Business-to-business companies are typically not known for their customer service skills because they are often not deemed necessary in the B2B industry. However, B2B companies must also deliver a positive customer experience in order to be successful. According to an Accenture study, 80 percent of B2B executives believe offering positive customer service is directly connected to generating better business results.
There are many challenges B2B companies face when it comes to creating positive customer service. However, there are ways B2B can and will target customer experience in the future.
Providing Proactive Customer Service
Proactive customer service has been around since the beginning of customer service departments. Whether we know it or not, we have all experienced reactive customer service. The situation often goes like this: A customer has a problem, and then customer service representatives or a support team is contacted to help deal with the issue. After the problem is resolved, the customer is often asked to rate their experience with the representative or support team.
If B2B companies can reach out to the customer to improve their experience before they have a problem, that creates a better customer service experience. Companies can ensure problems are solved before they arise. Companies can do this by giving their teams the technology and information they need to predict customer issues and questions.
Be Sure to Fulfill All Needs
B2B companies anticipate that people will make rational decisions based solely on price and quality of the product or service, but this often creates a poor customer experience. B2B companies need to be more empathetic to their customers and not only look at the data.
Sales representatives know that at business-to-consumer companies, building a relationship with each customer is crucial. B2B companies need to think the same way. Establishing a relationship with the client is important and helps parties understand each other better.
B2B companies need to learn how to identify which of their products meets the need of their clients. B2B clients often find it hard to find the service that’s right for them, so B2B companies should develop a way to streamline the explanation and selection process.
An example of a B2B company meeting that need is an agrochemicals company that developed a soil analyzer application. The app takes the farmers through a process of soil sampling, crop planting and more. It allows the customer to learn what the product does and how it can help them.
Digital Systems Can Help
The agrochemicals company mentioned above tapped into a new digital system that helped them meet the needs of customers. That is important for all B2B companies to do. They need to tap into new technology because that is what customers are used to.
These new technologies can help meet the needs of customers by making selection and purchasing processes easier and less time-consuming. Some customers do not like to shop in stores and in the traditional way, so tapping into the available technology makes customers more comfortable and offers an easier way to make purchases.
Today, every customer and customer interaction with a company is recorded and stored as data. B2B companies need to utilize that data to meet their customers’ needs as well. They can use data to learn what each individual company likes and what they don’t. It allows companies to target potential customers and stop wasting their time on those that are not interested.
Personalize the Experience
With data analysis, B2B companies can learn how to customize and personalize each customer’s experience. As data shows, no two customers are the same and should not be treated as such.
An employee working at a small business would like to be treated differently during a B2B interaction than an employee at a big company. Data can show B2B companies what each customer does and what might work for them.
Increase Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty
We discussed earlier how to help personalize a customer’s experience in order to leave them satisfied. Along with that is the idea that B2B companies need to improve the entire customer experience. It is no longer enough just to focus on one aspect of the customer’s experience — there must be focus on the entire thing. There needs to be more focus on individual interactions and overall customer journey as well as the follow-up.
Creating a strong overall customer experience gets customers buying from you again. Tempkin Group says 86 percent of those who had a great experience were likely to be return customers.
If a customer has a strong overall experience with a company, they have no reason to go anywhere else. Also, once a customer is loyal to your business, they are loyal for a long time and normally spread the word to others.
New Approach to Customer Service
There are numerous reasons why B2B companies need to focus on customer service. By creating a more customized approach to the entire experience, B2B companies can generate customer satisfaction and in turn, loyalty.