One of the major trends in the business world is experience. While customer experience is something businesses are looking into and investing in, B2B companies had not adopted it until recently. Thanks to software and rapid development of internet technologies the B2B model can now adopt the latest achievements to improve customer experience.
Since one of the businesses in the B2B model is a customer, the same general laws of great customer experience practice in the B2C model can be applied to it. In the best case scenario, these would be the characteristics of an excellent B2B experience.
Centralized Customer Support
Good customer support will not only help you quickly resolve any unforeseen issues, but if done properly it can also generate more leads. In order to achieve this, your customer support has to be a centralized solution. This is achieved by implementing the latest software solutions, such as knowledge base software, which you can use to publish a self-service help desk on your official website.
This way, all of the relevant documentation can be reached by your clients. On top of that, if you optimize your documentation in a knowledge base for search engines, your website will be ranked higher in search inquiries. Combining this with live chat software and a call center will allow you to provide a better experience for your clients.
Mobile Friendly Customer Experience
In order to provide the best B2B experience possible, you have to make it mobile friendly. Achieving “mobile-friendliness” across the board can be expensive, but it most definitely pays off in the long term. In the beginning, it would be enough to get your official website mobile-friendly. Then, after a while, you should consider getting a custom made mobile app. Remember, this all depends on your business needs and goals.
The mobile platform has a serious impact on the B2B model. It significantly improves marketing metrics, customer engagement and the decision making process. One of the recent studies confirms that almost half of researchers use a mobile device during the B2B purchasing process. Besides, Google has reported a significant increase of search activity over mobile phones.
Good Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty Strategy
Needless to say, customer satisfaction rates directly impact customer retention. This is why it is of utmost importance to implement some sort of satisfaction and loyalty strategy. With so many options on the market, customer retention is the fastest growing concern, and it can be addressed by improving the experience of your clients.
This is why many companies stopped relying solely on customer satisfaction surveys. Instead, a more holistic approach guarantees a superior B2B experience. For this reason, we can see many companies outsourcing business processes related to experience research, as it is a more valuable form of market research.
Customized Sales Process
Since we live in a customer-centric era, it is very important to respect this trend in the B2B model as well. Personalization is another characteristic of a great experience. It is very important, since it enables organizations to survive and thrive in volatile markets. But before a business can personalize the B2B sales process, they have to identify a prospect’s persona.
To tailor the purchasing process, you first have to find out the geographic and firmographic context of the possible pain points, by using software tools. Every sale process has stages, and knowing these stages and who your prospect is can help you tailor the experience for each case individually.
Remember that no matter how customized the experience is, you should always maintain consistency with relevant information related to the contract, product or service being negotiated.
Accelerate Sales Cycle
Time has never been more important than it is now. A great B2B experience has to be served in a faster manner. Sales cycles in B2B can last even up to 10 months and the majority of business owners report that they would like it to be much shorter. The answer to how to accelerate the sales cycle lays in being able to meet the clients in the middle.
This can be done by knowing the frequently asked questions during the buyer’s journey. This is why everyone on your team should be involved in gathering this valuable information. Over time, you will have valuable data that can be used to improve the B2B experience.
In order to be successful in B2B waters, your organization has to become proactive instead of being reactive. This change can come from gathering data across all channels. Big data analytics can help you to understand and anticipate your clients’ behavior and needs.
With access to actionable information, the company’s managers can anticipate the outcome of sales, renewals and upsells. With this knowledge in your hands, you can proactively recommend selling strategies that will benefit both you and your clients.
In the end, it is important to understand that a great B2B experience can only be achieved by using tactics across all channels. Reaching the proactivity as the ultimate goal, your organization will not only be able to provide a better B2B experience, but also generate more profits.