Customers don’t wait for slow websites anymore. If your web presence is out of date or customer service response times are slow, usually your product will carry that extra weight. But what if you’re a business who’s target audience is other businesses? B2B (business-to-business) companies are nearly twice as likely to lose potential (and existing) clients when their service is slow, too salsey, or uninformed.
While the online landscape is ever-evolving, companies with intentional B2B marketing and customer care experience directed growth from a firm client base. Your path is clear, but there are so many steps you follow to improve your client interactions. Which do you choose, and how can you start?
In the following sections, we’ll explain the most important practices you can implement to create a top-level B2B service experience with accessible websites, client interaction best practices, marketing target audiences, and how to create a support structure that pulls in more business instead of driving potential customers away like so many uninformed B2B companies.
Intentionally establish B2B customer service
Individual consumers and businesses have the most diverse target audiences. Some companies cater to individual customers, while others cater to businesses and organizations. Marketing to businesses is different from marketing to individual consumers. That is why there is an entirely different marketing method called B2B Marketing.
When creating a customer service game plan, focus time and resources on including B2B response structures tailored to customer needs. Building a solid client list is critical for companies as contractual agreements between businesses are typically lucrative and long-term. Establishing best practices from the outset allows for smooth transitions as you initially market to clients, establish connections, make sales, and then focus on customer support and retention. Innovative marketing and technology will allow your company to scale effectively, retain current clients, manage incoming contracts, and build a better online presence.
Long-term B2B perspectives
Business-to-business relationships are likely to endure beyond the timeframes of a typical business-to-customer relationship, so it’s important to remember that B2B clients are the backbone of many companies. Ask questions like:
How is your team currently working to secure and maintain business clientele?
Do you have dedicated resources, game plans, and teams necessary for success?
What is the client experience like for your b2b customers when they hit pain points, need support, or need to expand?
Taking time to identify the previous pain points is critical in using resources effectively and will allow your team to establish a strong and intentional response structure.
How to attract B2B customers
Attracting new clients, especially B2B clients, doesn’t have to be complicated. First, identify what you offer (focus on the areas where you’re both strong and unique). Next, use market research to target your sales message to businesses in your arena with new offers and engaging messaging.
Many businesses also benefit from hiring a marketing team member. Clear messaging, simple entry points and a direct call-to-action help the client efficiently and confidently work with your team to create successful sales experiences. Businesses want to know you are reliable, accessible, and skilled. They are more likely to be focused on support resources and measurable outcomes than cost. Make sure your messaging makes this and your unique advantages clear.
Build lasting B2B relationships
Lasting customer relationships requires businesses to be easily accessible and responsive. B2B best practices involve fast & real-time responses, which are critical for success. Per recent research completed by Salesforce, business clients anticipate an immediate response in 80% of interactions, whereas non-business clients have a lower threshold of around 69%.
One option to maximize response time is to build a responsive chat option for your website. Additionally, while one-on-one relationships are important for ongoing customer support, working with multiple people within the company to meet different needs and build additional contacts is better. This will insulate your team from losses based on natural turnover as needs evolve across departments.
Necessary sales training will benefit B2B outcomes as well. “One of the biggest complaints from B2B buyers is that sales reps are too pushy and not useful. In many cases, buyers do much of the research [independently] to avoid the sales rep as much as possible.” B2B customers are 5x more likely to purchase from salespeople who provide valuable information about their company and help customers make decisions. Training your team to be responsive to client needs rather than pressing for additional sales will improve client satisfaction and build a brand reputation for client-focused response over the less favorable high-pressure sales techniques.
Try to keep customer feedback options accessible. Clients need space to offer constructive insight into performance and outcomes. Use this feedback in regular performance reviews and to update policies, services offered, and accessible resources to meet client needs.
Working with your targeted audience
Invest in valuable and targeted market research early and often to evaluate and develop marketing plans and update services and product offerings. Some steps you can take to do your targeted market research are the following:
Begin with thoughtful evaluations of the types of businesses you hope to reach. Identifying likely clients and engaging with them to address specific needs is the backbone of B2B best practices. Building a solid client foundation with meaningful products and offerings will increase client engagement.
Keeping clients happy with solid customer support and being receptive to feedback is essential to the B2B customer experience puzzle.
Also, remember to ask for the buy-in or “call to action .”Your messaging needs to include action and the next steps for potential clients to take in the process. Remember, you have what they want and need, and it’s your job to help them see how to access your team. When potential clients are uncertain of the following steps and requirements, they will likely invest their energy and funding in other, more accessible options. The sooner you can interact, the better. Take time to build a team to manage CRM, collect data, and include a feedback portal on your webpage to collect ongoing feedback and data from customers as you continually improve.
Market research costs can be prohibitive for many small businesses. Our team offers valuable financing to help with funding and with working capital, making resources accessible for entry-level and developing business owners. When it’s time to grow, we offer the resources you’ll need for success, and we do so with your needs in mind. Contact us to move your business forward, and one of our experienced agents will reach out to help create the best funding plan for your next marketing campaign. Funding is a wise investment in the future profitability of your company, and we’ll help you figure out precisely what you’ll need to get there.
Business moves fast, and user experience is critical for positive b2b experiences. Suppose your website is outdated, difficult to navigate, or ignores current accessibility needs like for-mobile scaling, simple-to-follow links, or clunky out-of-date forms or designs. In that case, users will move on to a more contemporary and relatable business. “One UK study found that nearly £12 billion of e-commerce sales were lost in a year due to web accessibility issues. This makes it crucial that you follow web accessibility guidelines.” Working with a professional on user experience is a great way to overcome these obstacles.
Post experience relationships and support
Closing the “deal” is only the beginning. Avoid the trap of clearing out the inbox and moving on to the next client. Long-term relationships require contact, ongoing support, helpful follow-up, and intentional outreach efforts. Most growing companies will experience evolving needs over time. Staying connected and employing team members who are wise on ever-changing market needs will benefit the long-term relationships critical for B2B success. Ask helpful questions to identify “Why, When, and How” your customers need support. For example, why are they experiencing pain? When are they reaching out for help? How can you best meet their needs? Make sure your team is prepared and focused on client care.
Utilizing intentional and efficient B2B techniques will fortify business success. It may feel overwhelming and out of reach. Still, with good structure and using available funding, financing offers, and working capital, best practices become accessible and easily implemented for motivated business owners working on expanding their b2b client base. Take time, make an effort, build the foundations, and watch your business grow and thrive beyond projections. We are here to help.
Disclaimer: The content of this post has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide and should not be relied on for tax, legal, or accounting advice. Consult with your tax, legal, and accounting advisor before engaging in any transaction.