09192019

5 Ways Improving Your B2B Customer Experience Impacts the Bottom Line


People are now used to instant access and seamless customer service. It started in the B2C sector but is now becoming more critical – and expected – for B2B customers as well. B2B businesses have lagged in this area, but they will need to up their game if they hope to compete effectively moving forward.

B2C companies typically score in the 65-85% range when measured for positive customer experiences. B2B companies average less than 50% positive reviews on customer experience, according to a study done by McKinsey. This represents a significant opportunity for B2B companies to provide a higher level of support and positively impact the bottom line.

Here are five ways you can improve your bottom line by improving your customer experience (CX):

1. Improved customer satisfaction

B2B companies that have dramatically improved their customer experience have higher average margins than their competitors. Client satisfaction scores have risen 10-20% while revenue growth exceeded 10%. The B2B companies that excel at CX report a doubling of their investment.

With B2B marketing, it is important to remember that you are not just selling a product or service, but the long-term satisfaction that comes with gains associated with money or time saved to the customer and their client base. That satisfaction will keep your customers interested in what you have to offer for a long time to come.

2. Improved client retention

It’s always cheaper to keep a client than to find a new one. It can be challenging to earn a client’s trust, especially in a B2B transaction. Once you’ve got it, you need to nurture it by delivering value on all future interactions. Improvement in customer experience and support can lower churn by as much as 15%.

B2B industries rely especially on client retention. To retain these critical relationships, there should be cultivation. The easiest way to do this is to get technology involved in the process. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) can help keep track of customers, communications with them, where they are located in the sales funnel or repurchase cycle, and much more. This vital data can assist you in nurturing customer relationships while boosting retention and sales numbers.

3. Improved consistency

Poor or inconsistent customer service and support can cost you even your most loyal customers. Almost a third of customers say they will stop doing business with a brand they love after as little as one bad customer experience.

B2B customers expect – and demand – a consistently high level of support. Having a partner that is consistent and has follow-through builds trust across the customer base and within the organization. Individuals who bring on reliable partners often gain a reputation internally for supporting the business and being responsible. Developing a structured approach can help with delivering a consistently positive experience for customers.

4. Improved revenue opportunities

There’s real ROI in enhanced customer experience. In addition to improving customer satisfaction, loyal customers buy more as well as buy more often. 70% of customers are willing to spend more with companies that provide them with great customer support.

Generating revenue from viable ROI leads requires a deep knowledge of your target audience and their needs. From this information, you will be able to understand how to reach them and what kind of messaging will appeal to them at the moment. You will also need to access information from your current customer base so that you can develop personas based on higher-value clients are looking for in a product at the moment. If you set tangible goals, measure the results of each sales campaign, and analyze how you can improve more each time, you will see improved results each time.

5. A competitive advantage

In a hyper-competitive environment, you need to provide an extraordinary experience. A Forrester study report reveals that only 9% of companies feel they have created a superior customer experience that exceeded their competitors. This represents a huge competitive opportunity.

Adopting a customer-centric strategy

So much of a company’s efforts tend to focus on gaining potential customers leading up to the sale. However, you also need to put resources into customer support after the sale. Done right, your customer experience efforts can serve both purposes.

To improve your B2B customer experience, you need to put the customer in the center of your strategy. This means a structured, efficient system for your customer support team. It means putting the information your team needs to track at their fingertips and delivering a quality experience to your customers quickly and efficiently.

By targeting and also selling to businesses who will be willing to work with your B2B business for many years to come, you may reduce your own costs and drive up revenue. Once a new client is obtained, great strides need to be made to make sure they are satisfied and keep doing business with your company. This requires developing a deep, professional relationship nurtured through marketing, trust, and regular contact through talented sales representatives.

Customer Identity Management

When clients call with a question or problem, you need to be able to quickly identify them and track their past contacts. You should have a database that shows which products they currently have. There should be an easy way for customer reps to quickly assess concerns and escalate problems.

Knowledge base

Your support team needs a robust knowledge base to allow them to serve customer needs. You may also wish to have a customer-facing solution to allow 24/7 self-service. Within the system, you will want to link feature requests and bugs to your ticketing.

Ticket management

Your CX team will need immediate access to all prior interactions to quickly build and track tickets. Your customer support system should also allow for custom conditional fields and automated ticket routing.

Omni-channel support

Customers communicate in various ways these days, including phone, text, chat, and social media – sometimes in the same conversation. You need a seamless way to serve your customers in every channel without making them have to repeat information.

Also, make sure that the full internal team is communicating with one another. It’s an all-too-common lament: siloed sales and marketing teams cause miscommunications opportunities. However, this issue can be resolved easily through increased communication. By encouraging regular dialogues between the teams, goals and strengths can be united. Stronger internal relationships translate to stronger strategies – and a growing bottom line.

Integration

CRM (Customer Relationship Management), Help Desk, and other business tools need to be integrated smoothly. APIs can connect with internal systems to avoid duplication of effort and more comprehensive workflows.

Reporting

You also need a way to track interactions and assess effectiveness. Reporting and analytics can provide business intelligence, customer insights, and track customer support effectiveness.

Improving your customer experience

How important is Customer Experience for B2B? A study by Accenture reveals 90% of B2B executives believe improving customer experience is critical to achieving strategic priorities. In fact, nearly three-quarters of businesses say that improving customer experience is their top priority.

To improve your customer experience, you will need a robust technology infrastructure with a flexible architecture. This infrastructure should provide a systematic and organized approach for customer support teams, a historical perspective on clients, and a structured approach to solving problems and concerns.

Only then can you improve your overall customer experience and deliver increased customer value to improve your bottom line in the long run.



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