How B2B Businesses Can Get Ahead with a Personalized Digital Experience
A customer-centric approach to business doesn't have to focus solely on consumers such as retail customers. In fact, it’s just as critical for B2B companies to focus on their customers.
A McKinsey study showed that B2B customer satisfaction ratings are lagging well behind the B2C world. B2C companies typically score in the 65% to 85% when it comes to satisfaction, while B2B companies average less than 50%.
This divide will only grow as expectations from businesses become higher. It’s more important than ever for B2B businesses to start delivering a seamless digital experience to their customers. One way to do that is with personalization.
Before you start to implement your big ideas, you need to commit. It might take some time to get the digital experience right and it will be an iterative process. By clearly stating your intentions and commitment to your customers (either publicly or privately), you lay the foundation for ongoing excellence in this area.
Here are some tips on how you can hit the ground running:
Understand What Your Customers Need
To focus on your customers, you need to know everything about them. For some businesses, this might mean going back to basics and creating clear customer personas to understand the different segments you target. For others, it might mean drilling down deeper into those segments to understand the needs and pain points of those you serve.
There are a number of ways you can do this:
- Speak to them — Find customers you trust who would be willing to have a short phone call to talk about your existing digital experience and what would make their lives easier.
- Look back at frequently asked questions — These should give you an insight into where customers are getting tripped up or where you can offer more information to make things clearer.
- Figure out their pain points — What’s the most difficult or annoying thing in your customers’ lives. Is there a way you can solve this for them?
- Send out a survey — A short survey of just a few questions could give you a wider view of your customer base. This works nicely alongside more intimate chats with individuals.
- Look at your search queries — If your existing site has the ability to search, look at what customers are searching for to get an insight into the questions they have or the functionality they’re looking for.
- Collect relevant data — This is an important part of any personalized digital experience. Collect clicks, downloads, page views, time on page, sign-ups and anything else your customers are doing when interacting with your brand as it can tell you a lot about their needs and interests.
It’s All About Personalization
From your research, it should be quite clear who you’re serving and why but it’s likely that these customers will be broken up into segments. For example, if you serve the construction trade, a real estate company building housing across the state will have very different needs to an independent builder serving their local area.
By understanding the needs of these individual segments, you can build a digital experience that serves them all while keeping content relevant.
Again, there are a few ways you can do this depending on your existing infrastructure:
- Ask for the customer’s business type in the sign-up form.
- Segment your customers based on buying habits (or perhaps even location, sector, or turnover).
- Tag customers in your email marketing system based on how they interact with your content.
- Use a chatbot to gather further information on your customers as they visit your site and use AI to segment based on this data.
There are numerous benefits to doing this. For example, if you understand a customer’s sector and buying habits you can serve them with relevant products or updates through your website, social media, and emails. This increases customer engagement and conversions.
What Results Can You Expect?
When you personalize your content and wider digital experience, you connect more directly with your customers. By targeting them only with the content and products/services that are relevant to them, you're going to get a better conversion rate.
This means you can expect increased revenue from that improved conversion rate, but you'll also get more engagement from potential customers, which can make your sales process much easier, and even shorten your sales funnel.
If you're only serving your customers with what's most relevant to them, you're going to have higher customer satisfaction and loyalty too. By creating a digital experience that's not cluttered with irrelevant products or sales messages, customers are going to keep coming back time and time again.
Once you’ve created a digital experience that's relevant to the different segments of your audience, you need to look to the future. It’s no good waiting for an issue to surface, you need to preempt your customers’ evolving needs.
Reviewing your digital experience on a regular basis can help with continuous improvement that tackles customer issues before they arise.
Getting ahead with your digital experience is about providing the most seamless, personalized experience to your customers. To do this, you need to understand their buying habits and needs—this will guide you in the kind of customer experience you need to create.
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