We all know several of the standard ways to improve customer service apply mainly to B2C (business-to-consumer) companies, which sell a product or service directly to the consumer. But why is it so important in 2018 to recognise the importance of B2B (business-to-business)?

In today’s competitive market, you cannot afford to fail at providing a positive customer experience since unhappy customers will quickly go to one of your competitors and buy from them. Even if you run a B2B company, good customer service can improve your business and really help you stand out from the crowd. An important thing to remember is that even if you have a B2B company, there’s a customer behind every transaction. Someone – an executive, perhaps, or a purchasing agent – is buying something, or you wouldn’t have a business. And since these people are your customers, you should start treating them that way.

Here are 5 ways to you can improve customer service in your B2B business.

1. FEELING VALUED

The first step in excellent customer experience is to be committed to satisfying your customers. If you are a B2B company, it can be easy to overlook this step. No two customers are the same so by customising your client’s experience it personalises the sales process to empower customers.

An employee interacting with a small business will have a different approach than someone working with a large company because the customers have different needs and things they are looking for in the buying journey. Usually B2B customers have a lot on their plates, so they want simplicity while smaller companies appreciate the extra details and attention they receive. Acknowledging and acting on these differences will keep you above the competition in making your clients feel valued for their business.

2. FULFILLING CUSTOMER NEEDS

Understanding and delivering on customer needs is vital to customer satisfaction. B2B audiences increasingly value suppliers that help them differentiate and better serve their customers. Innovation and partnership are key to delivering exceptional customer service, yet these requirements are often insufficiently met. The best-in-class B2B companies are those who understand the full value chain and positively impact their customers’ customers. By taking initiative in ways to assist your customers on a deeper level, trying thinking about what keeps them up at night and how you can relieve some of that worry.

For example, the average B2B sales cycle is about 10 months, but customers would prefer if it were around 6 months. By introducing this targeted 6 month option you’re one step ahead in creating a happier customer.

3. BRING ON THE DATA

In a Customer Think survey, 83% of B2B leaders indicated that they want more information and data that describes customer intentions and helps to create a holistic view of the customers. This is where data really comes into play. Use predictive analytics to anticipate, understand, and influence the future directions of customer needs and behaviors. This enables sales reps to be more proactive and sell smarter.

B2B organisations must have the tooling in place to collect trusted, accurate, and meaningful information. A sales enablement tool can anticipate the outcome of a particular sales situation and proactively recommend content and selling strategies based on real-time data, best practice, and similar sales scenarios.

4. PROVIDING OMNICHANNEL SUPPORT OPTIONS

Giving customers options for how they connect with you is prevalent in the B2C world, but not as much in B2B. Still, customers from any type of business want to be able to connect with you in the way that’s most convenient for them.

By catering to those preferences (some may want to use the phone, engage in chat, a ticket system, or even a self-service option) you’ll help them create a seamless and personalised resolution, helping build trust and confidence in solidifying the relationships you have with your customers.

5. ASK, LISTEN AND DELIVER

A truly customer-centric approach to service is one where you can demonstrate that you’ve listened and acted or plan to act on the issues customers have brought to you. This is especially important in B2B, where you need to keep multiple point-people happy for each individual account. Once you’ve figured out what to do with your customers’ feedback, continue that feedback loop by informing customers of what you did or will do about it.

If you have a B2B company, remember that there is a customer behind every transaction, and act appropriately with remarkable customer service that helps you stand out from the crowd.

Your B2B challenges are unique, so BARE International India’s services can be customised to create just the right research program to address your needs. Explore BARE International’s service offerings here to reveal the true nature of your business .

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