The B2B world is notorious for customers regularly switching suppliers. It comes from a number of factors, including dissatisfaction in the quality of the product, its price, delivery date or service. In fact, 80% of frequent buyers say they’ve switched suppliers at least once within a 24-month period. With low customer loyalty and satisfaction, how can B2B companies build a strong customer base and increase their revenue? It comes down to delivering a high-quality and consistent customer experience.
- B2B companies are often known for a lack of personalization and customer focus
- B2B companies that are service leaders experience significantly more revenue growth and market share.
- Leaders leverage technology to understand data and provide more personalized offers and experiences for customers.
- Leaders also combine human interactions with technology to give customers the best of both worlds.
- Successful B2B companies break down internal silos to create a consistent experience across all channels.
New research from Accenture found that B2B leaders who prioritize service see better growth. Clearly, customers want a personalized, digitally driven experience—even (and especially) in B2B. The survey found that 96% of customer-centric B2B companies have higher profitability, and 97% experience market share growth. When given the choice between a mundane B2B company only focused on sales and a service-driven company that builds customer relationships, customers overwhelmingly choose the service option. Modern customers crave convenient digital solutions, but digital transformations are often slapped together and not effective. To truly connect with customers, B2B companies need to understand their technology tools and use them properly.
Every B2B company has an opportunity to experience this type of growth by applying three principles:
1. Use technology to access data. There’s never been more customer data available than there is right now. However, many B2B companies struggle with sorting through the data and narrowing down the most important information to truly understand their customers. Customer experience leaders have technology platforms that centralize data to sort through information and send the more relevant data to all service channels. Leveraging data allows companies to offer more personalized offers and better service.
2. Combine technology and human elements. Technology is a powerful tool in customer experience, but there’s still something to be said for the human touch. The most successful companies get the best of both worlds: human-centric channels like call centers for more complicated issues and personalized advice and technology-driven channels like chatbots for simpler issues and more convenient self-service. Instead of relying too heavily on one aspect, B2B companies need to find the happy medium between human interaction and technology.
3. Break down silos. Too many companies are divided into internal silos with each department using different systems, data and technology. Customers are left with a disjointed experience and possibly with different information depending on who in the company they talk to. Customer-centric B2B companies are united internally to share information and best practices across the entire organization. Customers can tell the difference in service when the company works together to drive a customer-centric culture.
B2B customers expect an experience that is just as personalized and convenient as what they get in the B2C world. To focus on customers and drive growth and loyalty, focus on these three key principles.
This article was first published on Forbes.com.
Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist, keynote speaker and the author of the bestselling book The Customer Of The Future. Sign up for her weekly newsletter here.