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How important is it to build an excellent B2B Customer Experience?

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Do you remember your first online purchase? Maybe it was a book, a music CD, or even a low-cost flight. The product offering was somewhat limited, the search process rather inflexible, and delivery times an uncertainty. Amazing how this digital experience has evolved!

Nowadays, I am impacted by hyper-personalized ads, product recommendations are right based on Machine Learning algorithms, I can talk with a chatbot to clarify doubts and, even, monitor, in real-time, the progress of my delivery in a map. And just in case I miss something,  it’s just a matter of giving Alexa a shout out.

We are all digital animals and we are more than used to the most modern and personalized customer experiences in our Business to Consumer (B2C) world.

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But, what about the Business to Business environment? The industry is embracing these digital enhancements in terms of user experience, implementing new user interfaces, such as portals that reflect the agility and customization that is common in B2C.

These B2B user experience improvements are gaining prominence in companies, where there is a growing tendency to migrate more and more processes to an online environment. According to Forrester, in 2021, B2B e-commerce will account for 13.1% of all B2B sales in the United States, experiencing a continuous increase from the 11% calculated in 2017. But to be honest, COVID-19 might have just accelerated everything.

Since these B2B digital experiences are going to have the greatest influence on the long-term success of companies, it is important that companies work to optimize and refine their online presence. But what makes a great B2B user experience?

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The influence of B2C on B2B user experiences

According to McKinsey, B2B customer experience ratings are much lower than their counterparts in the B2C industry, averaging 50% for a B2B company, compared to between 65% and 85% for a typical B2C company. These figures show that the majority of B2B audiences are dissatisfied with the digital interactions they have with companies in this sector.

Although there are differences between the audiences and objectives of B2B and B2C companies, the modern customer does not necessarily distinguish between the two. B2B customers are interacting with B2C experiences on a daily basis, for example, making their personal purchases on the Amazon website. The B2C sector is constantly innovating in digital experiences to attract qualified traffic, convert prospects, and retain customers. The result is a constant rise in expectations of B2C digital experiences, which tend to migrate to the B2B environment.

Today’s B2B audience expects a well-designed user interface that remembers their interests, that delivers products and services based on previous predictions and purchases. In addition, they expect high functionalities that offer navigation that is easy and fast.

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What is limiting the user experience of your B2B customers?

According to Customer Think, only 17% of B2B companies have achieved full integration of their customer data within the organization. This implies that in many companies, decision making is made based on incorrect or incomplete data. A company that does not have access to the data and opinions of its customers from all departments, such as Customer Service or Social Networks, can lose very relevant information related to the experience of its users.

Beyond collecting data to improve experiences, companies may not have the necessary capabilities to control and execute their Customer Experience strategy. According to Accenture, only 21% of B2B companies have full control of their partners, who are responsible for providing this customer experience to their audience. If a business is unable to determine how, when, and to whom to target these experiences, even a well-implemented B2B user interface can lead to a poor experience.

A back-end integration that allows greater access to customer data, modern interfaces that provide customization based on needs, and operational systems that manage the delivery of these interfaces can enrich B2B user experiences and thus bridge the gap between two digital worlds.

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How can a great customer experience impact your B2B relationships?

The best customer experience strategies create a frictionless environment and provide users with a flow that meets their needs quickly and easily. While B2B audiences are less likely to abandon the buying process or choose another provider, the positive impact of a good experience is clear.

According to a study of B2C and B2B experiences by The Tempkin Group, 86% of people who have received an excellent customer experience would make another purchase. However, only 13% of people who have received an unsatisfactory experience would return. Additionally, satisfied customers shop 50% more often and spend 200% more each year, according to Rosetta.

The importance of creating excellent B2B experiences is not only reflected in the satisfaction of audiences, but it also has an impact on corporate results. According to McKinsey, B2B companies that have transformed their digital experience processes have seen similar benefits to B2C environments; 10-15% growth in revenue, higher levels of customer and employee satisfaction, and 10-20% reduction in operating costs.

These benefits are impressive enough to justify it as a strategic priority for companies operating in a B2B environment. If you’re thinking about how to build a great B2B Customer Experience, talk to one of our experts! We are always glad to help.

 

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