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Why B2B customer experience is just as vital for growth as B2C

Business clients now expect the same efficient, friction-free digital CX as your consumer base demands, says this tech CEO.

Why B2B customer experience is just as vital for growth as B2C
[Photo: Lara Far/Unsplash]
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Think about the last time you opened Netflix on your tablet or smart TV.

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Perhaps you began browsing without knowing at first which series you wanted to binge. You may not have even been sure whether you genuinely wanted to watch anything at all. But thanks to the streaming giant’s whip-smart algorithms, chances are that you soon found just the right title to entertain, inform, engage, or terrify yourself.

Fast. Personalized. Effortless. It’s little wonder that to many marketers, Netflix epitomizes the optimal customer experience.

If you’re running a B2B company, you should take note: delivering on similarly high standards of customer experience can reduce customer churn by up to 15%, according to research by McKinsey & Company.

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Accordingly, B2B companies should take CX just as seriously as their B2C counterparts–and if they do, they can reap big rewards.

How CX drives B2B KPIs

If pioneering a first-class CX plays a critical role in retaining and attracting customers, it follows that it’s also a boon to revenue. Take Amazon Web Services (AWS), which accounts for nearly a third of the global cloud market and has become the single largest cloud services provider – in part thanks to its successful effort to mirror Amazon.com’s renowned CX. With 32% revenue growth in Q1 2021 and 37% growth in Q2, AWS is riding the wave of a business model that prioritizes best-in-class CX at every stage of the customer journey.

Moreover, B2B and B2C companies that implement innovative CX strategies are three times more likely to substantially outperform their business goals, according to research featured in Adobe’s 2020 Digital Trends report.

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Essential as a superb CX has always been, its importance has only been magnified by the pandemic. With more people confined to their homes and more reliant than ever on digital tools to work, shop, learn, and entertain themselves and their families, customers’ expectations for efficient, friction-free digital experiences have mounted–and it’s not as if those same customers leave their expectations for digital savvy at the door when they put on their work hats and seek out B2B partners. They crave easy, personalized, Netflix-quality customer experiences–so how can businesses satisfy those demands?

A CX Plan of Action

To bring their CX up to par with some of the world’s leading B2C companies, B2B businesses should pursue a three-pronged strategy.

First, it’s crucial that they provide their customers the ability to easily self-serve. When a customer logs onto Amazon, she expects to be able to place an order with minimal effort and without the need to call Amazon’s customer service department. B2B customers expect nothing less.

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That’s where product content–the second prong–comes in. Technical documentation, product manuals, and the like, if well-crafted, can empower customers to self-serve. Meanwhile, businesses can glean valuable insights from how customers interact with their product content. If customers are consistently reaching out to customer support for a particular problem or yielding irrelevant results from a search query, that’s a sign that perhaps the relevant product content should be fine-tuned. Analyzing which content customers interact with the most can also help businesses better understand what problems customers may be encountering along their journeys, and companies can then optimize their CX accordingly.

The third prong of a successful CX strategy is personalization. For all the differences between B2B and B2C, there’s plenty of overlap–including the fact that customers don’t want to be treated as numbers on a screen, but as individuals. Performing analytics on customers’ product content interactions can help businesses better understand what each customer needs and tailor their experiences–from the content they’re served to the offers and promotions they receive–in a way that feels just as customized and relevant as their video streaming feeds.

In the age of digitized everything and customer self-service, companies like Netflix are bound to perform well. And while your B2B business doesn’t need to be the next streaming behemoth, it can reap significant benefits from harnessing the principles that have made some of today’s most popular consumer brands so successful.

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Gal Oron is the CEO and cofounder of product content platform Zoomin.