with the brand, how they get answers, and how they solve their problems by providing self-service resources. Free tools, virtual assistants, guided web content, and user forums should be easily accessible to those who need them.
This enables customers to choose how, when, and where they interact with the business, increasing convenience while still meeting their needs. Offering self-service resources enhances the speed of getting answers and resolutions—all important factors in the overall customer experience.
Ease of Use
B2B products and services should make life easier for customers; not give them more things to do and more puzzles to solve. Product users shouldn’t have to spend several hours figuring out how to set up and use the technology. To enhance the overall B2B CX, businesses need to simplify the customer journey as much as possible—no matter how complex or technical the product is.
This requires a well-designed user journey so customers can seamlessly move through the different steps. Starting from their first interaction with the company website, customers should be able to find exactly what they need—whether it’s pricing information, features, FAQs, demo signup, how-to guides, customer service, or other essential information.
This seamless journey should continue into the actual product. During the product design process, it’s important to consider the workflows for different situations. This will help B2B companies to ensure that the navigation is simple and intuitive, allowing users to complete the desired action in as few steps as possible.
Businesses need to be proactive and responsive to the needs of their customers. This requires making accurate predictions as to how customers will behave and what they will need in the future. Using these predictions, they can proactively plan ahead and promptly deliver what the customer needs–before they face a problem.
Predictive intent data can help businesses to anticipate customer needs at different stages of their journey. By assessing past usage behavior, businesses can determine how this behavior has changed over time and thus identify future customer needs. As a result, they might notice a need to upgrade to support the growing needs of a scaling business, such as accommodating more team members or gaining access to more features. They can then offer relevant upgrades to support the customer’s requirements.
For example, an email marketing service may find that a customer always uses up the entire email sending limit within their existing plan. This might be a good opportunity to pitch an upgrade to increase the limit so the customer can reach more recipients.
Constant innovation is essential for B2B companies to continue delivering exceptional experiences. A greater understanding of their customers and an accurate prediction of needs can help them come up with innovative new offerings that are relevant to the audience. For example, if a significant portion of their customers prefers to use their phones, introducing a new mobile app could help them ensure better accessibility.
Accenture found that 53% of leading companies say their customers expect constant innovation so the business can adapt to their needs with more relevant products, services, and experiences. Meanwhile, only 31% of their peers can say the same.
Using Data to Craft Outstanding B2B Customer Experiences
From gaining better customer knowledge to making accurate predictions—data plays a vital role in executing these rules. It enables you to make informed decisions that are not based on assumptions but on precise facts. So you can ensure that the experiences you deliver are the experiences your customers want.
The data solutions from DemandScience provide you with crucial information about your prospects and customers so you can craft outstanding experiences based on reliable data. Contact us today to request a demo.
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