No B2C — or business-to-customer — company could survive without some technological platform. Whether by utilizing social media or an interactive website, customers in the modern age want to be able to do everything on their phones if at all possible. B2B, or business-to-business, companies are finding themselves increasingly going directly to customers and are thus forced to leap into technology.
Technology doesn’t just help with marketing, either, as B2Bs are quickly learning. Utilization of technology can help the company run smoother and change how business itself is done. To get a grasp of what technology can do for B2B, here are a few examples:
Augmented and virtual reality are game-changers for interactivity. Using 3D models in a virtual world or putting real images into a headset can transport a person to a concert on the other side of the globe or to another world entirely. For the sake of business, AR/VR is being used to showcase products before they exist.
Potential customers can take virtual tours of facilities or other buildings miles away without ever leaving the showroom floor. Customers can also get a look at heavy equipment in detail, like MRI machines, without the business bothering to bring the physical product with them. AR/VR saves money and helps win more customers, all in one go.
Automation can help every aspect of business. Processes too tedious or dangerous for workers can be automated to heighten product accuracy and employee safety. Even messages sent between employees can be automated, as well as reminders, schedule changes and other unique features.
Everything can be automated, not the least of which is selling. Even interaction with the customer can be done using a bot, which is a big plus for a B2B. A bot can reach out to potential customers, follow-up on leads after prioritizing which ones are better and end a sale quickly. The human element is essential to remember, so always keeping someone on standby to talk to a customer one-on-one is crucial.
One of the reasons why customer interaction with bots is so effective is because the customer has the opportunity to engage in self-service. Whether over the phone or through the company website, self-service allows customers to get exactly what they want without any hassle or bothering employees. In the modern age, this is exactly what consumers are looking for.
Customers will prefer the self-service experience if the program is quick and easy to use. If the website takes a long time to load, or the bot they’re talking to is redundant, the customer will get frustrated and may not be willing to speak with a representative. There’s no point in using self-service if the process is going to be long and tedious anyway.
Take Advantage of Data
Data, when understood and categorized correctly, can lead a business to know nearly everything about a customer. Big data allows companies to advertise directly to someone they know will like their product as well as stay ahead of consumer demand.
When applied with artificial intelligence, companies can make predictions about the individual consumer and act on those predictions. AI and data can even be used to gain information about competing businesses and the global market. In the world of technology, getting involved with data is key to keeping a big business successful
Tech and Business
B2B has already changed dramatically in recent years by interacting with consumers at all. The hard truth is that companies need to work directly with their customers to stay afloat, even if they’re not the direct buyer. Technology offers several ways to get in touch with customers, and other companies are already using these modern tools. The innovation has already arrived, and B2B will never be the same again.