Previously, business-to-business enterprises did not focus on their website or app appeal and its customer experience as they do now. It was uncommon for B2B firms to spend heavily on their web and mobile applications to attract new customers. Today, the ever-growing hype of digital transformation has made business-to-business companies realize the importance of customer experience as B2C firms. With the increased number of small to medium businesses providing companies with services like software-as-service (SaaS), security solutions, and technical support, standing out among all becomes a challenge.
The digital transformation journey of the business world has highlighted common things in B2B and B2C websites. Almost all the standard industry’s best practices used for a B2C site can be considered for a B2B site too. They need to develop comprehensive information architecture, a system to create captivating content for b2b websites, provide products and services details, and create intuitive yet simple web/app designs.
There is no doubt that improved customer experience can be one of the reasons for the improved ROI of your company. According to Adobe’s report for 2020, organizations (including B2B and B2C) excelling in customer experience (CX) are three times more likely to have surpassed their business goals for 2019. It highlights the importance of customer experience and how it can help you to achieve a competitive advantage.
Before jumping straight into how you can optimize your B2B CX, it is essential to get an understanding of B2B customer needs. Only then you can create an exceptional experience for them.
B2B customer behavior
Although B2B customers are the companies or a group of professional buyers, they are B2C customers too out of office hours. They are familiar with the intuitive and interactive customer experience they get from B2C companies. Hence, unintentionally their expectations from a business-to-business website also grow. Your B2B professional buyers have some priority needs that you must know before redesigning your CX:
- Today, 73% of b2b purchase decisions are made by millennials--habitual online buyer’s
- B2b customers value cost savings, efficient purchase process, and internal customer satisfaction
- During a b2b purchase, 47% of the professional customers search on the internet regarding products and services and compare websites.
Here are five tips to optimize your business-to-business customer experience:
1 - Speed-up buying process
Time is often considered as one of the most valuable customer assets. With the fast-paced business processes today, you look for instant deliveries, responses, and real-time updates for your customers. A speedy B2B customer purchase journey can help you achieve an enhanced customer experience goal for your company. However, providing an efficient purchase experience to your b2b customers requires you to give customers the right information at the right time. By helping them look for the products and services they require at the right time.
Almost 60% of the B2b customers look for products/services details, availability, and delivery information while browsing websites. The 24/7 self-service feature can help you speed up the response time of your team. Since your customers can access all the information regarding the purchase online, your sales team can better deal with customer queries offline. You should integrate all your technology stacks like your e-commerce platform, ERP, and PIM systems to help streamline your overall customer experience.
2 - Provide Ease
It is really important to understand the worth of simple, easy yet interactive purchase experience when it comes to optimizing your overall customer experience. All the customers whether b2c or b2b, look for a simple and straightforward buying journey. For a B2B customer, the buying process is already a lengthy task. You should optimize your website and applications with user-friendly and easy steps that can lead to a purchase decision in less time than usual.
You can achieve this by providing obvious and straightforward information regarding your products and cut out on any irrelevant step or task that can cause any friction in the purchase journey. By embracing emerging technology like AR/VR in your technology stacks you can efficiently reduce the time and steps required in a B2B purchase. For instance, you can introduce voice-commerce functionality which can help customers place orders instantly hands-free. AR/VR can provide your customers with correct product identification and product demos.
3 - Be Consistent
Since in a B2B purchase, different buyers are involved at different stages of a single purchase journey. Commonly, different people use different mediums to connect with your website i.e. mobile phone or laptop. Therefore, you need to provide a consistent yet personalized buying experience at each touchpoint based on each person’s buying persona and the medium used.
You need to create consistent messaging for your web store customers or the ones reaching you through mobile phones. You need to build a consistent information architecture for all the mediums tailored to each medium's interface. This will help you provide a similar CX for your buyer if he chooses to switch between the mediums. Hence, making it a hassle-free and easy buying experience for your customers.
4 - Provide personalization
You might be already providing a good customer experience in your terms. Still, if you are not being able to build relationships with your customers then your business is going nowhere. So, it’s high time for you to put customers at the core of your customer experience planning. Redesign your customer experience keeping in mind your customers, what do they require, what do they expect from you and how would they like to access information. To have a stellar customer experience you should develop a complete understanding for your target customers and their needs to help you predict their future behavior.
For this, you need to create a user journey map that will help you recreate your actual customer journey. By getting into the shoes of your b2b consumers you will be better able to craft a relevant and personalized experience for your target customers that address their needs. Even though B2B customers are companies. Still, you need to give your customers a personalized touch when they choose to interact with you. By calling or emailing them with information that would prove beneficial to them. This will help you develop long term relationships. Also, by the adoption of Data Science and AI in your operations, you can provide your customers with predictive ordering and customized sales portals that can uplift your overall b2b customer experience.
5 - Build transparency and trust
While interacting with your customers, transparency and trust are what they expect from you. It is important for you to help your customers set the right expectations from you. You can build trust by providing them with upfront and honest information. You can achieve transparency in the buyer's journey by giving accurate information regarding products and errors in the order placement process. For an excellent CX, you need to build a seamless omnichannel platform and a web-store that can give your b2b customers updated and accurate information throughout the buying process. In this way, you can build long-lasting relationships with your customers.
To revamp your customer experience it is necessary that you follow these tips and create an exceptional user journey for your B2B customers. Make sure to develop a customer-centric approach in designing customer experience for better consumer satisfaction and loyalty.
Tkxel to the rescue
To optimize your website for stellar customer experience get in touch with Tkxel today!