During a time when we may be secluded from everyday interaction, we’re presented with an opportunity to establish technology as a way to enhance the customer experience. While there are a vast amount of new technologies, tools, and tactics, here are a few that we feel you can focus on for enhancing your own 2020 customer experience.
Today, first-class customer experiences are the new norm. From same-day delivery to unlimited access to movies and TV shows from the comfort of our living rooms—we have everything we need at our fingertips. According to research by Merit, up to 73% of B2B buyers are millennials. This demographic grew up using the internet and smart phones, and they demand this same personalized experience when buying for business. How can your company meet the needs of this demographic and serve them best? According to a study by PwC, buyers demand these top four traits: Speed, Convenience, Knowledgeable Help, and Friendliness when making a business purchase.
There has been a huge shift over the past few years of what expectations buyers apply to their B2B experiences. Alicia Tillman, Chief Marketing Officer at SAP writes, “Consumers no longer apply different sets of expectations to purchasing something for their home or something for their business, erasing the line between traditional B2B and B2C marketing entirely.” This shift gives B2B companies the green light to inherit B2C customer experience best practices of providing on-demand, high-quality information and content to help convert sales. The key? Clear messaging on your homepage that defines:
- Your company’s mission and services
- Your brand and product offerings
- What makes your company stand out from the competition
Plus, the average time consumers will wait for a web page to load before dropping off is around three seconds. After that, you jeopardize your opportunity for conversion as they move on to the next site.
Know what your customer needs, and supply that content in an organized, convenient way. Today’s consumers require an average of almost six touchpoints, with nearly 50% regularly needing more than four when buying an item. To scatter your primary information among your channels in a non-strategic way is not going to cut it. Omni-channel experiences are now the norm for B2B. These channels include email, web, mobile applications, and social media. If you aren’t already utilizing these channels, it’s time to catch up. “The easier we can make it for our customers to do business with us, the better we protect our market share,” says Alice Sadeghian, Senior Director of Digital Marketing and E-Commerce at American Hotel Register Co.
It’s becoming more popular to integrate systems that provide customers with an instant response. As speed becomes a high priority for establishing world-class customer experience, it’s just as important to have the right information at your fingertips. When customers have a problem, it is important that they have the right tools to help find their own solution. Implementing user-friendly resources, such as chatbots or live chat, can help meet customer demands and enhance overall customer experience.
Friendliness and Emotional Connection
There’s nothing more user-unfriendly than an outdated website. To differentiate yourself from competitors, invest in a one-of-a-kind, personalized, and branded customer experience. First impressions mean more than ever in B2B markets. More than 70% of buyers start their buying process with a generic search, meaning your online presence is vital to establish customer relationships and credibility within your sector. Information such as client lists, testimonials, and reviews build trust between you and your potential buyers. By the time your buyers initiate a conversation, chances are they have already done research on your company across multiple touchpoints. Investing time and resources into these areas of your customer experience have proven to pay off. A.T. Kearney data confirms that by competing on experience, businesses aren’t forced to compete on price.
While the sheer number of new technologies, tools, and tactics continues to grow, these few should help you focus on enhancing your brand’s 2020 customer experience.