The ultimate guide to B2B customer service best practices

Natalie Smithson
AI enthusiast | Tea addict | Focused on using AI assistants to win the working week
Team meeting with AI assistant

Delivering an exceptional customer experience for your business clients can significantly boost your brand reputation, enhance customer loyalty, and differentiate you from the competition. The challenge lies in being able to accommodate different types of clients and meet all their individual needs while, crucially, still being able to scale your offer.

If you’re looking for practical tips on how to better your customer experience for B2B clients or understand the best practices you can follow to improve your service, read on.


  • Provide customer support that helps your B2B clients achieve their business goals and they’re more likely to stick around for longer.
  • Exceptional customer care is the key to building a good relationship that lasts, which means more sales, more referrals, and greater loyalty.
  • Showing up as a business partner rather than offer general customer support counts for everything in B2B and wins you more lucrative deals.
  • 92% of B2B buyers are more likely to buy from you based on a trusted review, so protect your reputation for more business opportunities and organic growth.
  • Efficient support helps safeguard operations for B2B customers, so you quickly become the go-to provider that helps maintain their business with minimal disruption.
  • Outstanding customer support can be a true differentiator in a competitive marketplace, so keep a laser focus on customer care to clinch the deal.
  • B2B customers will need to come back to you for repeat purchases, upgrades, related products and services, so Lifetime Value and expectations are higher.
  • Make sure your B2B customer service teams are well-trained and know exactly what business customers need from you, so they can be genuinely helpful experts.
  • There are lots of ways to measure B2B customer service success, so aim to hit a few key targets related to customer satisfaction, speed of service, and cost reduction.
  • Choose to measure the most relevant and important metrics for your individual organisation based on your own ambitions, customer expectations, and industry standards.
  • AI-driven interactions are now so inconspicuous, spontaneous, and so closely matched to human behaviour, it’s revolutionising the way B2B customer service is delivered.
  • Probably the worst thing you can do is bury your head in the sand because AI isn’t going away and continues to shift almost every job role.
  • Using an AI assistant means you can handle more calls with less effort, more efficiently, and create more time to offer more personalised customer care where it really counts.
  • There are only four steps to launching a successful AI assistant, so you can get the ball rolling easily to start levelling up your B2B customer service today.

Why is customer service so important for B2B?

Just like you, your business clients will be setting goals using proven frameworks like Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) or Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) because they’re critical for success. Not only to keep the focus on business growth and increased profits, but to keep staff motivated with targets to aim for. If you provide customer support that helps your business clients achieve their goals, they’re highly likely to stick with you in the long term.

Good service is the backbone for strong B2B relationships

While it’s true people buy from people, B2B buying isn’t a personal decision. Your client must be able to trust your offer is a good investment for the business they represent. If they make a bad decision and the company suffers, they’re burdened with feelings of worry and doubt, sometimes to the point of not going through with a sale. Poor communication, duff information, or mistakes over costings can quickly break down trust. You already know exceptional customer care is the key to building a good relationship that lasts.

Soothe B2B buyer complexity

Usually, B2B products and services will be more complex than those for general consumers (B2C). Your offer needs to be tailored to their industry or niche subject, which means they want to see how well you understand their exact requirements and recognise what’s important to their business. That’s a tall order where you might have a wide range of different types of B2B customers. Support should be focused on proving, at every opportunity, you can take on the complexity of their business, showing you’re the one able to deliver what’s necessary to help them thrive.

Handling accounts with care wins business

Since they’re running a business themselves, B2B clients expect dedicated account management or, at least, a fast and personalised service. If your B2B customer care offer doesn’t stand out from the support you’d give for one-off, low-cost or low-risk purchases, you might lose the investment. Customer service needs to be targeted to a specific business need, so trust in you as a dedicated partner can flourish. Showing up as a business partner, not just a supplier, counts for everything in B2B customer support since competition is fierce.

While customer service isn’t the leading reason for B2B customers to stay with you, making their lives easier counts for a lot, and in the battle to win and retain customers, excellent customer service is an underutilised tool.

Encourage word of mouth referrals

In the B2B world, reputation is everything. Userpilot found “92% of B2B buyers are more likely to make a purchase based on a trusted review and 78% of customers rave about their favorite brands to others every week.” If one of your customers has had an exceptional experience, they’re far more likely to recommend you to other business owners and colleagues they know. This could be through word of mouth or a more official referral. Either way, it can all lead to more business opportunities for you and organic growth without having to sell your services directly.

Show your dependability

Downtime of equipment or services is a worst-case scenario for any business. Without fast intervention, it can lead to loss of profits or loss of customers, which means how you respond to unexpected emergencies is vital to securing any B2B customer. You’ll need to prove from day one they can depend on you if the worst thing happens, and every part of their customer experience will influence their decision.

Long term, readily available, efficient support for your B2B customers will help safeguard their operations, so with strong customer support, you can quickly become the go-to provider that helps maintain their business with minimal disruption. In turn, they can continue to satisfy their own customer needs too and everyone wins.

Not all customer service is equal

In a marketplace where you’re often competing with similar services to the one you provide, outstanding customer support can be a true differentiator. In many ways, it’s easy to focus on your offer and make that stand out in a crowd, but how you interact with and support your customers can help clinch that final deal. Who doesn’t want to be heard and feel valued as a customer?

Keep a laser focus on customer care and you can stand head and shoulders above the rest.


An AI assistant has a badge of security with various linking channels and a human person interacting with it

Key differences between B2B and B2C customer service

Unlike consumers who are often buying at their own leisure (B2C) and who you can speak with one-on-one, a business client (B2B) is relying on you to provide a product or service their whole company can depend on. When issues or queries are answered quickly and efficiently, it gives all customers a sense of security that helps build an unbreakable trust.

Working in partnership

Customer service teams working in B2C might only ever speak to a customer once, whereas your teams get to know B2B customers by name ― they might even only ever speak to a small group of people to directly manage their accounts. Because of this, the roles require different skill sets. A B2C contact is more a high-energy sprint and B2B a long-distance endurance run. Making your relationship stronger over time is a priority for B2B, so it lasts the distance.

Increase Lifetime Value

The most notable difference between B2B and B2C buyers is that everyday consumers buy directly for themselves, which introduces lots of different needs, wants and emotions. B2B buyers have procedures in place that focus on ROI ― what payoff will there be for their business and how does the purchase function commercially? Your B2B customer has to think long term with you playing a role in their process to acquire customers, so any proposal from you must be worth their investment.

Secondly, unlike B2C, you and the other business in any exchange will have invoicing, accounting and customer records to consider as well as the sale itself. You can consider cross-selling, upselling, and all the familiar elements of calculating the Lifetime Value (LTV) of a customer, but in B2B, you’ll also get entangled in price negotiations and longer sales cycles, bulk or larger orders, plus maintenance and support that goes far beyond the point of sale, lasting potentially for many years or even decades.

Be an expert in a field of generalists

When reaching out for customer support, B2B clients want to deal with subject matter experts. This is how they get their problem or query resolved quickly and efficiently so their business can continue at peak performance. The last thing they’ll want is to be passed from one department to another, increasing their frustration, especially if they pay generous rates for your services or have high ticket items or equipment. It’s important to make sure your B2B customer service teams are well-trained and know exactly what business customers need from you, so they can be genuinely helpful.

There are lots of B2B customer success best practices you can follow to achieve greatness.

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.

Those with successful B2B customer service operations are doing a lot of preparation for this behind the scenes. It’s not only a commitment to following best practices that matters but setting up your teams for success too.

More on this next.


Three people are working on a problem, moving cogs on a desktop scream to make a rocket take off

How to set up your B2B customer service team

You can start thinking about how to make customer experience a priority in your teams and for your business straight away. Here are some ways to improve your service at every stage, from ideation right through to customer feedback post-delivery.


Prioritise customer experience
Before you do anything, think about what your customer wants and always start from there.

  • Anticipating needs: You can only proactively address customer needs when you know what those needs are, so take time to do your research and understand them.
  • Efficient communication: Streamlined communication channels, like offering a dedicated account manager or using an AI assistant, can swiftly address clients’ concerns and provide relevant information at the exact time they need it, improving overall customer experience.
  • Flexible pricing structures: Prioritising customer experience may involve considering adjustable pricing tiers, seasonal discounts, or volume-based pricing, so clients can select options that best suit their budget and financial plans.

Strengthen B2B client relationships and enhance the value and quality of your offers by putting the customer at the heart of your operations.


Define your ideal customer experience
If you could have every B2B client have the same fantastic experience, what would that look like? Plotting the ideal customer journey for your business customers involves:

  • Identifying key client touchpoints, from initial contact to onboarding and ongoing support.
  • Understanding clients’ expectations and pain points at each of those touchpoints.
  • Developing clear strategies to address these expectations in a consistent, effective manner.

Your teams can then work together to create a seamless version of this experience for all your B2B clientele, leaving them with a positive lasting impression of your business.


Onboarding checklist
If you’re bringing in new B2B customers to a SaaS product, having an onboarding checklist is crucial.

  • Consistency: A well-structured checklist helps your teams deliver a uniform onboarding experience for all B2B clients, maintaining strong service quality and setting a positive brand impression.
  • Efficiency: An onboarding checklist outlines the necessary steps you need to take, streamlining your process to save time for your teams and your clients.
  • Clear communication: Clarify roles and expectations so there’s no miscommunication between your teams and your clients; the whole onboarding process becomes transparent.
  • Resource allocation: Identify the resources, personnel, and tools you need to support new clients to make sure it’s a smooth transition.

Get off to a good start in your new business relationship.


Offer continuous training
Invest in your teams and your teams will treat your B2B customers right.

  • Skills development: Regular training equips your customer service teams with the necessary knowledge and expertise they need to appropriately address complex or unusual client issues. They’ll become able to resolve sensitive issues efficiently and give highly personalised responses to all your business customers.
  • Adaptability: Continuous learning means your team can stay up to date with industry changes, new technologies, and emerging client needs to deliver a versatile and future-proof customer support operation.
  • Consistency: Training your team on service standards, communication skills, and company values promotes a consistent, high-quality customer experience across all B2B touchpoints.
  • Employee satisfaction: Ongoing development empowers your team members, promotes their career progression, and encourages a growth mindset. This contributes to higher job satisfaction and reduced staff turnover, so you get to keep all the top talent.


Maintain effective bug or error handling
You can’t stop bugs and errors from happening on occasion, but you can sure control the way you handle them with effective customer service support.

  • Reliability: If you can establish a reliable customer support system that clients can trust, it paves the way for long-lasting partnerships that benefit both B2B parties.
  • Timely resolution: When your teams are prepared for fixing problems quickly, it means your clients can focus on their own tasks without disruption ― a much better experience than wrestling with downtime or other problems outside their control.
  • Resource allocation: Effective bug and error handling means your customer support teams spend less time on recurring or minor issues. You’ll be able to put a greater focus on customer service innovation and delivering the best service now and in the future.
  • Customer experience (CX): Get error handling under control and CX can only be improved from there since exceptional experiences are always intertwined with smooth, glitch-free interactions with your product or service.
  • Reputation management: Your company’s reputation as a trusted partner hinges on delivering reliable, error-free products and services. Handling errors well signals to your B2B customers a true commitment to excellence and so strengthens your brand image.


Analyse your customer behaviour
You might not always know what your B2B customers are thinking, but their behaviour gives you plenty of clues. An AI assistant will collect data on all your customers, no matter how many tens of thousands of them you have and collate what it learns for anyone on your customer support team to see and act on. You don’t need a full data team to perform this task manually if you don’t want one, have limited resources, or choose to use your resource in other areas that are just as profitable.

  • Customisation: Tailor your approach to better meet the specific needs and preferences of your B2B customers, enhancing client satisfaction.
  • Predictive insights: Identify potential issues before they happen, proactively addressing concerns and improving your support structure.
  • Product development: Guide product or service enhancements, making sure your offers stay relevant and useful.

Use customer behaviour analysis to refine your support, products, and communication, building solid foundations for exceptional customer experiences going forward.


Customer feedback analysis
If you want to know if your B2B customers are happy and what it will take to keep them happy, you need to ask for feedback and act on it too.

  • Insight gathering: Analysing feedback reveals areas for improvement, highlights what your customers value most, and identifies opportunities to exceed the expectations of your B2B customers.
  • Tailored solutions: Your teams can better address specific concerns and deliver personalised solutions if they know exactly what your B2B customers are looking for.
  • Enhanced communication: Gaining a solid understanding of B2B customer preferences and concerns can help refine your messaging and marketing strategy, making sure every piece of communication resonates with your clients.
  • Service improvements: By identifying trends and patterns in feedback, you can focus on evolving your services, products, or processes, which in turn improves the overall customer experience.

By regularly analysing customer feedback, you can enhance client relationships, deliver exceptional service, and stay ahead in a competitive B2B marketplace.


Track your metrics
If you don’t measure how you’re doing, you can’t celebrate your successes. Track your B2B metrics to measure performance and any improvements you make will be driven by real data, so they’re more likely to be effective.

  • Identify trends: Monitoring metrics helps you recognise patterns in client requests, preferences, and behaviours, allowing you to tailor your services to their needs accordingly.
  • Evaluate performance: Regularly assessing goals like response time, resolution rate, and customer satisfaction, helps you gauge the effectiveness of your customer service team and identify areas for development.
  • Benchmark against competitors: Comparing your own goals to industry standards helps you maintain a competitive edge and highlights opportunities to differentiate your business.
  • Measure ROI: Tracking metrics helps quantify the impact of your customer support initiatives, so you can calculate return on investment and adjust your approach to maximise results.

Take a targeted, proactive approach to your B2B customer service to deliver the most exceptional client experiences and promote long-term success.

How do you measure B2B customer service success?

There are lots of different ways to measure B2B customer service success, so before you start tracking any metrics, we recommend you set your ambitions to hit a few key targets:

  1. Customer satisfaction
  2. Speed of service
  3. Cost reduction

You can easily and affordably use AI to catapult yourself ahead here too.

Always keep in mind that in B2B customer service both you and your customer have separate goals to meet, but they’re very much connected. Your B2B clients might all use a different goal tracking framework, like Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), but they’re also measuring how well you help them hit their targets.

  • Growing their customer base
  • Expanding their market share
  • Increasing their product or service range
  • Enhancing their brand reputation
  • Increasing overall revenue

That means you’ll need to keep your own performance at a high level to help them do the same.

What impact is AI having on B2B customer service?

AI is having a profound effect on B2B ― right now. Businesses have been making good use of artificial intelligence for many years, but with the sudden arrival of generative AI tools like ChatGPT at the tail end of 2022, the business world is going through a period of genuine upheaval.

Where basic chatbots were already being rapidly displaced by advanced next-gen AI assistants, LLMs (Large Language Models) are now transforming those too, so what we end up with are fewer of the visibly automated tasks we saw in the 2010s. Now, AI-driven interactions are so inconspicuous and spontaneous, they’re of a kind we’ve never seen before and so closely matched to human behaviour it revolutionises the way you deliver B2B customer service.

AI co-pilots are offering new opportunities to customer service managers in all sectors, even in conversational AI itself. We have a resident AI assistant, Clawson, on our platform to guide you through processes, make suggestions, and carry out actions on your behalf.

Handle more B2B customer queries with less effort

Here are just some of the benefits of using AI to support your teams, your customers, and your business.

  • Instant AI

    A high majority of your responses to customer enquiries can be instant using AI, since the most advanced AI assistant is trained to answer general and complex queries with no help from your customer support teams. That means no more wait times or contact backlogs to slow them down.

  • 24-hour service

    AI-powered customer service is available 24/7, so businesses working to shift patterns, organisations open 24 hours, or partnerships working in different time zones can all get the right help they need at the exact time they need it right around the clock.

  • Strong B2B relationships

    When your routine tasks are automated, your customer support teams are free to build strong B2B relationships that last. They’ll have more time to offer personalised care or account management services to maintain high-stake contracts and keep your business clients satisfied.

  • Reliable uptime

    One of the most valuable elements of AI (the one that’s made it so irresistible for business use) is its ability to handle insane volumes of data. Your one AI assistant can tell you in a second everything you need to know about all your customers, even if there are hundreds of thousands of them. Use it to identify potential issues before they escalate, so clients don’t suffer any downtime or disruption.

  • Personalised experiences

    AI helps you get to know your customers like you’ve never known them before. When you can instantly recognise and understand the importance of customer behaviour and preferences to offer what they need, your service goes from good or great to outstanding and irresistible. What’s more, people are likely to stay with you for the long haul, rather than move between competitors.

  • Feedback loop

    Feedback from B2B customers is often highly specific with technical or detailed observations. Generally, it also comes from a combination of several different parties who are either directly affected by your service or see the effects of the service you provide further down the line. An AI assistant can gather detailed, complex feedback from B2B customers for you 24 hours a day.

Grow your business while helping B2B customers grow theirs

Remember, your B2B client is representing their business, but their life outside of work shows them what good (and bad) customer service looks like. If they can have an exceptional customer experience in their personal lives on a B2C basis, they know it’s possible in the B2B world too. When you’re the one providing it, that good feeling is just as powerful in business as it is outside it.


Happy customer using an AI assistant

How can B2B customer support teams keep up with AI advancements?

Although Clutch reports 82% of business leaders expect AI disruption in the next five years, their top three feelings about this are “excited, optimistic, and motivated”. Here’s how you can get started.

Follow AI trends

There are nine key AI trends for customer service we believe are here to stay and we recommend you start by getting familiar with these. Learn about the most affordable and prudent way to get started with AI, where to focus your time, how to improve your efficiency, and how to get the most out of your teams. Also follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter for updates on AI and customer service.

Learn by doing

Probably the worst thing you can do is bury your head in the sand because AI isn’t going away. “Technology is continuing to shift almost every job role, whether it’s in a factory or behind a desk,” reports The World Economic Forum.

The quickest way to start learning how AI can improve your B2B operations is to give it a try, like millions of other customer service leaders who are moving past the hype to benefit from rapid business growth, improved processes and efficiency, along with happier teams and customers.

Trust the experts

Just like any other new technological advancement, mass adoption of AI will take time. You might not have the capacity or inclination to embrace AI right now and that’s okay. There’s plenty of help out there to keep learning from to help you decide how it will work best in your business when the time is right.

Our platform makes AI for customer service so simple you can get started in minutes, but we’re also available to support teams who want someone else to look after their AI for them.