5 Important Tips for B2B CX Success
Achieving customer success within a B2C company can be simple as the relationship is exclusively between the business and the individual, but with a B2B scenario, things become more complicated as different players, bureaucracy, policies, and the added relationship of your customer’s customers come into play. You have to understand not only your customer’s needs but their customers’ needs. The stakes are also often higher as customer retention can make or break your business’ performance each year. Below, we have outlined five important strategies you can undertake to achieve CX success for B2B businesses.
1. Understand the Customer Journey
Do a customer journey mapping exercise to visualise every potential interaction a customer may have with your business from pre-onboarding steps taken to how they deal with your payments department. For B2C customer experience, this can be more straightforward but the number of players who may be interacting with each other in a B2B scenario can make things harder to identify. Understand what triggers customer interactions so that you can build up each touchpoint to meet expectations. Who are they speaking to? When and why? Look at the journey in its totality and guarantee consistent messaging at your various touchpoints, as it can be frustrating for customers to get different answers from different points of contact.
2. Be Transparent
Customers appreciate updates, especially when the business is honest about what improvements are being made or what challenges are being overcome internally. Setting realistic expectations to your customers will take you a lot further than making false promises. Even if you are sharing bad news, it helps to build customer relationships as they are likely to have similar experiences within their own business and customers and will be able to empathise with you. The slight disappointment they may feel when being told something may take longer than expected is a lot better than the disappointment they will feel when something is late or of poor quality.
3. Build Loyalty
While customer satisfaction is paramount to customer success, loyalty is what will ultimately affect your bottom line. In B2B scenarios, it is not uncommon for a perfectly satisfied customer to leave for a competitor that has been recommended by a new boss or who is offering a better bargain. Customer loyalty is therefore two-fold in a B2B scenario. You need to build loyalty with the client at an institutional level and a personal level. At an institutional level, you want to become invaluable to the business and its operations. At a personal level, individuals come and go within a company, so building trust and loyalty with individuals can be a determining factor when your contact moves to another business and decides to bring you with them.
4. Be Proactive
Anticipate and react to your customers’ needs before they come to you with questions or concerns. This goes hand in hand with being transparent as mentioned above. Examining root causes can provide insights on where proactive measures could be taken to solve a customer’s problems or help them to be successful. Applying lessons learned from existing customer experiences will help you to anticipate customer needs in the future. Internally, you need to share amongst teams what customer expectations have been established so that the collective can learn from any mistakes that have been made or wins that have been achieved.
5. Close the Loop
When you receive feedback it is essential to follow up with customers and close the loop on the experience. This shows your customers that you value them and are really listening. In B2B companies there can be added complications fuelled by multiple contacts for single accounts. Who closes the loop with which individual will be important too. If it’s an executive you are dealing with, it will be a good idea for someone more senior from your team to communicate with them, as it may influence strategy, financial implications, and organizational changes.
Furthermore, closing the loop with NPS detractors isn’t enough in B2B customer experience. Follow up with passives to see what can be done to turn them into promoters. And follow up with promoters to build loyalty and maintain accountability. To successfully manage this, we recommend having case management capabilities built into your VoC Platform. If you want to see how we do it at CX Index, please get in touch and we’d be delighted to show you.