These days, 80% of B2B buyers expect the same buying experience as that offered in the business to consumer (B2C) space. While businesses continue to invest heavily in the B2C customer experience (CX), with 83% of companies planning to invest in technology to improve CX in the coming years, the same cannot be said for B2B markets.
So, how can your B2B organisation stay competitive in the ‘online digital retail playground’? What are the processes and technology required to deliver a more personalised customer experience? And how can you successfully strengthen your B2B digital customer footprint through an omnichannel strategy?
In this blog we explore how creating a seamless omnichannel customer experience is becoming increasingly essential for B2B organisations to survive and thrive.
Why is B2B customer experience important?
The Tempkin Group found that 86% of B2C and B2B consumers who received what they considered to be a great customer experience were likely to return for another purchase. They also found that a ‘sub-par’ customer experience resulted in a drastically low 13% chance for a return.
A good customer experience is about staying competitive in today’s digital playground and being the ‘vendor of choice’. B2B businesses that invested in their customer experience experienced similar benefits to their B2C counterparts, including:
- 10% - 15% increase in revenue
- Higher customer satisfaction scores
- Improved employee satisfaction
- 10% - 20% reduction in operational costs.
The combination of which, equals a higher return on investment for B2B operations, which can help deliver on long term business benefits.
At the end of the day, B2B buyers are still everyday consumers. Whether they are at work or at home, they still look for and enjoy a seamless shopping experience. B2C customer experience ratings rank higher than those of B2B; 65% - 80% in comparison to 50%. Put simply, B2B buyers are more likely to be dissatisfied with the interactions they are having with companies when compared directly to B2C experiences.
B2C businesses are constantly investing in the latest digital customer experience trends and technology to sustain a competitive advantage at a rate that far surpasses the B2B world. The constant re-development of CX models in the B2C world are now increasing B2B customer experience expectations as well.
This migration of CX expectations has B2B buyers feeling frustrated as making a purchase is often far more time-consuming and complicated than it is in the B2C space. Now is the time for B2B organisations to invest in providing their clients with a vastly improved customer experience or suffer the consequences.
For example, for retail giants such as Amazon or eBay, it’s as simple as opening a tab and scrolling to find the desired product. These types of user interface designs packed with more personalised features are what keeps these businesses at the top of their game. Consumers want these features and are willing to find companies that provide these experiences over those that do not.
Technology used to optimise B2C interactions is far more advanced of their B2B counterparts. B2B businesses need to consider customer experience-focused investments to match consumer expectations that are coming in from the B2C world. For example, in the B2C fintech industry major banks offer consumers products and services such as online payments, personal financial management and retirement or investment opportunities - all available on mobile banking applications. B2B fintech is helping power banks and financial institutions by supporting these B2C tech offerings through Software as a Service (SaaS) solutions. PayPal is an excellent example of this.
So, we understand why B2B CX is important for companies. So what are B2C companies doing that B2B organisations could leverage to meet these consumer expectations? The answer lies in an omnichannel strategy.
Why is omnichannel the future of B2B?
B2B businesses that implement a seamless omnichannel strategy can increase revenue and customer retention rankings by 89%. An omnichannel strategy focuses on providing multiple customer touchpoints that are integrated and unified, providing an all-around seamless customer experience that allows buyers to connect with companies in ways that suit them, rather than what suits businesses. It gives B2B buyers the freedom to interact with businesses using a holistic approach that doesn’t limit interaction opportunities and allows consumers to have the same kind of experience across all business touchpoints.
Omnichannel isn’t just focused on the customer service side of the business. It’s impacting the sales functions too. The facts speak for themselves. According to research by McKinsey 83% of business leaders believe omnichannel selling to be the more successful way of securing new business than traditional, “face-to-face only” sales approaches.
What are the key components of an omnichannel strategy?
As stated above, omnichannel strategies aren’t just reserved for B2C businesses; there are countless benefits available for B2B businesses who implement an omnichannel approach.
Organisations that are driven by quality data are 19 times more likely to be profitable, 23 times more likely to acquire customers and six times as likely to retain customers. Big data analytics means your business will possess better quality information surrounding your customer profiles which will in turn, lead to more effective customer experience strategies.
It’s important that you are collecting, interpreting and analysing big data correctly. Customer relationship management (CRM) software is great at storing and maintaining client data. They retain extremely valuable qualitative and quantitative data. It’s essentially a tool to help shape and tailor their customer experience and can be used to make strategic business decisions.
Automation and big data go hand in hand. We all know that artificial intelligence programs can process information faster than any human brain could. Now imagine an AI chatbot dealing with consumer queries while having the capacity to also run through big data analytics stored on your local CRM software to boost the overall customer experience? Not a bad investment.
Here are some tips and suggestions to help B2B businesses build an omnichannel strategy:
- Understand your consumer’s preferred engagement and communication methods or channels
- Research and use big data analytics to identify ways your business can improve consumer response times
- Invest in systems and tools that harvest target audience data to provide further insight on purchasing habits or website analytics
- Review and monitor your customer service or consumer-facing teams to ensure they are accurately and professionally representing your brand in accordance with your current customer experience strategy
- Consider investments in artificial intelligence or automation software to handle any self-service suited customer options, like chatbots on your website to help with directions to relevant information.
How can an offshore team support omnichannel strategies in B2B businesses?
If you are a B2B company that wants to implement an omnichannel strategy, chances are it’s going to be a time-consuming and resource intensive process. Not having the right support or enough ‘hands on deck’ to foster a seamless migration to an omnichannel approach can have significant impacts on overall efficiencies and can be costly.
Implementing a resourcing model to support your business objectives is a fundamental component to defining a clear focus and achieving optimum ROI. By investing in an offshore team, you can focus on the omnichannel strategies that are going to help your business grow and nurture business relationships while the time-consuming and repetitive tasks are handled by a dedicated and qualified offshore team.
To find out the roles you can outsource to help your organisation deliver a seamless omnichannel experience, download the Top 10 offshore roles you need now to boost your capabilities.