The Article in 60 Seconds
Customer experience, or CX, is already top priority in the B2C space, but B2B companies are catching on to the powerful effect that it can have for building trust.
CX leverages technology, people, and workflows to deliver personalized experiences to individuals who interact with your brand so that, no matter the platform or touchpoint, customers receive exceptional service.
By 2020, the Customer Experience will overtake price point and product quality as the deciding factor in a purchase.
Think About This
86% of buyers are willing to pay more for a great customer experience
73% of buyers point to customer experience as an important factor in purchasing decisions
65% of buyers find a positive experience with a brand to be more influential than great advertising
QualtricsXM found that some companies who focus on CX can expect to earn 20% more per year in the first three years. SaaS companies can earn an additional 30% per year in the first three years.
Is Delight a Part of Your Marketing Strategy?
According to research from Forrester, the ability to understand and anticipate individual needs and cater experiences to individual customers will effectively increase a company’s lead in the market. Research also shows that CX tightly correlates with revenue performance. Small, tactical CX efforts will directly impact growth.
A cross-platform emphasis on developing standardized processes for engaging with customers not only ensures that their experience reflects your brand values and voice — it will also set you apart from the competition. Actually creating an exceptional customer experience, however, is not so simple.
So how can you create a delightful and educational customer experience for your B2B brand?
Three Customer Experience Tests to Pass
1. First Impression Test
Business researchers are learning to expect the same convenience and customer experience when they are buying for an organization that they get when they are buying for themselves. This means that B2B businesses must establish credibility and trust through the experience that they create for the buyer as they move through the sales funnel, from identification and research to assessment and sale.
B2B businesses must establish credibility and trust through the experience that they create for the buyer as they move through the sales funnel, from identification and research to assessment and sale.
It is widely known that buyers form their initial brand impression on a website in between 6 to 10 seconds. This is a critical time period to build initial trust. B2B researchers are trying to solve a problem.
- Are you aware of their problem?
- Are you current and relevant?
- How do you “look?”
- Do you speak their language/know their world?
- Do you “get” them?
Just as we gather these impressions from initial person-to-person interactions, this digital impression is much the same. Knowing your buyer and their pain points is the key to winning initial trust.
2. Discovering Your Content
If you pass the first test, the buyer will feel confident in moving deeper into your content toward what we term qualified trust. Do you really have what they need? Is the path to entry evident and easy? Are you answering their questions before they think to ask them? If so, they will continue down the path you lay before them. Be ready to engage them with blog content and articles. Give them an opportunity to further a dialogue via an email newsletter or gated case study or white paper. At this point, your prospect is not ready for deeper involvement with you or direct communication with you. Continue to nurture them into deeper levels of engagement slowly and surely.
Are you answering their questions before they think to ask them?
3. Reaching Out for Help
There will come a time when your prospects “need” a webinar, a demo, or to quickly find a “contact us” form. They will have reached a critical point in their product discovery journey. They can sense the end in sight and their hope for — and urgency to embrace — a real B2B solution becomes palpable.
Ensure that your content team is regularly developing content for activity late in the process. This content should offer many touch points and calls to action for direct access to someone who can, with empathy, answer their questions. You’ve gained digital trust by this point; it’s up to your entire team to not lose it moving a prospect too fast towards close.
The First Thing to Do After Reading This Article
Give your website and customer service processes the three CX tests. Do you pass? Where are you less than excellent? Build an action plan to shore up the gaps.