Grow Sales By Providing A Better B2B Customer Experience
A 2016 study by McKinsey research concluded that 66% of B2B customers move to another company due to issues of customer satisfaction, not product quality.
And this gap is going to get wider. B2Cs like Amazon and Zappos are setting the standard for customer satisfaction. We’re all giving the edge to companies that make it easy for us to order, pay and ship items. And often we’re will to pay more for these services.
So because the Internet has changed the buying process, B2B buyers are starting to demand the same level of customer experience they receive on B2C platforms. Historically customer satisfaction for a B2C is in the 65%-80% range. But for B2Bs, it’s much lower, averaging less than 50%.
McKinsey research (2016) concluded that 66% of B2B customers move to another company due to issues of customer satisfaction, not product quality.
While it’s true that the B2B buying process is more complex than B2C, when companies re-design their customer-experiences, the results for B2B’s and B2C ‘s are the same:
- Higher client-satisfaction scores,
- Reductions of 10 to 20 percent in cost to serve
- Revenue growth of 10 to 15 percent,
Improving B2B Customer Satisfaction
Though most people think that B2B buyers are rational, they aren’t. Like B2C buyers, B2B buyers respond to emotion. So usually price by itself is not the only deciding factor. Other factors influence decisions, such as long-standing relationships with procurement teams and the general reputation of suppliers.
In addition, manufacturers are typically one step removed from the end user. Consider the case of an auto-component manufacturer. Its buyers are the automaker’s procurement team. While its end users are the R&D team that includes shop-floor workers. The solution was to break down the customer experience into 3 pieces which matched:
- Its sales force to the procurement team
- Its R&D team to the carmaker’s R&D team
- Its manufacturing head to the automaker’s shop-floor manager
Breaking down the customer experience into three pieces helped the component maker serve the automaker’s varied needs. For example, now the component maker can notify the automaker’s R&D team when its time to test new designs for future car models. And it can react quickly when it does. In addition, the component maker can accommodate the shop-floor team’s need to maintain just-in-time inventory.
B2B customer journeys are often a lot more complex and take a lot longer than B2C. So begin by:
- Mapping all customers
- Creating tracks for all customers
- Cost savings can be found by creating a standard, less complex track for most customers and another for those with special needs, such as requiring specific tailoring, extra services, or additional checks.
According to Blake Morgan, a customer experience consultant, try to think of all the ways a customer wants to communicate with you and design for each of them. This includes using email, YouTube video channels and making sure that your information is easy to read on mobile phones.