Over the last 10 years or so we seem to have forgotten that whether you’re selling B2B or B2C, we’re all still selling to people. So, why is it that in the B2B marketing world, we seem to forget that? I believe B2B marketers could take a page out of the B2C marketer’s playbook and try adopting some of the strategies that are proven to drive revenue.
The notion that price is the most important influence on B2B buying decisions couldn’t be further from the truth; in fact it only contributes towards 20% of the decision, whereas customer experience now influences 80% of buying decisions. And that’s why in this blog, I’m going to cover three strategies to improve your customer experience, helping you grow sustainably and beat the competition.
1. Capture valuable data
87% of marketers consider data to be their most underutilized asset. It comes as no surprise that one of the biggest pain points I come across when speaking to those in the industry, is the inability to access and action their data. It almost goes without saying that your data capture needs to be a smooth and easy process for the buyer. Whether that’s through a popover on your website, a ‘contact us’ form, or a newsletter sign-up, try to gradually acquire data from the buyer rather than bombarding them with one big form. At the end of the day, data capture is what enables you to successfully implement all the following strategies, so you must make sure you nail it!
2. Personalize your content
Personalization seems to be all anyone talks about these days, but there is a reason for all the preaching – it really does help to drive ROI. Remember when I said that 83% of B2B buyers want to be treated as a person? Well, personalizing your content is a big step in the right direction. A personalized experience is a proven way to increase the overall customer experience, which we know now makes up 80% of B2B buying decisions. To do this we need to utilize that valuable data we have captured, think about combining explicit and implicit data to ensure the most personalized experience. The obvious first points you’ll be utilizing will be: name, title, company, then to take it to the next level you’ll want to be tracking web sessions to get a deeper understanding of what your buyer is looking at within your website.
The use of dynamic content is a must for personalization, simply because it allows you to scale with ease, leverage data like average order value or contract end date, and tailor the message you are trying to get across to that particular person. An example I frequently see is discounting. You may, for example, be willing to discount a little more freely for a business with a higher average order value than another.
Personalization can also come in the form of lead scoring. I know that when I’m working on leads within our CRM, Microsoft Dynamics 365, the content I’m going to send to a particular person always differs depending on the lead score they have achieved. For example, someone with a low lead score may need a little more nurturing through helpful content, compared to that of a prospect with a higher lead score. Someone who is more engaged with your brand may benefit from a triggered SMS as they are more likely to respond.
3. Leverage omnichannel marketing
It’s no secret that omnichannel is leading the way in the customer engagement space, however a lot of companies I talk to are often limited by their own tech stack. I often ask, “What’s your omnichannel strategy currently look like?” The answer I hear a lot is – “it’s not as good as it could be” This leaves a golden opportunity to fully leverage omnichannel and get ahead of your competitors.
We know that brands who adopt an omnichannel strategy are 89% more likely to retain their customers compared to the 33% who don’t. There are countless use cases of ways to utilize more channels to move leads down the funnel faster, eliminate no shows, and improve ROI. My personal favorite is the use of SMS. SMS can penetrate the noise better than any other channel; it’s direct, and the near-perfect engagement score – a read rate of 98% – isn’t easily beaten.
While I do love SMS let’s not forget about live chat. Did you know 78% of B2B customers buy from the first brand to respond to their questions?
Brands need to look closely at how decision makers are engaging with them and respond accordingly. Depending on the industry, that first touch point might just be a question they need answered on the fly via live chat, saving them having to pick up the phone and talk to someone.
44% of B2B marketers report that the main reason they abandon websites is that there’s no contact info immediately available. I know that from my experience with live chat at dotdigital, we have a number of new business leads that get transferred over to the sales team from prospects asking questions on the go. These are opportunities that we would undoubtably miss out on if we didn’t use that particular channel.
To summarize, the three strategies to help you enhance customer experience and enable sustainable business growth are:
- Capturing valuable data: The data you capture facilitates everything you do! Make sure you reduce barriers for your buyers to provide that data by ensuring it’s a smooth and easy process for them.
- Personalizing content: Customer experience is key. Deliver a highly personalized experience that blows your buyers away.
- Leveraging omnichannel marketing: Nowadays one touch point isn’t enough. Engage with your customer across several channels to convert leads faster, eliminate no shows, and improve ROI.