Most instances of B2B executives discussing customer-experience strategies often begin on an unsound premise. They believe that end-user interactions preside over a customer-centric ethos when building a more customer-centric organization. This flawed train of thought has acted as a major hindrance for B2B organizations whose customer experience index ratings at 50% lag significantly behind B2C companies whose customer ratings record highs of 65-85% typically.
Recognizing the need for a CX push, B2B organizations have increasingly started focusing on their customers, making their expectations a crucial part of their strategic decisions. This has grown to such an extent that Accenture reported 90% of B2B executives claiming customer experience to be very important to themselves and achieving their business’s strategic priorities.
Developments like these are making headway in B2B organizations, subsequently establishing enhanced customer experiences at least as important for themselves as much as it is for their B2C counterparts. According to McKinsey, B2B customer experience leaders have higher margins, on average, than their competition.
In various scenarios where businesses have undertaken overarching transformational ventures of their customer experience process, their impact on B2B companies has led to higher client satisfaction (CSAT) scores.
This has also consequently enabled companies to cut down the cost to serve by 10-20%, increase revenue growth by 10-15%, and boost employee satisfaction as well.
Offer a Smooth On-boarding Experience from Different Channels
A smooth onboarding program is the first step to building a satisfactory customer experience. How seamless you make the onboarding experience sets the tone for your impending relationship with your customers. On the other hand, a mediocre onboarding experience can offset all positive aspects of your CX strategy.
An obstacle-free onboarding experience streamlines your future processes by setting the right expectations. It simplifies the data-gathering process and helps you be on the same page as your client. However, it also teaches a sense of reliance on your faculties and sets the client up for a successful collaboration.
To ease onboarding, try to educate them about your programs and services because the better they do so, the better they will serve your ends and help you achieve your desired business outcomes. This is why it is highly essential to invest in high-quality training and integrate it into the customer onboarding process. This not only expedites the time it takes for them to get familiar with your platform but also shortens the sales cycle. It makes your vendors that much more readily confident in your offerings from the get-go.
Additionally, it also helps you retain them by setting them up for early success, and they will be much more inclined to continue working with you. It also enables you to negate the costly downturn of customer churn and boosts loyalty through retention.
Provide Useful Self-Service Options
A report by Invesp found that acquiring a new customer costs anywhere between 5-25 times more for B2B companies than retaining an existing one. With a common practice of leaving customers fending for themselves after the sale is made, B2B organizations should do well to remember this while formulating customer experience strategies.
Fortunately, it does not take much to turn this around as consumers are increasingly opting to be self-sufficient. This is to such an extent that 40% of them prefer self-service over contacting customer care agents. This comes as a silver lining for B2B companies wishing to invariably enhance the customer experience as they can enable useful self-service options in the form of a useful knowledge base to kill two birds with one stone.
A knowledge base software that includes relevant information acts as a digital library that your customers can visit to educate themselves on your product or service’s nuances.
It serves as an accessible platform from where your customers can help themselves, indirectly enhancing their own customer experience on your behalf. Moreover, these online libraries can also be updated as gaps in customer service are found to keep its information contemporaneous and useful.
Knowledge bases, however, go much beyond simple how-to(s) and FAQs and can include a set of industry-relevant white papers, case studies, appendixes, glossaries, and more. Tremendously beneficial in the value they provide in educating the customer and enhancing the customer experience, knowledge bases make 55% of consumers “fall in love” with a brand when they offer easy access to relevant support and support.
Spur Customized Experiences With a Live Chat
Customization stokes customers’ fancy so much that it has become a necessity rather than a useful feature for businesses today. As per an Epsilon survey, as much as 80% of B2B customers claimed that they prefer companies that offer personalized experiences over the ones that don’t.
One way you can enable customized experiences for your customers with the help of live chat.
It can propel personalization by connecting your support team with your customers in real-time during the buyer journey. This tactic is so effective that 66% of B2B brands already use live chat for customer support, according to Zoho.
Introducing live chat as the primary communication channel can also help you to encourage your customers to chat with you, thus aiding you in capturing missed opportunities by drawing on the real-time experience and behavior of customers. It also provides you with a more personal reason to engage your customers after a sale in a more meaningful way rather than simply interacting with them for the sake of pitching a new product or service. With the help of AI-enabled live chat, you can also customize the creation of proactive courtesy mails, brand suggestions, maintenance reminders, and even pointers to augment the value of their product.
Integrate Chatbot for Offering Real-Time Support
The reason behind the low customer experience rating of B2B companies owes much to their average first-call resolution time (FCR) being worse than their B2C counterparts. And in the on-demand digital economy of today, being lax with their FCR efforts, especially concerning digitally-hesitant customers, woefully impedes the business potential of B2B brands.
To assist their users and enhance the customer experience by several degrees, many B2B brands have turned to utilize useful AI technologies like chatbots to reorient their customer experience. These bots are smart computer programs that simulate regular conversations with human users via a text-to-speech interface.
These bots can become an immensely bankable business asset for B2B brands. In fact, their adoption among B2B brands has increased so much that 58% of them are currently using chatbots. Chatbots owes this popularity to the real-time support they provide. They are so useful that deploying one can help you automate up to 80% of routine questions, leaving agents free to take up more challenging work and resulting in 66% reduced customer service costs as a result of quicker response times.
It is evident that although enhancements in customer experience aren’t typically associated with B2B organizations, the soaring customer expectations of today deem it a necessity for them and critical to their fortunes. And while the nature of the relationships in a B2B setting makes the challenge of such a radical reform seem complicated, the competitive benefits and significant bottom-line gains that it enables to make the effort more than worthwhile.