B2B engagement has changed dramatically since the global pandemic. To find out how businesses are coping in the new normal, we spoke to Retail Capital and RIB CCS to discover how they’re developing trusted, personal customer relationships in traditional industries like financial services and construction.
We’ll also unpack our B2B engagement transformation framework to show how you can build robust, trusting partnerships of your own.
It’s no secret that customer relationships are influenced by digital channels. So businesses have little choice but to go all-in on digital engagement. And for B2B brands, that means taking a step back to rethink what customers want – and how, when, and where they want it. In fact, 88% of consumers expect companies to accelerate their digital initiatives due to COVID-19.
As the fourth State of the Connected Customer revealed, customers expect more from businesses than ever before. The contemporary customer relationship is no longer a purely transactional affair. It’s a truly connected partnership built on personalised, empathetic, and seamless experiences.
For South African lending firm, Retail Capital, helping SMEs grow is more than transactional. It’s an investment in the community and the businesses that help South Africa thrive. So how does Retail Capital transform their customer relationships into lasting, trusted partnerships?
“We aim to create a sense of community with our customers. We live by the purpose of removing the barriers to funding and growth.”
“Our strategy is simple,” explains Miguel. “We keep customer engagement rolling. And as lockdown has shown us, even the smallest interaction – such as checking in to see how they’re doing – can make a big difference.”
To help deliver personalised, empathetic interactions to its customers, Retail Capital uses Salesforce to connect and manage its many data points, creating a single source of truth accessible across the entire business.
The pandemic also made it clear that mastering engagement across all channels will be paramount to continued growth and success. As customers came to rely heavily on digital tools to stay connected, Retail Capital used Salesforce to ensure conversations could move seamlessly between channels at different times of the day.
“We use analytics to understand the customer, what they’re looking for, and when,” says Miguel. “It gives our agents the insights they need to deliver the kind of personalised omnichannel interactions that drive customer loyalty, uptake, and retention – and that includes our customer self-service portal.”
“By adopting AI with Salesforce Einstein, we can get even smarter and more predictive in how we market, sell, and serve our customers.”
The construction industry is the single largest global industry but it’s also one of the least digitised industries in the world. Not surprisingly, productivity has suffered, with approximately 80% of construction projects running overtime or budget.
RIB CCS, a leading global provider of specialist software for the construction and engineering industry, is on a mission to drive digital transformation and help the sector prosper for future generations.
“We live our mission through our customers. We don’t just sell software, we offer lasting partnerships that span years, even decades.”
“We become our customer’s trusted advisors, showing them not just how to use our software, but how to embed industry best practice into their organisations,” says Kim.
That’s why RIB CSS deployed Salesforce to enable greater visibility of all sales and marketing efforts. This partnership has helped its team take credit for the revenue generated by marketing activities and better inform prospect conversations.
“It used to be tough to monitor the link between marketing lead generation and how sales handled those leads. The two systems didn’t integrate – so, we switched to Salesforce,” says Kim. “A single dashboard view helps us understand which lead gen activities yield the best ROI, and by integrating engagement intel, we can have more relevant and meaningful conversations with our prospects.”
But winning sales is only one part of a bigger picture. And that’s why RIB CSS uses Salesforce to ensure every customer gets the connected, always-on service they expect.
“When we say we’re available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, we mean it,” says Kim. “In fact, we’re moving all post-sales service engagements into Salesforce to extend that single view of the customer, giving us the insight needed to better serve customers, amplify success, and empower digital transformation throughout the industry.”
Ready to kickstart your B2B engagement transformation? To deliver the personalised experiences customers expect, you need speed, scale, relevance, and resilience. Let’s unpack what these qualities mean for your organisation.
Speed is all about getting there first. This can mean solving a customer issue before they even know there’s a problem or recognising a shift in customer behaviour before your competitors. In short, it’s the ability to think fast, move fast, and provide the experiences your customers expect.
As you grow and evolve, you need to be ready to scale and adapt on-demand to keep delivering the innovative experiences that foster that loyalty and growth.
What’s even more important than personalisation? Relevance. This means tailoring interactions using data to deliver a satisfying journey for every customer.
Every business needs to be resilient. Because, let’s face it, none of the qualities above will mean anything if you can’t pull them off sustainably. Resilience is the power to equip your teams with the tools and technologies they need to overcome everyday challenges and drive customer-led growth.
Interested in creating a b2b engagement strategy? Start by watching this quick B2B Commerce demo!