Customer experience is taking on an increasingly important role in B2B marketing. Presenting buyers with a positive experience whenever they interact with your business can be the deciding factor in whether or not they will return to make a purchase. It’s unsurprising then that 63% of top-performing B2Bs have integrated customer experience initiatives across their business, (2016 State of Marketing, Salesforce Research). Still, regardless of the increasing dedication to customer experience, the stakes keep getting higher as other differentiating factors gradually take a back seat. Now, 60% of consumers have higher expectations for customer service now than they did just one year ago. (Parature) Providing a good customer experience then, is more than worth the effort. While there’s no concrete formula that can ensure that every individual buyer gets exactly the customer experience they want, placing buyers at the center of your overall marketing efforts can help ensure that you don’t miss opportunities to go above and beyond buyer expectations.
While bigger brands may be able to execute multi-million dollar campaigns that delight their target audiences and then some, you don’t necessarily need to invest an enormous budget to give your clients and prospects a one-of-a-kind experience. Start with trust. Buyers are more likely to buy from a brand they trust, that much we know. And trust can also be a strong factor in creating a positive customer experience.
Here are three simple ways that you can start building trust with your customers:
Share your values. Demonstrate the things that matter most to your business. A good example of this is Stanley Black and Decker. They offer customers a detailed breakdown of the values that matter most to their brand and their business, including innovation and complexity reduction. They highlight how they execute these values through the content on their site, offering buyers a chance to see that they carry real weight.
Be transparent. Transparency goes a long way in building trust by showing buyers that they can depend on your processes and communications to steer them in the right direction. Buyers control so much of the buying cycle, deciding when and where and how to consume content, and content that clearly highlights a company’s offerings and methods without embellishments can offer them a source of truth that they can revisit when making purchasing decisions.
Clearly define your brand. A clearly defined brand voice and ethos gives B2B marketers a starting point to identify the ideal buyer, and the target audience. But it also offers a unique opportunity to share what makes your brand different from the others, and why a prospect should go with you over your competitors. With a strong brand identity, your campaigns connect firmly to the value proposition of your product, allowing you to build a following for both the product and your business. Delta is a great example of this. When customers receive Delta communications, they know exactly what to expect - and when they use the service, those expectations are confirmed. Delta’s pride in the service it offers, and its unique value proposition are all evident in each piece of content and throughout communications with customers.
Customer experience can be a lynchpin in both the success of your campaigns, and the success of your brand overall. By 2020, customer experience will be the key differentiator in buyer’s purchasing decisions - over price and product. (Walker)
Customer experience is complex, because no two buyers will behave the same way, but trust is a universal factor of a good buying experience. Prospects want to know that the business they choose to supply their needs is one that will deliver to their expectations. As customer experience takes center stage in determining which brands to buy from, it’s a good place to start cultivating the customer relationships that will ensure the success of your brand.