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Business

Why Good Customer Service Needs to Be a B2B Priority Now and Always

Untitled design 19 - Global Banking | Finance

By Stefano Maifreni, founder of Eggcelerate

Creating a good customer service (CX) in the B2B space has never been more important than it is today. But at the same time it has never been more challenging. How can your company create an exceptional customer experience for your business customers when there are an increasing number of competitors offering similar products or services? How can you stand out in the age of Anything as a Service (XaaS) that is slowly, but surely, turning many business products and services into commodities?

For all the time, money and other resources you’ve invested into things like marketing and product or service improvements, your business is still dealing with stubbornly high customer attrition rates.

What are you missing?

The Customer Service Factor

There is a growing body of evidence that B2B customers consider a good CX to be an important factor when choosing which vendors to work with. In fact, according a recent Forrester study, businesses that excel in CX outperformed other companies by almost 80 percent. Plus, their customers are seven times more likely to return to the company, eight times more likely to try out other products or services and 15 times more likely to recommend the product or service to others.

But getting the right formula is challenging. According to a survey conducted by McKinsey, “B2B customer-experience index ratings significantly lag behind those of retail customers. B2C companies typically score in the 65 to 85 percent range, while B2B companies average less than 50 percent.”

If providing a good CX is a top priority and key market differentiator, we thus need to understand what a good customer experience even means to a business client outside of the solution itself.

Of course, the answer includes several expected factors, such as the quality and features of the product or service as well as the business’ reputation. But, one of the biggest factors of CX that is the most often overlooked is the level and quality of its customer service. Investing in customer service improvements is where successful CX leaders appear to be getting a leg up on the competition.

By accelerating and simplifying customer service interactions, companies can improve their conversion rate and increase customer loyalty. Their customers also become brand evangelists making testimonials and providing reviews that encourage other potential clients to choose these vendors, too.

Four Pillars of Great B2B Customer Service

Having said all of the above, we now need to define what good customer service means for a business customer. There are basically four main qualities:

  1. Ease: The majority of business clients want solutions that provide the least amount of friction and resources to
    Stefano Maifreni

    Stefano Maifreni

    setup, use and make future adjustments or customization. It also means making it easy for users to get a hold of customer support or access the information they need on their own to make informed business decisions.

This brings us to the next factor…

  1. Efficiency: Unlike consumers, B2B clients will tend to have more complex needs, and vendors need to provide solutions that adequately and efficiently address those needs. In fact, in the McKinsey survey mentioned above, lack of speed was identified as the number one frustration businesses had with their vendors. B2B companies thus need to focus on:
  • The speed at which information can be located and resolutions to problems reached
  • The number of channels, such as email, social media, apps, and phone calls that are available to clients for customer support
  1. Personalization: Your business clients are expecting a more hands-on approach when it comes to customer service. In fact, it is very common in the B2B space to offer dedicated customer “Success Managers” to big ticket clients.

B2B companies also need to tailor their customer support to the workflow and other operational needs of clients. In practice this may mean offering personalized pricing agreements, product or service features and the ability to re-order based on purchase history.

  1. A Dynamic partnership: In general, B2B business clients want to be partners working in collaboration with their vendors and service providers to achieve their performance goals. This means they are often in search of long-term symbiotic relationships with companies that not only understand their needs, but consistently perform at the level they’ve committed to providing.

In short, making it a priority to offer quality, dependable customer service will help to ensure that your business clients stick around for the long-haul and be happy that they did.

Global Banking & Finance Review

 

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