Published on August 31st, 2021 | by Sunit Nandi0
The Keys To A Successful B2B Customer Experience
To meet the expectations of increasingly demanding customers, companies must rethink their business strategy taking into account an essential element: the customer experience. A factor of satisfaction, loyalty and differentiation, it is today essential for B2B salespeople anxious to achieve more sales to carry out optimal customer follow-up. But what is it exactly and what are the levers to improve it sustainably? This is what we will cover in this article.
What is customer experience?
Today, the purchase of a product or a service is no longer limited to a simple transaction: consumption is perceived as a real experience, hence the emergence of this concept.
Definition of the customer experience
The customer experience is the result of the various interactions that have taken place between a customer and a company. It encompasses the feelings and emotions that the customer experienced throughout the buying process.
As a sales representative or B2B sales manager, the customer experience must be part of your business strategy like eWorldTrade, whatever your activity. But what are its real benefits?
Why is customer experience so important?
If the customer experience has become a major issue for companies, it is because it can actively contribute to the development of their turnover, as these different stages show.
Satisfy your customers
First point to remember: the customer experience is a source of satisfaction. At the end of a transaction, a customer who has the feeling of having been well considered and who feels positive emotions towards the brand, can be defined as satisfied. This is essential to establish a relationship of trust: satisfaction is the basis of the next step, loyalty.
Retain your customers
You know the adage: it is cheaper to keep a customer than to acquire a new one: that’s good, the customer experience is an excellent lever for loyalty. If your buyer feels like they’ve received superior service that they wouldn’t have obtained from a competitor, they’ll be much more enthusiastic about doing business with you again. Better yet, it will spread the word to other potential buyers…
Be recommended by your customers
Recommendation is one of the most powerful tools to increase your sales. In an age when mistrust of advertising is very high and traditional promotion is losing its effectiveness, buyers are increasingly relying on the opinions of their peers. Any business development manager should therefore include word of mouth in their strategy.
Of course, we’re not just talking about traditional word of mouth. The web has changed the way customers recommend or criticize a product or supplier. They now express themselves on online review sites, but also on social networks, which have a significant impact on a company’s brand image.
Develop your turnover
How can customer experience help you achieve more revenue? The equation is very simple:
Satisfied and loyal customers = Word of mouth = More customers = More turnover.
It is in a way a virtuous circle that is set up: a good customer experience makes it possible to develop its customers and its profits, which then makes it possible to invest even more in the customer experience.
In addition, satisfying and retaining your customers indirectly saves you money, as it dramatically reduces refund requests and other disputes.
A good customer experience can therefore have many benefits for your business: the next question is how to put it in place.
5 tips to improve your customer experience
First of all, it should be noted that improving the customer experience is a long-term job: it is not enough to make a few changes to get results overnight. It is therefore essential to put in place a coherent business development strategy, which is based on the levers below.
1. Rethink your business development strategy
Difficult to offer an optimal experience without having a well-defined strategy. This must absolutely integrate the principles of satisfaction, loyalty and recommendation. To lay the foundations for your strategy, think about:
- the goals you want to achieve,
- the values on which your customer relationship is based,
- The different channels through which you interact with your customers.
The identity of the brand and the image it conveys play a very important role in the customer experience. Indeed, if a buyer manages to identify with your values, with your vision, he will feel a positive emotion towards you.
2. Improve your customer journey
Customer experience is the sum of all interactions between the company and its customers. It is therefore necessary to have a global vision of the customer journey and to take into account all the points of contact. In order to improve this course, it is necessary to follow several steps:
- Identify the needs of your customers and their expectations vis-à-vis your products or services, but also at the level of their interactions with your business, whether on your premises, on the internet or through other means. One way to do this is to carry out market research.
- Set up customer satisfaction monitoring, for example by creating a satisfaction questionnaire based on various criteria.
- Gather and analyze the results obtained.
- Identify weak points in your customer journey and implement corrective actions to improve it.
- Continue to monitor customer satisfaction to measure the impact of the actions implemented.
By following this method, you will be able to identify the essential criteria for your buyers and tailor the customer experience accordingly.
3. Multiply communication channels
As we have mentioned, the customer experience results from all the contacts between the company and the buyer. These can take place on many different channels, as illustrated by this infographic produced.
Thus, all contacts with the company have an impact on the customer experience: your social media posts, your call center and even your prospecting emails influence the relationship you have with each customer.
It has become essential to adopt an Omni channel approach. Web-to-store (the customer searches for information online, then buys in store) and click-and-collect (the customer orders online, then retrieves the product in store) are very common practices in Botch, which gain by developing in B2B.
For example, the paint company Tollens allows building professionals to order on its site, then be notified by SMS in less than 3 hours as soon as the products are available. The customer then only has to go to the chosen relay point to collect his order.
4. Provide a personalized experience
Personalization is a powerful lever to satisfy a buyer. This is why care must be taken to offer him an experience that resembles him, that meets his specific expectations. This requires knowing the customer well and identifying his needs: in the age of data, the data collected about your customers is precious.
As part of a loyalty program, for example, it is possible to easily access a customer’s purchase history, to know all their interactions with the brand, but also to obtain various statistics about them. . This information can be used to provide the buyer with a “tailor-made” experience, which will contribute to their long-term loyalty.
For B2B companies whose business is essentially digital, catboats are, for example, an excellent way to personalize customer relations, while ensuring permanent contact with the buyer. Compared to mail, telephone and other “traditional” means of communication, they also have the advantage of being automated.
5. Train yourself in customer relationship management
Since the customer experience results from all the contacts between the buyer and the company, it is essential that all employees are on the same wavelength. From the sales manager to the seller, via the telephone advisor and the website designer, all must share the same values and the same objectives.
To harmonize the customer experience at all levels of the company and facilitate its management, continuous training is essential. Salespeople, salespeople and customer assistants, who are in direct contact with buyers, must be coached and supported to concretely convey the values defined in the strategy. Collaborative tools can also be set up to share best practices and quickly provide feedback from field employees. On the management side, it will be necessary to set up business development training focused on the customer experience.
It is only in this way that you will be able to enter into a logic of continuous optimization of the customer experience, by constantly identifying avenues for improvement and by training all your sales teams in the latest changes in your strategy.
Today’s customer no longer only expects a quality product / service / solution: he seeks above all to have a positive experience. This is why this component must absolutely be part of your company’s business development strategy. A good customer experience is the guarantee of satisfying and retaining your buyers, while generating positive word-of-mouth around your business. Better knowledge of customers and their journey, an Omni-channel presence, as well as a personalized experience are some of the levers on which you absolutely must work.