Effective B2B Customer Experience
Manufacturers and distributors everywhere are in various stages of digital transformation as they shift more business online through digital channels. While the traditional business thinking of "we've always done business with a handshake" may still ring true in your industry, your changing B2B customers want more. It’s not just a younger generation of buyers wanting different ways of interacting in business — the world of B2B commerce is changing, disruptive technologies are changing markets and buyer behaviors are changing. It's important that you change, too.
Most B2B marketers believe their organizations need to deliver a better overall online experience to meet customer expectations, remain competitive and transform to the new age of business and commerce. And any business professional would agree that the primary reason buyers choose to purchase from specific vendors, whether buying for personal or business reasons, is due in large part to the overall experience. Creating exceptional online customer experiences has never been more important in B2B markets.
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B2B Customer Experience Is Complex
The B2B environment is impacted by digital transformation in ways not seen in retail and other B2C transformations before it. Numerous factors drive the B2B experience that are often more challenging than in B2C commerce. An online B2B customer experience requires many different complex business elements working together, such as billing variations, procurement rules, vast inventories and dealer distribution networks, most of which don't exist in B2C.
B2B customer experience is more than just a way of ordering online. It's made up of many different elements working together to bring customers new and better ways of doing business. And as seen in the B2C markets with ground-breaking offerings from the likes of Apple, Uber and Amazon, the customer doesn't always know a great experience until they have one. Simply providing your customers with a fresh user-friendly website alone isn’t going to accelerate your business. A point of diminishing returns ensues if you can't fulfill, report, respond and deliver what your customers really need.
Be Easy to do Business With
Your customers shouldn’t feel they need training on how to use your website. The key is to be easy to do business with. If a website is well designed and offers a great user experience, customers are more likely to continue using it. In B2B, that means personalizing information for your customers with an easy-to-use website that can be accessed, searched and navigated equally well from mobile devices and computers alike, and behind-the-scenes processes that flow smoothly to ensure follow through and fulfill orders the way your customers desire and the way your own business processes require.
Customer Satisfaction Still the Center of Your Universe
As you journey forward in the age of digital commerce, it can be comforting to know that you’re bringing the age-old business ideal of customer satisfaction with you. Perhaps you’ve built your business around that guiding principle, and in a B2B eCommerce setting that philosophy remains intact, even if it does present itself differently within the new B2B customer experience.