For some time now, B2C brands have been leading the way in customer experience. It’s about time that B2B brands bridged the gap by focusing on the longevity of their customer relationships.
Consumer-facing brands are constantly taking note of what their audiences want and reacting accordingly – so why are B2B businesses still missing out on providing unforgettable customer experiences? When we have the opportunity to create a lasting impression on a customer, which will in turn benefit the growth of the business, the argument for investing in customer experience is clear.
“Experience (noun): an event or occurrence that leaves an impression on someone.”
So what, as a B2B business, can you do? Our list of suggestions below is by no means exhaustive – but it should provide a starting point.
1. Tell us what you want (what you really, really want)
To give your customers the right ‘answer’ – in customer service terms – you’ve got to understand the question that’s being asked. Take some time to get to know what your customers need, by speaking with employees who are regularly interacting with customers, and through asking customers directly.
From experience, we know that many customers love giving businesses feedback as to how they think they should operate. And no, they might not say exactly what you want to hear, but by uncovering key recurring themes you can start to see what aspects of customer interactions you should be focusing on.
2. “Does my brand look right in this?”
Once you’ve got all your customer-feedback comments, it’s time to sort through them all. Think of them as pieces of a jigsaw. You’re looking to uncover the things that keep being mentioned, again and again. They may not be obvious at first, but persevere – there will be overlaps, and these will begin to shape your key themes.
From there, see where you’re currently at and what your business goals are. Understand that your customers and your employees will be the main facilitators in helping you achieve those goals.
3. Share the wealth
Sometimes this process goes more smoothly than you could ever imagine, and sometimes it doesn’t (but isn’t that just life?). Once you’ve reached the point of being able to share what you’ve found, bring together a mix of employees to get their responses to your findings.
It’s important that whatever is shared has a purpose, to allow your employees to truly buy into the promise that they’ll be making to customers. It’s worth presenting what the absolute key focus is, and what the supporting actions are to achieve it. Make your presentation SMART and engaging so that it feels like a genuine team effort.
We’ve worked with businesses who have entered this process without any expectation of its outcomes, and have then been completely blindsided by the true feelings of their customers and the customer-facing employees. It may not feel like the ‘right’ time to ask these big questions – but there will never be a ‘right’ time, and it will always be for the good of the business.
4. Keep up with the times
Take today’s optimum customer experience. Now, transplant that experience ten years into the future. Will it still be keeping customers super-happy? Probably not.
Machine intelligence is advancing, and we’re constantly learning more about customer journeys and the real-time recommendations that these journeys can generate. In the coming years, businesses will be reacting to their customers’ wants and needs in evermore more agile ways. Getting ahead of businesses that still give their customers lacklustre experiences will pay huge dividends.
It’s time for you to create a customer experience that your whole team can be proud of. Make it an experience that your competitors don’t even come close to matching, and and experience that will engender your customers’ long-term loyalty. Want to learn how Upp can support you through this process? You can get in touch with us here.