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If you’ve been around the B2B (business-to-business) industry for many years of your professional career, you know that in general it’s slower to adopt new technology than its B2C counterpart. While stacks and stacks of customer files may seem outdated – and they certainly are – some industries such as healthcare may still rely on paper documents to keep track of all their customer relationships.

However, most B2B companies have upgraded to some digital form of recording customer information. This can range from an Excel document to specific software (like Microsoft Access) that’s built as a more traditional customer database. But what’s the next step in storing customer information? It revolves around keeping your customer details directly within the hands of your agents via your customer support software solution. This is referred to as B2B customer management, a term that continues to evolve as software becomes more and more sophisticated.

Here’s why B2B support software is actually a super-charged customer support database and how businesses can make the most of support software so it replaces their database entirely.

It houses all customer contact information – Like any good customer service database, B2B support software stores the name, phone number, email, company name, and other standard fields about your customers. Additional fields such as products and inventory can not only be added to customer profiles, they can be assigned to tickets as well.

It goes a step further and stores all digital conversations – Keeping contact information is one thing, but what if you could know what a customer needed a month ago without having to reach out to them? From tickets to chat transcripts to agent notes, all dialogue is saved in the software at both the contact and company levels. This allows agents to refer to past conversations at any time so they can offer improved support to your customers by understanding their needs better than before.

All this information facilitates customer intelligence – With so much information in one place, this is where B2B support software really differentiates itself from a customer support database. You can see important and automated information including how distressed a customer is, exactly how long they have been a customer, the annual customer revenue amount, what products and inventory they have, and much more. With more advanced B2B support software solutions you can even start predicting customer distress and being more proactive with your customer support.

It’s secure and the latest version is accessible anywhere – As part of the Software-as-a-service (SaaS) revolution, B2B support software is available from anywhere and allows your team to pull customer information on the go. It’s also secure in a world where faulty database security is leading to major fines and IT concerns are more prevalent. In addition, with a SaaS deployment, automatic updates happen frequently and there’s no longer a need for the time consuming on-site patching that plagued customer support databases for years. Another difference between installed software and SaaS is the price, with the latter being much less expensive to utilize.

The reach of B2B support software can be extended to other systems – Another major plus of a SaaS solution is its ability to quickly transfer information to and from other systems. Through native software integrations or API calls, information can be shared with an array of systems ranging from security software to issue tracking solutions. This enables not only your support team but also other areas of the business to work smarter and more efficiently.

To summarize, B2B support software is actually a super-charged customer support database because it builds upon the foundation of a database (storing customer contact information) while incorporating an array of modern features. Keeping a log of all digital conversations and using information to improve agent intelligence only makes your business better at meeting the needs of your customers. Using software accessible from anywhere that communicates with other systems is what really elevates B2B support software above a standard customer support database solution.