67% of customers say that their standard for good experiences is higher than ever, and yet more than half of customers in the same survey say that businesses fall short of their expectations.
B2B organizations are not exempt from these rising expectations, in fact, they need to improve their customer experiences if they want to retain customers and increase revenue.
But what actually makes a B2B customer experience great?
3 Factors that Impact B2B Customer Experiences
B2B customers aren’t just purchasing for their own benefit. They have much more at stake and far more opinions to balance than in their daily B2C interactions. B2B purchasing is lengthy and complex. For this reason, sellers must craft their experiences with the 3C’s in mind: convenience, consistency, and collaboration.
- Convenience to Streamline Buying Process
B2B buying journeys often involve 6 -10 stakeholders and can take up to 6-12 months to complete. These complications and dynamics make it increasingly difficult for buyers to make purchases. According to Gartner, 77% of B2B buyers state that their latest purchase was very complex.
Sellers can alleviate some of these difficulties with self-service.
Sellers can simplify the purchasing process by implementing:
- Knowledge bases to consolidate common and important answers
- Personalized content and product recommendations
- Providing tailored buying experiences with flexible ways to order, such as through a spreadsheet, catalog, or digital shelf.
- Re-ordering with self-service. 86% of McKinsey survey respondents said that they prefer using self-service tools for reordering.
How a Leading Media Company makes Buying Easier
A Nordic media company who offers legislative educational and training materials to their customers is growing their revenue by providing customers with self-service access to subscriptions and digital versions of their educational and training materials. This allows customers to access more on their own, accelerating and simplifying the buying journey.
- Consistency Across the Entire Journey
Great experiences need to be great at every touchpoint. To build loyalty and trust, organizations need to be able to deliver the same experience every time they interact with customers, no matter what channel they use.
McKinsey found that consistency is the key to happy customers. By and large, companies that deliver consistent experiences throughout the customer journey see higher customer satisfaction rates, increased revenue, and decreased overhead.
However, 73% of brands can’t actually provide a consistent experience across their digital channels.
Why? Because of lack of integration.
Many B2B organizations struggle to connect their systems and data together, in fact, 89% of manufacturing organizations reported struggling with integration, with 18% reporting losses over $1 million annually due to data silos and lack of connected systems.
By integrating systems, applications, and data together, B2B organizations can easily execute these experiences across the entire customer journey. What organizations need is a digital experience platform (DXP) to bring everything together on one platform.
How This Global Organization Brought Systems Together
Tag’s global B2B business was incredibly complex due to multiple ordering needs spread across multiple regions. This was only made more difficult due to numerous siloed applications and systems. To solve this, Tag brought their systems together using a DXP, simplifying complex ordering with a self-service platform. Not only is it easier for customers to purchase, but it has saved Tag significant cost and resources.
- Collaboration within the Organization
Sometimes the greatest hurdle comes from within the organization itself. Customer experience requires support and buy-in from every team.
Businesses should empower and equip employees with the resources they need to be able to impact customer experience, whether directly building relationships with buyers or indirectly working on internal operations.
85% of respondents in a recent IDC survey said that improving employee experiences translated to better customer experience, higher customer satisfaction, and increased revenue.
Better customer experiences start with better internal experiences for the organization.
How This Aerospace Company Streamlines Internal Communication
Airbus has created a collaborative customers portal that has connected customers to all of their departments, systems, and applications, building communities that work together. The platform enables greater collaboration with operators through new features, such as an interactive map of Airbus Helicopters’ global network of service and training centers, a digital catalog of services and software, and online communities that foster open dialogue and collaboration.
Delivering a Great B2B Customer Experience
B2B customer experiences are more critical than ever to long-term success. Sellers need to invest and craft excellent experiences that will keep their buyers satisfied and coming back. Start by building an engaging customer portal.