As per a survey from digital advertising and marketing agency Accenture Interactive, users are frustrated with the B2B buying experience. The study revealed that most buyers have switched suppliers at least once in a year and that improving the customer experience is a significant opportunity for sellers looking to regain ground.
B2B leaders are struggling to effectively integrate human interactions with digital experiences that enhance customer service. The study identifies prescriptive steps for B2B sellers driving constant growth, embracing service as a top priority, resulting in higher buyer satisfaction and longer-term, more loyal relationships.
According to a recent study, 80% of frequent buyers have switched suppliers at least once in a year, primarily due to the lack of attention to their needs and a failure to connect digital strategies with the human touch of the buyer-supplier relationship. The study revealed that many sellers have focused on digital upgrades only to find themselves disconnected from meaningful dialogues with long-time customers. On the other side, sellers that are focused on traditional sales cycles are behind the curve when it comes to investments made on digitalization.
The most successful companies balance these two investments rightly. Companies embracing a higher standard of service are making significant strides in the B2B world. For example, the research found that companies taking a “service-over-sales” approach are experiencing higher profitability with increased market share.
Three steps B2B companies might take to capitalize on this service opportunity:
- Leveraging technology to unlock compelling data –Technology is the most effective with brand personalization. Leaders adopting a service mindset are 19% more likely than laggards to employ new technology platforms to overcome service barriers. Plus, they are twice as likely to have centralized and regularly updated data sets to inform all service conversations and channels, improving engagement and personalizing offerings.
- Assembling a digital-human dream team –Human interaction and digital tools must function in harmony if a B2B company needs to be successful today. The study revealed leaders give a lot of importance on facilitating a two-way dialogue with their customers. This refers to prioritizing digital tools like augmented reality and chatbots, as well as human-centric efforts such as call center teams and field sales representatives.
- Sparking the change from within –Uniting human talent and digital tools to serve customers and instill a customer service mindset requiring internal change. Leaders are double as likely as laggards to have fully integrated marketing functions across different channels 48% versus 19% and are more likely to have partially or fully integrated their marketing and sales teams to collaborate on most objectives.
This highlights an apparent misalignment between buyers’ needs and sellers’ offerings, which requires both human touch and technology. To succeed in today’s existing B2B ecosystem, sellers must invest in both service-oriented and digital customer experiences that drive potent outcomes for themselves and for their buyers as well.