Taking steps to improve your B2B buying experience will seem daunting at first. There is a myriad of ways you could choose to approach the topic of optimization in this context, and knowing where to begin is not always obvious.
We’ve crafted today’s blog to help you understand what it means to have an excellent B2B buying experience, why it matters, and some important information on where to start.
First, we’ll explain some key concepts you need to know about the B2B buyer experience.
What a Great B2B Customer Experience Looks Like
Consider these core factors when evaluating your own B2B customer experience.
- Enthusiasm: B2B buyers are eager to feel special, understood, and catered to. Match that energy and you’ll leave a lasting impression.
- Delivery: If your company isn’t getting the job done, no amount of soft skills training or preparation is going to keep customers happy.
- Intuition: Your company should be preventing problems before they come up as much as it possibly can. The better you are at this, the more difficult it becomes to evaluate. To start, keep it simple: what are the most common problems that arise and how can you avoid those first?
- Responsiveness: You can’t predict everything. When problems do arise, how quickly is your company identifying and resolving them? How smooth is that process for the buyer? Is your staff willing and able to make it right when a mistake they make costs the customer?
- Change: Your B2B buyer experience program should be flexible. Your market will change, your products will change, and customers will change. Your B2B buyer experience must be adjustable to shifting needs while maintaining a human touch.
6 Ways to Improve the B2B Buying Experience
Let’s get into the six simple, actionable steps you can take to begin optimizing your B2B buying experience today.
1. Identify Your Own Shortcomings
You will make progress by focusing on any step on the list, but you’ll optimize your gains by thoroughly examining your data and business practices to find your weakest points. Targeting the lowest hanging fruit first is the best way to make quick gains with your B2B buyer experience.
Consider setting up a focus group within your organization to go over the information and formulate a plan together. Some actionable items will be implemented very easily, while others will require some coordination across departments. Representatives from all groups who will be asked to make changes should be present when the decisions are handed down.
2. Create a Digital-First Buying Experience
On the B2C front, everyone accepts that the flexibility, convenience, and repeatability of online buying are what makes it so important for customers. B2B customers are no different, and your B2B buying experience should be digital-first.
Consider that 62% of B2B customers prefer to reorder digitally. Since we’re on the topic of a great buying experience, consider that reorders will only happen if your online presence is capable of facilitating them quickly and easily. Without the value added from a great digital buying experience, your effort to impress buyers with customer service won’t matter.
3. Use B2C Buying Techniques
Your B2C customer service techniques will often apply very well to your B2B buyer experience.
As mentioned in the previous section, buyers today expect a smooth, integrated online buying experience that ends with quick delivery and easy follow-up from the company. Issues that arise after delivery should be resolvable through a similarly easy process of feedback with the company.
In other words, curating your systems, policies, and marketing to center the buyer is the most important step you can take, whether they are a consumer or a business.
4. Create High-Quality Content
Content marketing is relatable, easy to access, and captures and holds attention better than other forms of marketing. It’s also a simple way to leverage your digital assets to maximize ROI.
Blogs, social media content, and guides posted on your website are fantastic ways to increase search volume traffic and brand awareness via shares and other forms of customer engagement, like UGC.
Video content in particular has seen a dramatic increase in usage across all forms of marketing. A high-quality video will keep your customer engaged, explain the value behind your product, and accomplish all this in a very relatable and human way which drives trust and increases conversions.
5. Provide Online Learning
Users can’t maximize your system if they don’t understand it. Simple guides, tutorials, and content, which are both entertaining and educational, are an important aspect of a great B2B buyer experience.
When questions arise – and they will – you want customers to come to you to resolve them. If you don’t have the answer they’re looking for, they’ll start branching out, and that’s when you lose control.
Think of it this way: If your customer has a problem, do you want them to get the solution from you? Or from a random internet user who suffers from the same problem and also couldn’t find an answer from you?
6. Create B2B Buyer Personas Specific to an Industry
A buyer persona is a fictional buyer who represents your ideal customer in a given industry. They should represent an individual who makes purchasing decisions, and ideally, be based on a real person with whom your company has a great customer relationship. Your best customers are the ones that spend the most money and have been around the longest.
A persona based on this can provide insight into the kinds of needs your customers will have, where you’re most likely to find them, and how to appeal to them once you’re in contact.
A buyer persona is a training tool that will help build confidence in your sales team. The more they learn to recognize this idealized buyer and how to interact with them, the easier job they’ll have when real-life customers bring up their concerns.
Understanding B2B Buyers Can Be Difficult – Hushly Can Help
B2C buyers are more likely to form emotional connections with a brand, influencing the kinds of purchases they’ll make and when. This kind of impulsivity is generally replaced with a more tepid rationality in B2B customers.
While B2B buyers are human, they are making decisions on behalf of a company and so will have very predictable and practical concerns like ROI, productivity, and the potential pains of implementing your product into their existing infrastructure.
From content marketing to demand capture to sales engagement, Hushly is crafting personalized and optimized solutions for a wide range of companies and industries to solve this dilemma.
An end-to-end buyer experience and conversion platform like Hushly can take the stress of managing your B2B customer service off your hands. We’ll focus on creating an adaptable, scalable, and engaging experience for your buyers so you can focus on delivering value with great products and innovations.
Hushly can help you with every step of the B2B buyer experience. Request a personalized demo and see how the Hushly platform can benefit your business.