In 1975, a miner walked into the luxury department store, Nordstrom, with a pair of worn, dirty tires and asked for his money back.
He had purchased the tires several years prior at a shop that was now replaced by Nordstrom. And guess what? The Nordstrom clerk took the tires and refunded him every penny, despite the fact that Nordstrom didn’t even sell tires.
Now most B2C customer experiences aren’t that amazing, but the majority are positive. On average, B2C companies have a customer experience score of 65-85%. B2B companies, on the other hand? That’s a different story. The average customer experience score of B2B companies is less than 50%.
B2B Ecommerce Customers Expect Outstanding Experiences
The problem with this is that B2B buyers, especially millennials, expect a B2C-like experience. They might not expect Nordstrom-like service, but they want to have a seamless online shopping experience. And they don’t want to wait around for a quote or to speak to a sales representative.
45.9% of business professionals prioritize customer experience over everything else, including price and product. With COVID and the massive increase in the use of digital and self-service channels, it’s now more important than ever to provide a thoughtful, memorable digital buying experience.
So how can you provide a top-notch customer experience that will result in higher customer LTV (lifetime value) and more profit for your business?
That’s what you’re going to find out. In this blog post, you’ll learn:
- The most frustrating parts of the B2B buying experience
- Why excellent B2B customer experiences lead to repeat purchases (and higher customer LTV)
- How to provide a memorable B2B customer experience
The Most Frustrating Parts of the B2B Buying Experience
To provide your customers with a fantastic experience, it helps to know what frustrations they have with other B2B brands. According to McKinsey, decision-makers get most frustrated with the ordering process (36%), finding products (34%), and technical glitches (33%). They also get fed up with confusing websites, complicated payment processes, and lack of delivery info and technical support. Gartner found that most buyers get frustrated with the following: Is your business guilty of doing any of that? If so, it’s time to change things around.
Excellent Customer Buying Experiences Lead to Repeat Purchases
“Those suppliers who provide outstanding digital experiences to their buyers are more than twice as likely to be chosen as a primary supplier than those who provide poor experiences, and about 70 percent more likely than those providing only fair ones,” per McKinsey.
And get this: Temkin Group found that an excellent customer experience has the power to double revenue within 36 months.
So what’s most important in a B2B customer experience? According to McKinsey, buyers look for speed, transparency, and expertise above all else. They also crave personalized buying experiences, especially as their businesses continue to adapt to COVID.
But of course, it’s easier said than done. What does it mean to create a memorable customer experience? And how can you create one?
Let’s find out.
How to Provide a Memorable B2B Customer Experience
1. Give customers control of the buying process.
It’s probably no surprise to you that customers prefer digital sales interactions and self-service. Buyers want to be able to manage their subscriptions and access information when they need it. And if they can’t, they aren’t going to wait around. They’re going to take their business elsewhere.
2. Create a personalized shopping experience.
Personalization isn’t an option anymore; it’s a requirement. According to Salesforce, nearly 75% of B2B buyers expect to get a personalized experience and content. They want product recommendations that speak to their needs, content that answers their questions, and personalized interactions that put a smile on their face.
3. Make it easy for customers to subscribe.
Your buyers are busy. They don’t want to wait to make a purchase or jump through a million hoops to subscribe. They also have a limited processing capacity: They don’t want to spend precious mental energy filtering through dozens of options. For that reason, you should make it as easy as possible for your customers to subscribe and manage their payments.
Fun fact: cleverbridge also allows you to use prefilled customer information, which can lower the barrier to entry and increase signups.
4. Meet the unique billing needs of your customers.
There is no such thing as one size fits all when it comes to your customers. They need accurate and personalized sales quotes—delivered fast. If they don’t get a quote quickly, there’s a good chance you’ll lose them to a competitor.
5. Reduce declined transactions (and churn).
Declined transactions aren’t just annoying for you—they’re irritating for your customers, as well. And can result in a negative customer experience.
6. Speak your customers’ language.
When your customers come to your website, they want to see your offerings in their language. If they don’t understand what you’re selling, they won’t buy. It’s that simple.
But it goes beyond just language. Think about your checkout and subscription process from the customer’s standpoint. For example, in the U.S., people are used to the tax being added at the very end. But in Europe, people expect to see the tax included in the price. Little things like that can go a long way towards providing a positive customer experience.
7. Build an exceptional B2B Ecommerce customer support team.
It should go without saying, but an exceptional customer support team is vital to every business’s success. You need to build a team that will not just do what they are told but go above and beyond to provide your customers with exceptional service—as Nordstrom does.
8. Nurture your relationships.
Did you know that it’s five to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one? And that just a 5% increase in customer retention can boost revenue by 25%-95%? It’s a fact: Your current customers are more likely to buy more from you and refer your business to others.
To boost customer loyalty (and retention), you have to nurture your relationships. Reach out to them. Remind them that you care and are happy to have them as a customer. One of our clients reached an ROI of 1000% after adding an automated trial campaign to their email marketing. Find out how we can help you do the same.
Final Words: How to Improve Customer Experience & Customer LTV
If you want to retain your buyers and increase customer LTV, you must be providing them with a top-notch customer experience. Hopefully, now you have some ideas on how to improve customer experience. But don’t just set it and forget it. We partner with ChartMogul to offer advanced reporting and analytics that allow B2B Ecommerce brands to track and analyze key metrics like customer LTV, customer acquisition costs, renewal rate, churn rate, and more.
We’ll help you develop testing strategies that ensure you’re continually optimizing your customer experience, minimizing churn, and maximizing renewals.
Get in touch to find out more about how we can help you create an unforgettable B2B customer experience that will keep your customers coming back—and boost your customer LTV.