B2B buyers have become much more demanding than B2C customers have, as they expect personalized offers, seamless transactions, and real-time interactions.
Post 2015, improving customer experience (CX) has gained considerable attention in the B2C space. However, research by Accenture Strategy shows that CX is equally crucial for B2B buyers as well.
In the report called ‘B2B Better 2 Best’ by Accenture, 90% of B2B executives cite customer experience as a significant factor in achieving their organizations’ strategic priorities. B2B buyers now expect the same buying experience like B2C, where companies are expected to respond in real-time.
Read More: B2B CX: A Critical Sales Growth Influencer
Experts have observed that B2B buyers are instead much more demanding than B2C customers since almost 75% of business buyers expect personalized offers, and nearly 65% look for other vendors if an effort to personalize communications is not made.
According to Gartner’s Customer Experience Survey report, 81% of companies expect to compete based on CX in 2019. It is about making customer experience the biggest differentiator for businesses, more than price or product quality in the B2B space.
Reports by Temkin Group also show a drastic change in indicating the CX maturity level of B2B organizations. Their 2015 research shows that only 3% of B2B companies found to value customer experience, but the 2018 report – The State of CX Management – highlights that 54% of companies, in the next three years, aspire to be industry leaders in CX. It has been observed that the number of CX leaders is growing at a 12% faster pace than CX laggards.
Transforming the B2B customer experience can boost a company’s bottom line significantly. Experts suggest adopting a ‘Customer-Centric’ Business Strategy that can help gain a competitive edge in the market. This requires engaging all the employees to work on understanding customer needs consistently. This can be achieved with cross-functional teams, where every department works together to influence CX.
To conduct business better with B2B buyers, experts believe that the ease of doing business is a key metric for customer satisfaction and loyalty. Companies need to focus on facilitating seamless transactions and being highly open to interactions throughout the technology adoption, it also means becoming available for buyers to interact in real-time across multiple channels.
For this, technologies like AI-enabled chatbots as well as live chat software with co-browsing features can prove to be an excellent investment to connect with buyers. According to a study by the American Marketing Association, companies that use live chat witnessed a 20% increase in conversions, compared to the ones that do not.
After adopting co-browsing technology, agents can see customers’ browsers without being at the physical location to fix issues instantly, which has resulted in 18% improvement in first call resolution. Companies are also increasingly using AI-based chatbots for handling a substantially higher volume of interactions. This is because the technology can initiate conversations as well as make personalized recommendations for a better browsing experience for customers.
In times when B2B buyers have access to endless choice and information, personalization becomes a necessity to stand out from the competition. According to a Salesforce report, by 2020, 75% of business buyers already expect the companies to anticipate their needs and accordingly make relevant suggestions.
To develop a customer-centric culture in a B2B organization, it is essential to deliver excellent customer experience at every level of the business. From training employees suitably, to continuously upgrading to the latest technology can make transactions seamless.