Focus: Make sure your mobile app or mobile version of your website is easy to navigate, has real-time chat features for instant communication, loads quickly, and is easy to use.
Goal: Provide more flexibility.
5. Use AI chatbots
Every kind of business these days has easy, affordable access to the most advanced AI assistants. 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.
Focus: Give your teams more time to focus on 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.
Goal: Automate routine tasks.
“Because the AI assistant takes on more routine tasks like maintenance requests and contract information, it frees up our property managers to concentrate on the overall service and maintenance of the building, providing a better experience for tenants.”
~ Sam Winnard, Director of Build to Rent Management at JLL property developers
6. Personalise experiences
Personalisation shows you have a deep understanding of your clients and their unique requirements. By tracking their behaviour and preferences, you can tailor products and services to what they want, not just what you think they want. Using personalisation helps to build strong connections, making your B2B customers feel valued, which in turn keeps them loyal.
Focus: Send personalised email campaigns using segmentation and invest in CRM systems for more detailed customer profiles, so you can keep giving customers what they want.
Goal: Increase customer loyalty.
7. 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 B2B clients’ long-term success, encouraging strong business relationships to flourish.
Hot tip! A particularly good way to offer post-sale support is through 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, and using screenshare software avoids the frustration of your team trying to describe (and your customer trying to understand) the actions they need to take to complete a 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 something you told them.
Focus: Reassure customers they haven’t just completed a transaction, they’ve gained a reliable partner who truly cares about their objectives.
Goal: Build long-lasting relationships.
8. Motivate and reward customers
Using gamification techniques to celebrate milestones for your B2B customers is one of the hottest opportunities for customer service innovation. It acknowledges their achievements through entertaining, goal-oriented activities to keep them coming back to your site, encouraging collaboration and enhancing your brand’s appeal. In the right circumstances, thoughtful gifts or gestures can also reinforce the value you place on the relationship you have with your B2B clients.
Hot tip! It’s important to remember different B2B clients will have different values. Some customers might like to give the money you’d spend on a gift to a charity of their choice instead, so it helps to offer a choice.
Focus: Think about what’s most appealing for your customers. Coop Sweden, for example, sell groceries, so they created games and interactive character hunts inside their stores to make shopping more fun.
Goal: Increase brand appeal.
9. Invest in training for customer service agents
When reaching out for customer support, B2B clients want to deal with subject matter experts, so they can get their problem or query resolved quickly and efficiently. No B2B customer wants to be passed from one department to another, especially if they pay generous rates for your services or have high ticket items or equipment.
Focus: Train your B2B customer service teams (and your next-gen AI assistant if you have one) to know exactly what business customers need from you, so they can be genuinely helpful and solve an issue on first contact.
Goal: Improve first contact resolution rate.
10. Educate and advise your customers
Commit your customer service teams to educating your B2B customers, so they can make best use of your products or services. Do this often and you’re not only supporting your customers well, you’re demonstrate your expertise at the same time. Education should be ongoing, and a well-informed client is more likely to find greater success with your products and services, plus trust you more, nurturing a mutually beneficial partnership.
Focus: Put together comprehensive customer education programmes that explain the best way to use your products or services.
Goal: Increase customer trust.
11. Show your dependability
Downtime of equipment or services is a nightmare 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 long term. 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 to trust you (or not). With strong customer support, you can quickly become the go-to provider that helps maintain their business with minimal disruption, so they can continue to satisfy their own customer needs too.
Focus: Establish a dedicated support team trained to handle emergencies, and develop contingency plans everyone in your teams knows about and understands.
Goal: Boost your customer retention rate.
12. 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 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 lead to more business opportunities for you and organic growth without having to sell your services directly, so reward B2B customers for any referrals they pass your way.
“Here’s the hard part about this: if you’re very good at what you do, you won’t grow. Because lots of people are good at what you do. No one is going to be busy referring you and sending you business just because you’re very good. Sorry. The only way to consistently grow in B2B is to be better than very good.”
~ Seth Godin on Seth’s Blog
Focus: Consider putting in place an official B2B referral scheme to decide on what incentives and rewards you’ll give, and how to market it, so B2B clients can easily recommend you to others.
Goal: Increase your referral rate.