03 Feb Understanding Customer Experience (CX) in B2B
Why does CX matter in B2B?
Customer experience (CX) can be a make or break for your brand, and the need for positive interactions with buyers is now more important than ever.
B2B customers increasingly expect effortless experiences, with 82% of buyers anticipating the high-quality experiences they encounter in their personal lives. After all, the people making buying decisions for their companies by day are the same people having seamless and personalised experiences as consumers at home.
With 74% of business buyers saying they will pay more for great experiences and CX leaders showing 30% greater retention rates, understanding the changing expectations of your customers, and making efforts to meet them, can bring significant results for your business.
What’s driving the change?
The B2B customer mindset is continually evolving. Still, this change has been accelerated in recent years by increased digitisation of our lives, a generation of digital nomads entering the workplace, and the historically offline B2B buying process forced to digitise rapidly during the pandemic. However, even pre-pandemic, research showed that 69% of business buyers expected ‘Amazon-like’ experiences, and 89% expected companies to understand their unique needs and expectations. Significantly, 67% of buyers say they would switch vendors for better, more consumer-like experiences.
What does a positive CX look like?
Delivering outstanding CX means knowing the customer, anticipating their needs, and delivering unexpected satisfaction.
Example features of a positive customer experience include:
- An intuitive website design which shows understanding of the customer’s needs
- Sales being transparent about prices
- Self-help resources that are easy to access
- Customer support with a short waiting time
- Omni-channel experiences to provide choice and flexibility
Customers are more likely to return if they feel their needs are understood and expectations met, including listening to customer feedback and implementing changes.
Reviewing your customers’ experience
The B2B buyer journey is notoriously complex, and often buyers have multiple stakeholders, sometimes conflicting, on their side. Even the definition of ‘customer’ can vary – are they a buyer, distributor, or end-user? – which makes building a leading B2B customer experience difficult. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to B2B CX, but the most crucial thing is to know your customers’ needs and expectations.
Start by defining your vision for your customer experience, aligned with your business values and your customers’ needs, desires and pain points. This should be identified through comprehensive research including data and interviews and should involve all internal stakeholders who are engaged across the buyer journey. Use this research and vision to redesign your customer journey, keeping your focus on the customers.
Supporting the entire buying journey
Active nurturing of existing accounts and proactive identification of new ones is key to success for those able to switch to digital-led CX-driven sales experiences.
‘According to Forrester, the typical B2B buyer might be anywhere from 66% to 90% of their way through a purchase decision before they reach out to a vendor. CX leaders follow their customers across the entire journey.’
The way businesses interact with their customers has inevitably evolved as market conditions and external forces drive change, and the lines between B2C and B2B have become more blurred. But some things remain the same: the customer is and always has been the most important factor.
Incognate can help you to provide a customer centric experience combining the latest in AI, automation, but most importantly all with a human touch!
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