Customer experience is a vital aspect every company must take into consideration, as in this time and day, customers expect more than ever before. Satisfaction and loyalty can be influenced by the relationship with the customers, and successful businesses know the value of meaningful communication.
In this article you’ll find key aspects you should strive to stay in touch with your customers and interact with them in a cost-effective manner.
The business value of customer experience
The more powerful brands are those who connect on an emotional level with their customers and invoke feelings on a deeper level than just functional and rational benefits.
B2B companies use various marketing communication tools such as email, webinars and contact forms for various purposes: create loyalty, develop relations and turn prospective customers into sales. However, most of them fail in delivering excellent customer service.
Poor customer experience leads to negative word of mouth and losing fidelity, so improving a customer experience to exceptional can lead to a 30 to 50 percent increase in KPIs such as likelihood to renew or to purchase another product.
How customer-centric are b2b brands?
According to research by B2B International, only 14% of large b2b companies are truly customer centric: That is to say, where the customer experience is a priority in the company culture. This indicates that b2b organizations right now have an opportunity to differentiate their brands and improve profitability by delivering a superior customer experience.
Your opportunity: Develop B2B customer experience excellence
6 pillars of B2B communication
This pillar refers to creating an inner culture of passion and enthusiasm about satisfying customers and making them feel valued. A company that puts efforts into this offers great differentiation and exceptional experience.
How to create commitment? Share a common goal between all the employees across the organization, engage their cooperation towards the shared purpose, in this case, customer centricity.
Pro tip: Design employees that focus on three main roles: research, process implementation and culture role, and establish monthly dates to develop new goals towards this. Having defined these, the process of creating a cross-functional team focused on reinventing and that show genuine interest becomes easier.
This pillar refers to understanding and delivering on customer needs. Customer demands are diverse, as each individual is unique, so it is important to transcend functional needs like quality and value for money.
It is not only about knowing the customer’s needs and emotions but also displaying empathy to develop the right way to get closer to them.
Pro tip: Instead of just offering your customers your latest products, consider how you could help them. Explore unmet needs and “ 3 am concerns” to differentiate your offer and exceed customer expectations.Also, pay attention to after-sales support. 86% of B2B buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience that can last long-term.
This pillar means making life easier for the customer. Make sure to decrease the effort they have to put into the relationship.
What to avoid?
- Long time to reply a call
- Long time problem solving
- Incompetent systems
- No short answers to questions
Pro tip: Focus on a simple – convenient – hassle-free and superior customer experience.
Remember, your customers are busy, so make sure every time you contact them it is for something relevant. Also, incorporate context and meaning into your messaging. You can establish a calendar with the names of your clients, to keep all the relevant information.
This pillar refers to the time you take to respond, deliver and resolve.
Regarding response time, it’s vital to invest effort in providing quick answers. This includes the whole communication process, deliveries and problem solving.
Remember: Customers that get a response that exceeds their expectations are satisfied customers.
Pro tip: Pay attention to their communication style. Do they use social channels or emails? Based on your results, you’ll know their preferences. In B2B marketing, it’s vital to be active in the spaces your potential customer base is. For example, 60% of B2B buyers recently said that mobiles were used for purchase decisions.
To develop consistent and fast responses can be time-consuming, so you can take advantage of technology to automate some of the process with management tools to pre-schedule content and offer automated responses such as HootSuite. Always remember to keep a consistent voice of your brand.
This pillar refers to anticipating customer needs and desires and resolving issues before they feel pain. The ability of foreseeing potential customer needs and pain points and working on fulfilling them can give you great advantage. So proactivity is key.
Pro tip: Proactivity doesn’t require to develop new products that don’t exist, but new solutions and different points of view to the same old problems. Think about changes in the logistics chain, improvements in the system or new practices can make the difference.
This pillar means continually seeking to improve the customer experience. Customer needs change with times, globalization and influences, so companies can’t expect to be doing well with certain methods and keep it forever, improvements must be made on an ongoing basis.
The more receptiveness to evolution, the more innovative and agile to apply design thinking and change the way customers interact with the company.
Pro tip: Before you start to develop something new, ask customers for their opinion. B2B clients love to be included in the process. Ask them open-ended questions, providing stimulating thought-starters so you can obtain insights that may just turn into opportunities.Listen to what they like and what they don’t and use this valuable information to keep growing.
Effective communication should be a top priority for your B2B business as staying in touch with customers is essential for any brand to succeed. With this aforementioned information, you can be certain you’ll create a community of loyal customers that generate you sales and revenue.