In today’s digital world, many B2B customers never actually have a person-to-person experience with their suppliers. What would have been relayed to customers in-person in the past is now carried out almost exclusively online.
This shift has been even further accelerated by COVID, given that an increasing number of companies have been forced to shift all their customer interactions to their website and virtual platforms.
New digital tools have the potential to enhance customer satisfaction by making their lives easier. But if your company’s digital experiences aren’t seamless, meaning they’re likely creating headaches for your customers, offering a personal apology to smooth things over isn’t a viable option.
Unfortunately, this makes customers quicker than ever to leave and head to a competitor. Plus, B2B buyers expect the same effortless customer experience that they see in their B2C purchasing encounters, which is why creating positive digital experiences is crucial to customer loyalty.
On the contrary, enhancing customer experience by offering helpful tools and seamless ordering processes, as well as providing ongoing post-purchase support, is a sure-fire approach to increasing customer retention.
So, before talking about how you can improve the retention of your clients, let’s first answer an important question: what makes a digital experience great?
What Makes an Exceptional Digital Experience?
There are a number of things that you can do to make your digital experiences stand out from those of competitors. To begin, ease of access is critical for a customer’s digital experience. Your customers should have the ability to reach your brand’s service, regardless of where they are or what time it is. A good way to ensure this is by creating an omnichannel experience, which facilitates access on various channels through an integrated system.
Customers also value quick access to helpful customer service. Make sure that your customer service tools are easy to find via your digital platforms and that they give customers the option to solve simple issues themselves, rather than having to contact customer support. This means providing resources like helpful guides and relevant FAQs.
Finally, stay up to date with the latest digital experience software. By implementing cutting-edge tools on your ecommerce platform, your customers will enjoy the ease of purchasing through your website, helping you to secure your place as a leading name in your industry.
How Can Digital Experiences Improve Customer Loyalty?
Now that we’ve talked a bit about what encompasses a positive digital experience, let’s dive into how these experiences can improve customer loyalty and help you to grow your business.
Not only are digital experiences common nowadays when it comes to B2B purchasing, but customers often prefer this format to traditional purchasing experiences. In fact, over 70% of B2B buyers find buying from a website more convenient than working through a sales representative.
Here are a few ways your company (and profits) can benefit from strategically designing a convenient and comfortable digital experience for your customers.
1. Increased Average Order Value (AOV) From Your Customers
The ability to purchase quickly and with ease is certainly one of the factors that impacts average order value (AOV). Modern ecommerce tools can provide you with the opportunity to create a seamless purchasing experience for your customers.
By streamlining ordering through self-service tools, you eliminate the need for customers to take time to speak with a customer service representative. This makes the purchasing process more efficient for customers, in turn increasing AOV.
Other ways you can optimise your ecommerce experience to increase AOV include providing detailed product information and tailoring the purchasing experience to each customer through personalised catalogues and pricing.
Businesses that have digitised their ordering process have increased AOV by 44%. Increased AOV, combined with customer loyalty, means long-term growth for your brand.
2. Higher Purchase Frequency Thanks to Digital Tools
One of the greatest benefits of enhancing your online purchasing process is that it is a great way to increase customer purchase frequency. Digital self-service tools make ordering easier than having to speak with a sales representative, which incentivises customers to come back and purchase again soon.
Plus, you can implement technology into your ecommerce platform that reminds customers when they need to reorder, a sound way to boost purchase frequency.
Automating the order process by recommending products that customers have bought before and sending alerts when products are restocked are other great strategies when it comes to strengthening B2B customer loyalty.
These are just some of the digital tools that you can implement to increase the purchasing frequency of your existing customers and ensure the likelihood of their retention.
3. Happier Customers and Longer Customer Lifetime
With the amount of competition that you’ll find in just about every industry nowadays, having a long-standing relationship with a customer is no longer enough to ensure their retention. B2B customers know that there are hundreds, if not thousands, of other suppliers out there. If you’re not meeting their needs, or if they feel as though they could receive a better experience elsewhere, they will not hesitate to leave.
While this may make customer retention sound like a daunting task, it comes down to a few basic strategies. If you can deliver a more seamless buying experience to your customers year after year, you will see impressive growth in customer retention. Also, by allowing customers to purchase through an ecommerce offering, you will free up time for your sales team to build relationships and help address more complex and pressing issues.
That being said, you should be implementing simple strategies like providing easy self-service tools, personalising the buying experience to a customer’s past purchases and needs, and providing customers with strategic product recommendations based on their profile.
Delivering an Unmatched Digital Experience
Brand makeovers or new product launches aren’t necessary to improve B2B customer loyalty or carry out a successful digital transformation. Plus, you don’t need to go overboard with new marketing strategies to reach a wider audience in an attempt to increase profits.
Instead, take your first step by implementing a self-service portal to create an easier, more enjoyable digital experience for your customers. You’ll find that you can create a newfound satisfaction and trust in the buyers you already have, while also improving business efficiency.
Once you’ve improved customer loyalty with your existing B2B client base, you’ll have plenty of time and resources to branch out and grow your business beyond what you could have ever imagined.