Best Practices for B2B Customer Experience
Did you know that 81 percent of organizations consider customer experience a competitive differentiator? Treating your customers well will increase their loyalty toward your brand, reduce selling and marketing costs, and significantly improve your revenue. Pay close attention to how your customers feel about their interactions with your brand! Unlike B2C clients, B2B buyers are accountable for how they spend their organization’s money. Their purchasing decisions determine their business growth.
Get Customer Feedback
How do your customers feel about their previous interactions with your brand? Obtaining customer feedback allows you to pinpoint your customer service weaknesses.
When tracking customer experiences of your existing clients, you can use the net promoter score (NPS), customer effort score (CES), or customer satisfaction score (CSAT) as follows:
Net Promoter Score (NPS)
NPS measures how likely your existing customers are to recommend your brand to someone on a scale of 1-10. Then depending on the answers, you can categorize your customers as:
- brand promoters
- passive customers
The formula is:
NPS = Total Percentage of Brand Promoters - Total Percentage of Detractors
Customer Effort Score (CES)
Calculates how much effort your customers put in to enjoy the benefits of your products or service, typically based on a scale of 1-7.
The formula is:
CES = (Number of Easy Ratings (5,6,7)/Total Number of Responses) X 100 Percent
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
CSAT determines customers' satisfaction concerning a particular element of your brand product or service (CSAT) on a scale of 1-5.
The formula is:
CSAT = (Number of Satisfied Users Who Provided 4 or 5 Ratings/Total Responses) X 100%
Surveys are often the best way to get customer feedback. However, you can also use interviews to obtain information about your customers' experiences.
Knowing Your Customer
It would be best to learn who your customer is, so you can improve your customer service. It would help if you asked yourself questions such as:
- Which positions in the organizations do my typical buyers occupy?
- Which geographical locations do my customers reside in and serve?
- At what stage of the buying process is my buyer?
Creating buyer personas will help you better understand your B2B clients and their preferences. You can segment them further into smaller groups based on specific shared qualities to serve all of them better.
Research, surveys, and interviews could also be helpful when learning about your buyers!
Focus On Your Customers' Needs
Do you focus on your customers’ needs or selling? According to studies, 73 percent of B2B customers feel that their relationship with a brand is all about sales. If you want to run your business sustainably, you can’t afford to have clients think that way.
Unfortunately, many businesses don’t have a unified customer-centric strategy. Eighty percent of B2B customers expect consistency regardless of the department they deal with. Yet, two in every three customers are forced to repeat themselves when interacting with a new company person. That means brands must maintain the same customer service level across multiple channels.
You can promise empowerment by providing access to a customer service technology tool, such as HubSpot Service Hub, that provides unified data across the organization. That way, your employees will understand where the customer is in the buying process and deal with them accordingly with minimal bottlenecks.
It's also safe to state that representatives who know about customer pain points and can quickly solve the clients’ problems are more likely to make a good impression on B2B customers. Meaning, your employees need to be capable in educating and advising customers at various stages of the purchase process.
Provide Self-Service Options
Virtually, 100 percent of B2B buyers want self-serve options for at least part of their buying process.
Therefore, you must provide your customers with a knowledge base and other learning resources they can use to find solutions for some of their issues before directly contacting your customer service representatives. These learning resources may include whitepapers, how-to videos, webinars, tutorial text, and video content.
Personalize Their Experiences
What works for one segment of your buyers won’t work for another. This is where personalization comes in.
If you pay attention to customer feedback and learn your buyer personas by heart, it will be easy to tailor your customer service to different customer groups.
Something as simple as your customer service agents asking for a customer’s name can make a big difference.
Other ways to personalize your customer experiences include recommending similar products or add-ons for your customers, acknowledging customer loyalty by offering discount, creating outreach emails based on B2B customers' history, and displaying ads based on previous purchasing behavior.
As long as you implement personalization subtly, most customers will appreciate you simplifying their buying process.
Provide Real-Time Customer Interactions
While customers appreciate self-serve options, many want real-time interactions with your brand. So, ensuring a healthy balance between automated and human interactions is vital!
Chatbots and live chat are two primary ways of communicating with your B2B customers. They enable you to attend to them during working and non-working hours.
In addition, you can hire round-the-clock social media managers to connect with your customers, build relationships, and answer queries as quickly as possible via platforms such as Facebook Messenger.
For example, HubSpot's support center is available 24/7!
Make Your Website Widely Accessible
You may have remembered to make your website mobile-friendly, but have you made it accessible to all?
According to CDC, about 27 percent of American adults have some disability. These disabilities include trouble hearing, seeing, speaking, concentrating, or moving. Therefore, you can’t claim to provide a good customer experience if people with disabilities have issues accessing your services.
Luckily, HubSpot has provided an accessibility checklist. Click here to learn more.
Maintain Support After Purchase
A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. Creating lasting, trusting relationships with your client is the ultimate end goal.
You can maintain connections with your existing customers via social media and email. If you anticipate problems with your products, such as a bug in your software that necessitates an upgrade, proactively provide customer support. Always be transparent, apologize for the inconvenience in advance, and let your customers know how soon the issue will be resolved.
After purchase, some of the customer support you can offer includes an onboarding checklist that helps new customers navigate the product, troubleshooting instructions via 24/7 customer support, and blog content that educates customers about the latest product developments they may benefit from.
Your customer experience can make or break your business. It pays to make them as happy as possible, for as long as possible.
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