B2B and B2C marketing platforms each have their own definitions and goals. However, the primary objective of each method remains the same – selling a product or service to those who are ready to buy. B2B marketing professionals are often insulated from the consumer marketplace. Because of this, it is common for these individuals to downplay the importance of customer service, customer engagement and customer satisfaction.
Every marketing professional has experiences as a seller and buyer. The latter has given each of us a strong idea of what we like and don’t like during the sales process, as well as the level of attention we expect sales representatives to give us. With this in mind, B2B marketers can dramatically improve their own performance by exploring winning strategies of B2C marketers being used today.
Lesson 1: Support is key
In today’s society, customer service has become a 24/7 industry. Individuals are able to pick up their phone at all hours of the day and connect with helpful support. Many companies collaborate with workers and clientele across multiple timezones. “Opening” and “closing” times no longer exist in the way they once did. B2B marketers must be prepared to help their clients at all hours of the day.
If their business never sleeps, neither should yours. This doesn’t necessarily require someone sitting at a phone day and night. Instead, consider developing support packages which are available online. Your clients should be able to log error reports, access relevant FAQ documents, and obtain a realistic view of when their problem will be resolved.
As seen from the growing number of on-demand support startups in existence today, the demand for 24/7 customer service is showing no signs of letting up.
Lesson 2: Customer satisfaction still matters
Take the time to measure customer engagement and satisfaction in key areas. This will help you better understand your successes and failures. For example, a series of positive reports may be a powerful signal that the time is ripe to expand.
Companies are not robots. They are composed of hard working individuals, each of whom is more than willing to praise your product or leave terrible reviews online. B2B marketers must always be aware of the opinions of the companies they are selling to. Here are ten great questions you should be asking each of your customers.
Lesson 3: The web is powerful, but it’s not personal
B2B buyers, like consumers, have become jaded with online advertising, random queries and e-mails from obscure businesses. B2B marketers who are serious about growing their business must find a way to distinguish themselves as an authentic source. No consumer enjoys feeling like businesses are only interested in making money. B2B buyers feel the same way. Always keep in mind that B2B and B2C services are, at their core, H2H – human to human.
Lesson 4: Consistency is critical
Sales professionals must remain in close contact with their clients. Consistency leads to personalization and trust. A fresh face is always nice, but not when it suddenly appears months into a buying cycle. This can severely damage any trust that has been built between B2B buyers and marketers. When clients are handed off between various sales reps, the sales cycle will be slowed significantly. Basically, the bond of trust and respect must be created yet again from scratch. Don’t let this happen to you.
Lesson 5: Expertise always sells
Connect your buyers with representatives who are experts in the products they sell. B2B marketers must fully research the products or services their company is selling instead of just assuming that they can ride on the coattails of their “enterprise-level” status. B2B buyers can quickly spot someone who is not prepared for important sales meetings.
This information should provide a powerful foundation for B2B marketers who are planning to optimize their pre-existing sales platforms. For more information and insights on B2B buying and online marketing, stay tuned for our next blog!