Posted by Gabriella Fundaro on April 13, 2018
In our earlier post, we discussed the important role that marketing plays in the customer experience, through things like touchpoints, branding and customer journey mapping. And while more and more companies are acknowledging that importance, research suggests that just 14% of B2B companies have the customer experience embedded into the fabric of their business. That leaves a lot of room to grow when it comes to improving the customer experience at B2B companies.
Here are a few ways you can start to become more customer-centric.
Understand Your Customers
If this one seems like a no-brainer, that’s because it is. It’s the first step every business should take in improving their customer experience because it creates a launchpoint. Understanding your customers and prospects is how you’ll know what they’re looking for, so you can anticipate their needs and deliver it to them.
Yet only 17% of B2B companies integrate and use customer data to gain these kinds of insights. This is, again, a sizeable gap that should be addressed, to prevent false assumptions from being made on behalf of your customer base. We talked a bit about this in part one, but start with your KPIs such as website clicks, organic search metrics and lead conversions to see what your customers are interested in and responding to.
And while understanding customers is a great first step to take towards developing a full customer experience, it shouldn’t just happen once. This kind of analysis and reflection should be a continuous process that businesses undergo to ensure their customers are still engaged and happy over time.
- Run surveys through a service like SurveyMonkey to collect input and find out what your customers are looking for, and what they enjoy (or don’t enjoy) about working with you.
- Listen in on customer service conversations as another way to gather feedback, and to get a better feel for the issues your customers bring to you.
Use Proactive Channels
When a business is truly customer focused, they don’t connect in reactive ways, engaging only when responding to issues and negative feedback. Instead, the best companies use proactive channels to steward good relationships with customers.
One good example of this comes from a company called Nextiva. They use video marketing to develop customer engagement and relationships, and even respond directly to customer questions. Through these kinds of marketing methods, B2B companies can position themselves and build trust before their customers have a problem to address. Using a proactive mindset can make it easy for customers and clients to work with you, which can be a big reprieve in the complex world of B2B.
- Write a blog that’s focused on educating your customers about the industry.
- Provide salespeople with valuable content assets to share with customers and target audience members.
- Send out a video of your leadership or management team saying thank you as a way to show appreciation to your customers for their loyalty.
Differentiate with the Customer Experience
Profitability. Value. ROI. These are the all-important factors in the B2B space; this probably isn’t news to anyone. The problem is, your competitors are most likely focused on those same things, too. That’s why it’s imperative to find other ways to differentiate from the competition.
Using more personal and human appeals to put your customers at the center of your efforts is one way to do this. You can also focus on your expertise in the field, innovative thinking, or what you can offer in a long-term partnership. No matter what it is, it should center around your audience, and how you can best help them. By building your customer journey and various touchpoints with those benefits at the forefront, you’ll be able to differentiate by delivering a great customer experience all around.
- Build a website that’s easy for visitors to navigate, or assemble a team of engineers that’s heavy on industry experience. Then, focus on utilizing that differentiator to make life easier for your customers than your competitors can.
- Use case studies, testimonials and other proofs to support your differentiation and the value it adds for your customers.
If you need help getting started with these tips, or more tactics to improve your customer experience, feel free to reach out to us!