53% of a customer’s decision to do business with a supplier is related to the sales experience they received.
In today’s tech-saturated world, B2B companies often fail to know the importance of B2B customers’ feedback. The revenues of any business, be it B2B or B2C, depends on the customer experience and the response of the customers as they stand behind every transaction. An improved customer experience contributes to a strong value proposition that you provide to the B2B customers by offering something beyond just the quality and price of your products and services. You can improve the B2B customer experience using customer feedback and it will bring you repeat business customers. Taking the B2B customer experience seriously adds value to your business, resulting in customer loyalty. You offer value and get value in return.
The customer experience matters the most in this age of experience economy. The B2B customers today are seeking something more than functional and rational benefits. All the brands are battling to outperform on experience by delivering faster and improving the customer’s journey. It has become highly crucial to successfully invoke the customer’s feelings of pride and accomplishment to create an unbeatable value proposition. The financial returns of superior customer experience can be instant and deliver a sustainable competitive advantage—to which the companies must pay attention.
A positive customer experience inspires B2B customers to spend more. At the same time, poor or negative customer experience results in brand switching and the spread of negative word of mouth (WOM). High customer satisfaction may not guarantee the return of your B2B customer if the competitors take them away with a more attractive customer value proposition. Therefore, it is highly important to keep an eye on the customer experience, and focusing on the B2B customer feedback is the best way of doing so!
Here you go with a roundup of ways of using customer feedback to improve B2B sales! Let’s dive down!
- Customer Feedback Helps Improve Customer Experience
- Customer Feedback Allows You to Understand Customer Needs
- Customer Feedback Allows you to Improve Responsiveness
- Customer Feedback Improves Quality and Boosts Sales
- Customer Feedback Helps Gain Foresight in your B2B Sales Process
1. Customer Feedback Helps Improve Customer Experience
The B2B customers are those who purchase from manufacturers, wholesalers, and distributors. You must know what your B2B customer expects from the experience of buying from you. You must be aware of the fact that the buyers will happily pay 16% more to receive a better customer experience. But the idea of superior customer experience has been associated more with the B2C market and companies have moved mountains to implement it. However, the B2B market is left at the mercy of fortune. According to McKinsey,
B2B companies have an average CX score of less than 50%. This is lower than B2C experience which is 65 to 85%.
It is important for a supplier to understand the priorities, challenges, and preferences of their B2B customers. It carries deep insights into the information that helps in molding the product development process. Meeting the needs of your B2B customers surely results in increasing B2B sales.
“84% of business buyers are more likely to buy from a company that demonstrates an understanding of their business goals.”
Improving the B2B sales has much to do with how you read the customer experience from the customer feedback. Your commitment to improving the customer experience determines the future of your organization. Once you take a deep insight into what your customer feels about your product, services, and everything related to it—it makes them come back. The excellence in customer experience requires a commitment to delighting the B2B customers by exceeding their expectations and thinking beyond customer satisfaction.
This commitment will reflect through your efforts and the B2B customers can easily recognize the difference. “May recession not be the reason to prevent your B2B customers from the luxury of an enhanced customer experience” adds Steve Elliott, Franchise Owner of Restoration1. A sophisticated supplier must bring a cross-functional team on board to improve customer experience. It must have a head of the customer experience—supported by someone in a research role to pull together and analyze the voice of the customers. Someone in the process implementation role to make sure that the customer experience is deep-seated across all processes.
2. Customer Feedback Allows You to Understand Customer Needs
The needs of the customers have always been a point of concern for businesses but they rarely succeed in realizing the needs of their B2B customers. Understanding customer needs and delivering on them is vital to achieving customer loyalty. Of course—it is easier said than done since the demands of the customers are diverse. It may require ultimate customization and at times you may need to go an extra mile to meet their demands. Times have gone when the price and quality have been the concern of the B2B customers as they’ve gone increasingly demanding now. There’s something to be done beyond the feedback of those sales team who bring you the most basic information which is even not true most of the time. price and quality can be a concern of the B2B customers but only when your focus is on selling what you’ve already offered. But to maximize the avenues of sales and to go over and above—you got to figure out what the B2B customer really values. You must know what they are actually requiring against a specific value of money.
The wants of customers transcend functional requirements like quality, quantity, and value for money. The end-users of your products and services are individuals who have emotions and attitudes. You must work in close collaboration with your B2B customers to have insight into what their customers are looking for. Giving due consideration to the needs and behaviors of the customers is highly crucial. A supplier must show empathy and even send handwritten notes to apologize and respond to the issues of their B2B customers—as they speak the heart of the end-users. As per the statistics of the SalesForce survey,
“68% of businesses expect companies to exhibit empathy”.
Feedback helps you understand what the customers want—providing you a base for market segmentation. You can rely on the segmentation of customers that may help you serve accordingly. Through segmentation, you can also identify the unmet needs of your customers that will contribute more to your ROIs. It also offers you a ground to differentiate your offering from your competitors—leaving no chance for your B2B customers to switch away. The B2B customers progressively value suppliers that assist them in standing out to serve their customers even better.
Antoine Boquen, CEO and Co-Founder of Horizons says “Feedback brings you the details about the needs, wants, and expectations of your customers.” It allows you to understand the entire value chain—from the supplier to the B2B customers– leading to B2C customers, added Antonie. The moment B2B companies learn to impact the customers of their customers—will be the moment when the B2B sales would start skyrocketing like crazy.
Do you know—86% of buyers tend to value customer experience more than product quality or price?
3. Customer Feedback Allows you to Improve Responsiveness
Once you gather all the valuable feedback from your customers, you’re in a position to fix everything that may be preventing those extra market shares. You can improve the quality of packaging, add more functionality to your product, enhance the availability of your products or services, and much more. Feedback brings you an opportunity to enhance B2B sales by improving your response to the feedback of your customers and delivering the value that your customers may be expecting from you.
Bertrand Theaud, Founder & Director of Statrys says “Timely response and speedy resolution to the concerns of B2B customers also contribute to improving the overall customer experience.” Response time to an issue must be faster than the expectations of your B2B customers and the responsiveness of your competitors. It has the potential to work as a competitive advantage that will eventually increase your repeat sales. The B2B companies that outshine in offering quicker responsiveness than their competitors are likely to provide a superior and memorable customer experience. Be sure that your B2B customers are not going anywhere then.
4. Customer Feedback Improves Quality and Boosts Sales
Feedback highlights the pain points of the B2B customers that enable you to identify where improvements need to be done. It spans several touchpoints across the journey of your B2B customers—encompassing communications, deliveries, distributions, and dispute resolution. Failing on this important necessity causes customer defection. Responsiveness matters a lot! Just imagine,
A physical bank takes 25 working days to approve a small business loan that a tech-friendly bank approves in a time span of fewer than 10 minutes.
Lachlan de Crespigny, co-CEO of Revelo says “Resolving the issues of the B2B customers is a calculated way to increase B2B sales.” Negative feedback brings you the prospects to improve your offering. By using the information, you get through feedback, you identify a problem that your customers may be facing and respond to it at your earliest and there you are.
5. Customer Feedback Helps Gain Foresight in your B2B Sales Process
In most organizations, feedback is likely to be only one-dimensional and internal. Just like a director in sales asking their salespersons how their meeting went with the B2B customers, usually getting an optimistic report, only for the vision to sign with a competitor later. However, during your “closed-lost” analysis do you actually find out what went wrong?
Well, we cannot blame the salesperson in this regard as they’re going to perceive the positives during the sales process. We’re better aware of the fact that we prize the same level of determination and persistence. This unchecked optimism may result in a double-edged sword for your own business—not having satisfactory and multi-dimensional internal and external feedback. Without the adequacy of feedback, you would land on the least probability of insight that is required to generate a handsome amount of B2B sales. Imagine facing the disasters like an insufficient budget to meet the B2B order requirements.
Or not meeting the customer expectations due to financial constraints? How about having a lack of product fit, mismatched timing of delivery, or lack of consensus on purchase terms? You might lose several B2B clients with huge potential for B2B sales if you fail to succeed in having effective foresight—which is possible to avoid through feedback. Dennis Grossman, Founder of Grossman Law Offices says “The success of your company is dependent on the success of your B2B customers.” Ensuring your B2B customers are successful should be at the heart of your business which can be done through feedback.
So what does this all mean?
Wrapping it up—feedback makes your B2B customers feel that their opinion actually matters. Customer feedback carries an immense potential to improve B2B sales. It serves in creating a positive consumer experience that ultimately results in increased B2B sales. You’re basically communicating that their opinion is respected and worthwhile. Learning about their judgments and emotions when interacting with your products or services is everything that matters.
Constant communication with your B2B customers creates a better sense of involvement that allows you to build a better business relationship and gain better foresight that helps you prepare for better. Abdul Saboor, Full Stack Developer at The Stock Dork says “Irrespective of the industry, customer experience is the key point that B2B companies should consider.” Top companies remain on the top for the reason that they continuously pay attention to what their customers actually think. Therefore, B2B companies should adopt techniques that B2C companies are already using for increased sales, business growth, and customer retention.
Focusing on customer experience excellence determines that the customer isn’t a mere transaction. In B2B markets, the customer often involves several decision-makers and influencers within the same company, often with diverse needs. The more sophisticated B2B suppliers know how to sell on value to diverse audiences.
They also realize the broader impact of their feedback considerations in terms of the value it adds to the customers of their B2B customers. Customer surveys and loyalty research tends to evaluate company performance in silos. But the B2B customer experience research is a reliable and multi-directional way to assess the whole customer journey in terms of interconnected touchpoints, and existing or predicted pain points.
Business-to-business audiences look for resolutions to problems or offerings that better fulfil their needs. Just like more customized products, highly integrated systems, improved responsiveness, reduced cost-in-use, or greater productivity. Intelligent B2B2 suppliers sell customer experiences and solutions—not products or services.