The business-to-business (B2B) industry has recently undergone a massive evolution.
In the past, a small number of behemoths dominated the market, but today, innovative brands of all sizes are competing in this large and dynamic marketplace. In order to stand out from the rest, B2B companies have to earn customer loyalty and constantly improve their business solutions to beat out the competition.
With more options than ever before, B2B buyers have high expectations when it comes to customer experience (CX). Decision-makers are seeking out the same ease of use, beautiful design, and overall great experience in B2B solutions that they’ve come to expect in business-to-consumer (B2C) products and solutions.
And yet, many B2B brands struggle to provide the frictionless experience consumers have come to expect from B2C brands. In the end, B2B customers are still consumers and it’s your job to provide an experience worthy of their investment.
Differentiate your business with CX
While there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to building a successful customer experience for your business, here are three tips to get you started:
1. Fast feedback eliminates guesswork
The best way to uncover your customers’ priorities is by—you guessed it—asking them. By getting the feedback from your audiences that matter most to your business, you’ll be able to tailor your products and solutions in ways that fulfill their needs.
When gathering customer feedback, test at every stage of your product development life cycle:
- Discovery: conduct self-guided tests to get to know your target personas and understand their high-level pain points
- Prototyping: perform user tests on your early sketches or designs to validate usefulness and usability before investing resources to build it
- Development: get feedback as you reach every milestone in your development so you can rapidly iterate if feedback indicates there’s a problem in your design
- Post-launch: continue to monitor your product or solution—post-launch—to continuously evolve the experience to drive greater adoption
Gaining a full understanding of your customers, their problems, and how you’ll solve for them requires an investment in time and resources, but you’ll see that it pays off when you build something your customers want or need. And this doesn’t have to be a drawn out process, human insight software, like UserTesting, allows you to easily scale customer research and rapidly execute customer interviews in as little as a day or two.
2. Website optimization
Between 25%-55% of buyers exit B2B websites without ever going beyond the home page and the average amount of time users spend on a site is eight seconds or less. That’s not a lot of time for a business to make a first impression!
It’s important that the web experience—both on mobile and desktop—is designed to give buyers an opportunity to self-identify as quickly as possible. You need to get your users to have an emotional connection with your site that draws them in almost immediately. Thinking about copy and imagery in such a way that is clear and focused will greatly enhance the impact of your site.
Within five seconds or less, your users should be able to easily answer these questions:
- Who is this company?
- What is this company selling?
- Why is this company relevant to me?
3. Show, don’t tell
For many B2B companies, a “try before you buy” experience is expected, given the financial, time, and resource commitments required for purchase. Organizations want to know exactly how a solution will help solve their problems and integrate into their existing tech stack.
Depending on the product or solution, this can take the form of a staged online demo, sandbox environment, or live trial. These experiences help set the stage for the overall customer experience. Often these demos may be the first opportunity a brand gets to have a conversation with a prospective customer.
Superior CX drives business results
With competition intensifying and high-value contracts at stake, B2B brands must create effective and intuitive end-to-end customer-centric solutions to stand out in a crowded marketplace.