Even if Valentine’s Day isn’t your favorite holiday, it can still serve as a reminder to show B2B customers some appreciation. But what exactly do your customers want? Don’t worry — it’s not chocolate and flowers.
In a recent study, Salesforce Research asked more than 2,300 business buyers about their customer experience preferences and expectations. Technology is undoubtedly changing the way customers consume information. But how is it shaping customers’ expectations of companies — and how are businesses responding in turn? We found that 89% of business buyers expect companies to understand their business needs and expectations.
The full “State of the Connected Customer” report covers this subject in greater detail, but here’s a quick look at three things B2B customers expect from companies today.
Seventy percent of business buyers say it’s very important for companies to provide a personalized experience for their company. The expectation for companies to personalize interactions stretches beyond single interactions. B2B customers want companies to know and understand them whenever they engage — whether it’s a marketing, sales, or customer service touchpoint. For example:
74% of business buyers say that sending personalized or exclusive offers and discounts influences their loyalty. Business buyers appreciate vendors who make the effort to personalize their marketing outreach.
79% of business buyers say it’s very important to have a sales rep who serves as a trusted advisor. Business buyers want sales reps who understand their existing relationships, have market knowledge, and don’t try to sell them unnecessary products.
78% of business buyers say it’s very important for service agents to know their company’s service history so they don’t have to spend time filling him or her in. Business buyers demand a highly personalized service experience from an agent with extensive knowledge of the customer’s business, goals, product configuration, and more.
We live in a culture of immediacy. The concept of waiting is quickly vanishing as customers march to the drumbeat of push notifications, tap-to-buy buttons, and more. This pervading culture increases customer demands of companies — for consumers and business buyers alike. Our research revealed that 80% of business buyers expect companies to respond to them in real time.
Speed is even more critical to B2B customers in customer service instances. Business buyers typically contact customer service in high-stress situations, such as user experience errors, lack of access to key systems, or other high-stakes business disruptions. Slow resolution is unacceptable; 86% of business buyers say it’s absolutely critical or very important to have issues resolved in a timely manner.
From smartphones to smartwatches, connected devices have upped the “anytime, anyplace” expectations of B2B customers. They want the ability to run their business from their phone — whether that means conducting research, checking on purchase orders, or giving approvals quickly.
More than half (57%) of business buyers say they’re likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t provide an easy-to-use mobile experience. Understanding that mobile devices are the new command center for business buyers — and making “mobile first” a business priority — can help you keep B2B customers happy for the long haul.
Download the “State of the Connected Customer” report to learn more about B2B customer (and consumer) expectations for smarter customer experiences.