Generating leads and attracting more customers has always been (and always will be) a top goal for businesses. However, some customers are more valuable than others, especially for B2B companies. For example, a client that has lots of notoriety in their industry will give your brand more credibility, and therefore, attract more customers. Similarly, working with one large client may be easier than managing several smaller accounts that spend the same amount.
But these high-value B2B customers may not come to your brand so easily. After all, they know their value, and so do your competitors. They are likely inundated with sales representatives reaching out and trying to grab onto their business. So how can you make sure that your brand sticks out to these valuable customers?
1. Create Versatile User Experiences
The B2B market used to be all about sales meetings, cold calling, and fostering relationships with client outings. However, today, 93% of B2B customers would prefer to buy online than through a traditional sales representative. Even more, the B2B ecommerce industry is expected to be twice as large as B2C by the year 2020.
Therefore, you must make sure that your brand website user experience (UX) is truly exceptional and different than the competition. Offering a versatile and vibrant UX is the best way to create a clear competitive advantage. Be sure that you use a comprehensive B2B ecommerce platform that supports the features necessary to sustain this.
For example, personalization is an important trend in the B2B market. 93% of marketing teams who utilize personalization into their websites reported a significant increase in conversions. By using an ecommerce platform that creates customer accounts to organize data, you can offer truly customized experiences for each client. Sending out personalized offers or relevant content that addresses their needs can be extremely beneficial in both the long and short term.
2. Offer Self-Sufficient Shopping Options
As B2B customers become more active with online purchases, they are becoming less dependent on sales and customer service representatives to help them along. As your clients prefer to “do-it-themselves” in the research and purchasing process, it is important that your company offers the options to let them have this exact experience.
Most of us greatly dislike calling customer service, especially when we know that we will be put on hold for an unforeseeable amount of time. Therefore, if an issue does arise, it is best that your website offers several options to hopefully solve the issue before they have to call in assistance. Including an exhaustive FAQ page that addresses all sorts of common questions and concerns is certainly a good start. Taking things a step further by creating content pieces around customer pain points is even better, like the B2B customer review service Trustpilot does on their blog.
Another fantastic way to support a more self-sufficient UX, while still offering your B2B clients with the help they need, is using intuitive live chat and chatbots. Over half of online customers agree that live chat assistance is quicker for issue resolution than traditional customer service, and 45% state that it is more convenient for them. 34% of ecommerce customers also stated that they would be perfectly comfortable using an AI chatbot for assistance as well.
3. Don’t Write Off Social Media Engagement
Many marketers mistakenly believe that while a social media presence is certainly necessary for branding purposes, it is not as influential to a B2B customer as it would be to a B2C. However, according to multiple studies, this is entirely false. The majority of B2B buyers use social media as a top research tool when making a purchasing decision, and 80% of B2B sales leads originally began from a social media search.
While sites like Twitter and Facebook seem like the obvious picks for B2B social engagement, other platforms that were typically reserved for B2C are becoming more popular, too. These days, many brands are engaging with clients through Instagram stories thanks to its highly visual platform.
For example, the B2B marketing analytics tool TrackMaven uses Instagram stories to show their followers exactly how their product works. They also use it as a platform to share marketing news and discuss new and emerging strategies that are relevant to their audience base.
Don’t fall into the trap of using social media simply to build brand recognition (though that is certainly important). Instead, focus heavily on building engagement to attract valuable customers through unique, actionable content, such as “how to” videos or interactive posts like livestreams to discuss questions or share exciting news with your audience.
According to Temkin Group’s research, the CX is one of the most influential factors in the buyer’s decision in B2B, and it can impact long-term loyalty as well. A B2B business that offers a positive UX is 3.5 times more likely to have repeat customers and 73% report higher revenue than their competitors. Therefore, in order to attract the high value customers that your brand desires, you will need to offer a truly extraordinary experience that meets all of their needs.
Start off with a website that is able to offer the types of features that your valuable customers crave. From there, allow them to take care of their needs as independently as possible with helpful tools, such as chatbots, for a self-sufficient shopping experience. And finally, find them where they are engaging on social media.
In the modern B2B market, a better experience will eventually win out over price. Be sure that your business’s CX stands out and provides your high-value clients with a high-value experience.