4 actions to improve your B2B customer’s experience

Last week, I talked about how focusing more strongly on the B2B customer’s experience increases your customer retention. Creating a new customer is so much more expensive than retaining an existing one and you don’t want to lose one in the middle of their buyer’s journey! So, this week, I’ll talk about 4 concrete steps you should take to make doing business with you so pleasing, your customer won’t think about going elsewhere.

1- Increase market intelligence

Ideally, market intelligence should help you take a more active role in providing the customer with what they need. it should help you go from just-in-time to real time, to ahead of time. This is what is now called predictive marketing. This requires a lot of information. Big Data or A.I. will help, but we forget that traditional quantitative and qualitative marketing research is still highly valuable in B2B. Here qualitative data is vitally important. For example, tracking customer behavior on your website with Google Analytics, but also “listening” to comments on the website or in social media. Conversation strings between users of yours or similar products are also very telling. Interviewing customers as to how they feel about dealing with you.

In fact, any customer touchpoint can be the source of good qualitative data either from written correspondence or from the mouth of your customer service or order desk representatives. Consider regularly interviewing your employees about the pain points they and the customers are encountering. Learn how to smooth things out.

You can also focus this information into customer personas that will help you market products and services, as well as deliver content that better fit your customers.

2 – Reduce complexity

There’s the buyer, the user, the marketing people, the decider etc. They all have different needs. What’s important at your end is to understand the interactions between the people involved in the buying decision.  The intelligence you can gather from your CRM, as well as from customer contacts such as sales or service people will help you zero in on the individual characteristics and needs of your customers. It will help you understand what is important for them and lay the foundation for Account-Based Marketing. This customized approach requires a spirit of intelligence-sharing and “co-development” among your peers in all departments. It can be complex and require agility from your perspective but the customer perception will be a reduction of complexity.

In the end,  your customer needs to feel listened to and validated in their needs.

3- Align Sales and Marketing

A company that has “Siloed” its different departments will have a hard time becoming customer-centric. Considering the cost of acquisition or scale of a transaction, losing even one customer in B2B can be catastrophic. This is why it is vital that the quality of the customer experience be consistent all along the value chain. Buying from you has to be easy, even pleasant.

4 – Map out the B2B customer cycle

At any point in the sale cycle, the key question is “What does the customer need at this point?”. At each “moment of truth” not only should you strive to reduce friction, you should also strive to make the experience memorable. Try this exercise in groups, using a whiteboard or a chart:

  • List out all the pain points, come up with how to alleviate them
  • Make a list of the sweet spots, make it easy for them to share the experience
  • List the things you need to get from one stage to another. Make the transition easy.

All in the company must be aware of the problems and of the consequences of not doing anything about them.

Why Change?

This is a fundamental question for both you and your prospect (change) and your customer (stay)! Ultimately, as a company, you should develop a “customer obsession”. Everything should start from the customer.

  • When they start doing business with you, what should they know?
  • What could make them insecure?
  • What would give them a “one-night stand” feeling when dealing with you?
  • Why would they change the way they currently do things? Why would they step out of their comfort zone to go to you?

Want to find out more? Contact us!

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