If you’ve been a part of the B2B business before, you’re well aware of the level of sophistication these buyers bring.
In fact, the entire sales cycle tends to be much longer and more complex than your standard B2C cycle is, and this translates to bigger demands.
How do you meet them then?
You beat the odds by investing financial and managerial resources in non-mediocre customer service that can turn any cold lead into a loyal customer.
Putting your customer first is always the way to go, but it’s that much more of a priority when we’re talking about B2B sales prospects.
B2B International found that the mere 15% of B2B companies exhibit customer-centric qualities; this means that the rest of them is seriously missing out on the opportunity to grow their customer base by shifting their focus on serving those potential clients.
They might be focusing on making their products better but not paying nearly enough attention to those who are meant to be buying them. The result – struggling KPIs, as proved by McKinsey’s research, that could be increased by 30-50% had the B2B brands implemented tried-and-tested customer experience practices.
Here are the ones we recommend looking into when committing to meet (and possibly exceed) the B2B customers’ expectations:
The Secrets Of B2B Customer Experience Excellence
Show your customer he’s a valuable client
Companies selling directly to consumers (B2C-based) have it easier than those selling to businessmen. They don’t typically deal with people who are well-versed in business know-how and can get away with ‘thank you’ messages and occasional discounts.
With B2B clients, you have to take it up a notch and get to know their personal and professional needs first. Once you do, you should treat them as companions who like to be congratulated on their big wins, referred to other businesses, and perhaps even invite them out to monthly dinners to discuss potential future collaborations.
The percentage of B2B companies that exhibit customer-centric qualities
Tailor your offer to the demands of the customer
A generic product (or a service) offer won’t cut it for business clients. It has to be targeting their pain points that are aligned with the industry they’re in. This means going out of your way to research their sector and provide them with the detailed, hands-on solution that will be of value to them.
Are they looking for a supplier that can deliver goods in bulk for a discounted price? Offer that.
Do they require 24/7 customer service support even during the holiday season? Be ready to give them this option too.
No matter what it is, it helps to be genuinely interested in not only meeting your business customers halfway but going an extra mile to make them come back for more business.
Provide him with real-time responses to his queries
It’s hard enough to keep up with customers’ demands to be on the line every day of the week, but it’s a completely different ball game to be there for someone at the right time and at the right place, too.
As per Salesforce, the whopping 80% of business buyers expect real-time interaction with companies they work with.
The same goes for email responses – 67% of them consider back-to-back texting via email a must-have.
Do with this information what you will, but keep in mind that while you’re debating whether you should adopt this practice or not, other companies are already seeing increased revenue with this tactic implemented.
The percentage of business buyers that expect real-time interaction with companies they work with
The percentage of business buyers that expect back-to-back texting via email
Anticipate the issues before they arise
Being proactive with B2B customers is the sure (and arguably the only) path to success. You need to resolve the issues that will inevitably appear in the process and do it fast or before the customer notices them too.
Learn from Amazon Dash and their hi-tech solution to not allow customers to run out of products they use on a daily by automatically reordering more before you even know it. This makes life easier for both parties as it eliminates the need for the customer to make an order and the salespeople at Dash to manually fulfill it.
Train your customer service team to a tee
It goes without saying, but the quickest way to achieve customer excellence is, as you’ve already guessed it, by coaching your customer service team in accordance with the customer satisfaction road map you’ve put in place.
You shouldn’t shy away from investing in your team that is responsible for ensuring the company’s clients remain happy and satisfied – this should be a no-brainer.
Support your newly-gained customer after the purchase too
Your job isn’t over once the prospect made the purchase. If anything, it’s only really started at that point. Now it’s up to you to make the customer feel ‘at home’ with the continuous support your customer service team provides.
So, coordinate the post-sale efforts, ask for feedback, and keep track of communication that occurs between the company and the customer so that nothing’s out of order at any point.
Striving to improve the customer experience once the sale is made should also be on your radar.
As a B2B expert, you must sell an experience, not a service or a product. And this becomes possible only through a meticulous adaption of selling, marketing, and customer support techniques and strategies.
This sounds more complex on paper than it is in practice, and as you start delivering value to customers whom you aim to satisfy, the results won’t leave you waiting.
Customer Experience Manager
Mikkel is passionate about customer experience in every color of the beautiful customer engagement spectrum. He loves building great connections with his customers, which often lead to meaningful friendships that last a lifetime and inspire his work. Driven by the genuine belief that CX is the pivotal force that drives a successful business, he is currently at the helm of Dixa’s customer experience strategy.