12 B2B customer service best practices
Following best practices in B2B customer service helps make your offer visibly better than your competitors, so customers old and new sit up and take notice.
Here are 12 of the best practices you can easily commit to:
1. Move away from traditional sales
Did you know, 86% of businesses want to be sold to virtually? Adopting relationship-based selling shows you’re focused on the customer and their experience, not just the sale or contract. Almost half of all buyers hate persistent calls and messages and when salespeople won’t take no for an answer, so move away from these aggressive tactics to prioritise building strong relationships. Focus on addressing your B2B clients’ needs through expertise and use real-world data to create tailored offers that precisely give them what they need.
2. Offer omnichannel support
It’s fair to say many brands struggle to support multiple channels equally. But it’s possible to make rapid improvements in omnichannel for seamless communication with your clients across all their preferred channels. There are all sorts of reasons why a B2B customer might not be able to get in touch using email or to make a phone call, for example, and those reasons could be temporary or permanent. Always give people plenty of options to avoid the frustration that comes with being forced to use one or two isolated channels, since one solution will never work for everyone. In turn, this can enhance customer satisfaction, foster loyalty, and contribute to your business growth.
3. Use AI chatbots
Every kind of business these days has easy, affordable access to advanced AI assistants (not just basic chatbots). Start using one and you’ll increase your responsiveness overnight, instantly elevating your customer support service to a higher level. Using an AI-powered assistant means you’re available 24/7, even for complex queries which can easily be answered when you integrate your AI assistant with your business systems. This gives your teams more time to focus on the more complicated or unusual issues, so every type of enquiry gets the right kind of attention. Be it a fast, accurate response from your AI assistant, or more personal, emphatic support from your team for a sensitive enquiry over live chat. This increases customer satisfaction and, behind the scenes, makes more efficient use of your resources.
4. Enhance your mobile experience
In the past, mobile has always been focused on B2C with so many of us now reliant on smartphones to manage our everyday lives, but this has evolved. Business has moved beyond the desktop too. Research finds “80% of B2B buyers now use mobile at work” which is why it’s crucial you improve your mobile offering and keep B2B customers in mind as you do. If you don’t want to miss out on the market, you’ll need to cater to this ever-increasing use of mobile across the board, since B2B buyers are consumers to ― mobile is what they’re used to. Enhancing your mobile functionality encourages seamless customer interactions from wherever your customers are, delivering a prompt and convenient service that everyone has come to expect from all providers.
5. Personalise experiences
Personalisation shows you have a deep understanding of your clients and their unique requirements. By tracking their behaviour and preferences (an AI assistant does this for you with ease for hundreds of thousands of customers), you can tailor products and services to what they want, not just what you think they want. Using personalisation helps to foster strong connections, making your B2B customers feel valued, which in turn keeps them loyal. By addressing specific needs, you also create positive experiences that boost customer satisfaction to promote your own business growth.
6. Communicate with customers in real time
Real-time communication is invaluable to B2B scenarios as it helps speed up decision-making and cultivates collaboration. This leads to faster, well-thought-out conclusions that can be put in place straight away to get your B2B clients ahead faster. Providing instant interactions nurtures a flexible workflow and increases efficiency and productivity.
7. Match your customer’s urgency
Addressing a person’s needs at their pace is crucial in B2B practice, demonstrating not only responsiveness but also respect for their priorities. It leads to greater client satisfaction, trust, and positions you as an adaptable business partner.
8. Offer as much post-purchase support as you do pre-sale
Offering post-purchase support is important because it shows a genuine commitment to your clients’ long-term success and fosters a healthy business relationship. Post-sale support reassures customers they haven’t merely completed a transaction but have gained a reliable partner who truly cares about their objectives.
9. Use gamification to motivate customers
Using gamification techniques to celebrate milestones for your B2B customers is an innovative best practice. It invigorates client engagement and acknowledges achievements through entertaining, goal-oriented activities. This keeps customers coming back to your sites, encouraging collaboration and enhancing your brand’s appeal.
10. Occasionally offer gifts to customers
In the right circumstances, thoughtful gestures can reinforce the value you place on your B2B clients, generating a sense of goodwill and promoting loyalty towards your brand. Selling business to business, it’s important to remember different clients will have different values. Some customers might like the opportunity to give the money you’d spend on a gift to a charity of their choice instead. Offering a choice shows you respect their perspective.
11. Offer screenshare and video support
Being able to share your screen to show a B2B customer how to do something for themselves can save everyone time. Using screenshare software avoids the frustration of your team trying to describe and your customer trying to understand the actions they need to take next to achieve their next task. If you can share a video of the conversation afterwards, this also prevents them from having to get back in touch if they forget a step.
12. Educate and advise your customers
A commitment to education and support gives your clients the opportunity to make best use of your products or services while demonstrating your expertise at the same time. A well-informed client is more likely to find greater success and trust you more, which can better nurture a mutually beneficial partnership.