Customer Care is Key in B2B Services
The internet has completely changed the relationship between customers and businesses. Better customer service starts with better communication and collaboration. In today’s competitive climate, businesses must offer their customers the most effective channels of communication possible. In a world of interactive voice response systems, self-checkout at grocery stores, and online superstores, an increasing number of customers say they prefer self-service over speaking with a representative. Various surveys show that customers preferred web-based self-service over talking on the phone with a company representative. Most customers believe self-service is a more convenient way to address customer service issues.
When reflecting on companies they do business with, more business customers are asking the question: Is this company giving me what I need and making the interaction easy and enjoyable? If a company is making a customer’s life easier, the customer will choose to stay with them rather than defect to a competitor. Pricing on its own is no longer as strong a driver of loyalty in most industries. Rather, it is the overall value equation customers feel they receive. Forrester research recommends that companies should compete for customers based on the experience provided, and not solely on price. The Internet of Things has us witnessing change in everything we know.
As business-to-business customers migrate online, companies must rethink their strategies to differentiate their offerings. What area is ripe for improvement? They need to look at the online experience they provide to potential and current customers, and not just during the sales process. To really differentiate themselves, businesses should focus on their order-to-cash process including invoicing, accounts receivable processes and ultimately getting paid. Self-service web-based invoicing and payment platforms are becoming increasingly important in delivering exceptional customer service. Some businesses may be hesitant to introduce this service to their customers. They worry it will hurt their relationship with customers by taking away a personal touch.
Customers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience. More than price or product quality, experience will soon be the biggest differentiator for getting customers, even in the B2B space.
A shifting landscape means B2B buyers now have the power. The space is getting more competitive, so if a customer isn’t happy with the service they are receiving, they can take their business elsewhere. That means B2B companies need to focus on creating a great experience where customers choose to do business with them.
Customer experience is crucial in the B2B space, and clearly, there are many facets involved. Staying on top of customer needs can help companies continue to refine the customer experience to stand out from the competition and create loyal, satisfied customers.