The success of nearly every business is dependent on its ability to attract and retain customers.
The B2C world has resorted to tailored customer experience to ensure customer retention. B2B companies, however, have mostly stuck to traditional marketing and customer interaction strategies.
While there is nothing wrong with maintaining some conventional aspects of B2B customer interaction, borrowing some customer service strategies from B2C companies can put a B2B company well above its competition.
Overcoming competitive pressure is pivotal to the success of any B2B organization. Most traditional B2B companies focus on methods such as developing new products and offering competitive prices to do that.
However, competing in dimensions such as price may require you to compromise product quality – something that will drive away regular customers.
For this reason, many companies chose to modify customer interaction methods to gain an edge over their competitors.
Recent times have seen many small and big B2B businesses altering their IT infrastructure to accommodate better customer service technology.
Rather than making adjustments to products and prices, firms have started focusing on customer-centricity.
Modern Consumer and Digitization
In B2B marketing, customer relationships are believed to be extremely dynamic and often complicated. However, the old philosophy “the customer is always right” has stayed true even in business-customer interaction.
Several B2B companies have had to alter their business portals to suit the habits of their consumers.
Such altercations are essential for every brand that wants to stay relevant and successful.
In 2016, a Forrester Research study concluded that 40% of consumers “are willing to change spending patterns based on a single experience with a business”.
If your brand fails to make that first customer experience engaging, you might end up losing 40% of your valuable consumers.
For the past few decades, digitization has dominated every aspect of our lives, making it impossible for B2B companies to escape the realm of digital customer interaction systems.
When someone experiences a seamless online transaction fueled by massive digitization from one seller (be it a B2C or B2B seller), they become conscious of its efficiency.
These expectations include an attractive user interface, engaging website design, faster load speed, and hassle-free resolution of queries. When sellers fail to meet these expectations, they risk losing customers to a competitor who does.
Redefining Customer Service
Customer experience is no longer a transactional relationship where consumers call in to log complaints and businesses provide solutions to those.
Instead, predetermining possible product errors and customer behaviour to provide answers even before the customer asks a question is the new norm. Digitization of customer portals is nothing new to B2B firms.
However, the use of more advanced technologies, including artificial intelligence, augmented reality, and process automation to enhance customer experience haven’t been popular amid B2B brands until recently.
How to Use Digitization to Your Advantage
Utilizing AI technology enables businesses to determine customer behaviour more accurately. Modern customer service is based heavily on this behaviour.
Courtesy of increasing digitization and changing consumer behaviour, traditional B2B giants like KONE, Gap, and Intel have been forced to change their perspective on consumer interaction.
They have had to overcome their internal silos to ensure better service and increased convenience for their business customers.
To do this, Intel shifted its focus to customer-centricity in 2015, streamlining different product portals into a single-entry point and providing customized service dictated by automation.
For KONE and Gap, it meant gathering more operational data to improve future interaction.
Later, both of these brands utilized Salesforce technologies like service cloud and field service lightning to monitor product response and customer behaviour, thereby developing personalized support.
Personalization comes in several forms, all of which involve increased consumer participation while resolving problems.
Employing methods like chatbots and FAQs is becoming a popular way to improve the customer experience for many businesses.
Leveraging a customer service portal that is made for end-user consumption and solves basic queries without human interference is an effective personalization strategy.
The fundamental secret of implementing a useful customer portal is understanding the relationship you share with your clients.
Broaden your perception of customer service to include operational insights, personalized product recommendations, and increased convenience.
To gain a competitive advantage through your customer portals, employ advanced technologies to attune yourself to your customer.