The term customer experience is considered by some people to be a “buzzword”, especially in the B2B (business-to-business) customer support industry. It can be described as a simple process of helping out a customer.
But what if there’s more to it than just answering a customer question or two? Here are three reasons why customer experience matters for B2B:
The B2B experience is more personal than B2C:
The B2C (Business-to-Customer) customer experience can sometimes be fleeting in nature, with interactions between customers and businesses being unmemorable for both parties. In B2B, experiences between customers and businesses can last for long periods of time. For example, during an IT implementation process a customer may work closely with the same group of people at a business for weeks or even months at a time. Bonds of trust can be formed or broken during this time and these bonds can make or break a business relationship. People in general tend to be more forgiving to people they respect, enjoy working with, and most importantly know well. This positive interpersonal relationship can be really helpful to save the customer relationship.
There is little room for error in the B2B customer experience:
Even though B2B customers have the potential to be more forgiving in the right circumstances, this doesn’t mean businesses have a free pass to make errors all the time. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. In B2C if a business makes an error in their customer experience, a customer goes online and can easily find all of the errors the company (and their competitors) has made in the past. Feeling defeated, many B2C customers will just stay with the company, despite the error, due to sheer apathy because there isn’t a better option available. B2B is different; some customers have relationships with people at competing businesses and have options available.
A good customer experience is never complete:
A customer experience is not a math equation in the sense that there is no universally correct answer. Businesses who understand what it takes to create a solid customer experience also understand the experience never ends; it’s important to continually facilitate feedback on how to improve the experience. Use the info gathered to learn about your customer – from employees to facilities – and figure out what can improve the experience the most while keeping time and resources in mind.
In conclusion, the B2B customer experience can matter more than you think because it aligns company culture, personal relationships, technology, and continuous improvement. Sure, it may still be a buzzword, but the concepts behind it are key business principles.