Rate your Experience - B2C Strategies for B2B Companies23 Nov 2021
There was a time when B2C and B2B customer experiences were considered mutually exclusive with no similarities whatsoever. Everything from point of sale and payment processes to delivery and customer support involved different components and people. It made sense - for example, a business looking to purchase $100,000 worth of products will have a different buying journey, payment terms, and can reasonably expect a different level of customer support.
But in today’s age of social media and the connected customer, the two domains are starting to merge. There’s no reason to believe B2C can’t be applied to B2B strategies. Information has never been easier to collect and access. B2B organizations can and should leverage the wealth of data and the tools available to improve their business outcomes.
One aspect of the customer experience B2C companies have nailed down is CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT - it’s data-driven, fast, personalized, and feels human. B2C companies connect with customers at various touch points across the value chain, and diligently collect feedback to later analyze and improve. There are several opportunities across multiple platforms that a business can and should take advantage of to stay engaged with their prospects and customers.
Communicate Early, Communicate Often
If you’re on the marketing team of a B2B company, you need to change the way you communicate with customers. Nearly all communication involved in a B2B sales process involves speaking with a sales rep. Product details and pricing information are rarely 100% transparent - customers almost always have to speak to a sales rep to get more information. In today's digital age, that lack of speed and quick information sets up a company for failure.
In most industries, the process between sales and installation tends to be a black box - customers have to follow up on updates via email or phone call. Imagine this being the case for an e-commerce company - they’d lose customers overnight if they weren’t able to track their packages. A business can use multiple tracking and omnichannel communication platforms to keep customers engaged and informed throughout the process. In several industries and markets, B2B customers are enjoying the availability of nice client applications that enable them to keep tabs on maintenance visits and other useful information. It creates confidence, improves customer satisfaction, and decreases churn.
Actions, Not Assumptions
According to Marketo, over 80% of customers will engage with a brand’s marketing efforts if they are similar to previous interactions. Customers want to be recommended products and services based on their actions, not on assumptions of a customer profile based on primary market research. To achieve this, marketing teams must switch to data-centric approaches. Not only will clients remember you, but your sales teams will save time by only engaging with genuinely interested customers.
Actively Seek Feedback
Uber asks riders to rate drivers. Dominos wants to know how quick and seamless your delivery was. Amazon relentlessly chases product reviews.
What’s common about these companies is their dedication to using their platform to collect and analyze feedback about their processes. They’re holding a magnifying glass to their key processes and are constantly looking to improve the experience for customers.
B2B can use these same tactics to improve the buying experience for their customers. The burden of follow-ups and collecting feedback should be removed from sales teams. Don’t seek feedback on just one component of the experience, and through one channel only. Several steps can be automated with simple tools available today. Businesses can and should look at every step of the sales cycle to see where improvements can be made. In the case of B2B industries, deal sizes can run up to seven figures, and lead volume isn’t as high as B2C. Optimizing as much of the process as possible is not just good business but can lead to brand advocacy as well.
About The Total Office
As a provider of workspace solutions, The Total Office helps its clients with tools for collaboration, acoustics, environmental sustainability and well being, by providing quality products from international brands. The company is headquartered in Dubai, and serves the UAE and the wider Middle East region. All press enquiries can be directed to Rima Singh at [email protected], +971.4.450.8700. For more information, visit www.thetotaloffice.com.