Anecdotally, B2B buyers often find buying from a vendor more time-consuming and difficult than they can tolerate. In fact, many think of the experience as out-right awful. While this applies primarily to purchases of complex products, such as manufacturing equipment, all vendors must adapt their B2B customer experience to keep buyers coming coming back. Speedy fulfillment, easy and flexible purchasing options, and proactive communication can go a long way to making your B2B customers happy.
A B2B Customer Experience that Reflects Buyer Priorities
Buyer behavior has organically changed and now parallels consumer behavior. In other words, buyers use the internet the way consumers do. It’s not just that they are increasingly younger and more digitally native. It’s that online is where the research and a lot of purchases have moved. The B2B customer experience must adapt to buyer behavior, while recognizing (of course) that these customers have particular priorities.
Speed up the Process
A 2017 survey of B2B executives identified lack of speed in a supplier as their number one purchasing pain-point. By providing faster ways to complete a purchase (ie, B2B eCommerce), responding quickly to queries, and getting product out faster, you can vastly improve the B2B customer experience. In fact, speedy, streamlined interactions can significantly increase conversions and customer loyalty, and lower service costs.
Make it Easy and Flexible
It’s good to keep in mind that it’s the buyer’s job to make a purchase. An efficient buying process, then, makes their job easier. A website with good content, clear pricing, real-time product availability, and simple checkout are just the start. Suppliers can win more with things like unique pricing arrangements, convenient re-ordering options based on customer activity, and more.
Believe it or not, buyers want to hear from you after they’ve begun their product research. In one survey, 71% said they want to talk to vendors when they are looking for “new ideas”. (By the way, 80% prefer to be contacted by email). Other research suggests buyers will contact a supplier a when they’re already half-way through the customer. So a good B2B customer experience is one that clearly communicates your value proposition. And one with a marketing strategy that lets you identify prospects for communicating early on.
Cin7 can help suppliers improve their B2B customer experience. First, Cin7 makes real-time stock availability transparent on its built-in B2B eCommerce website. Even more importantly, it integrates the big box retailers, logistics and shipping services, and third-party CRM software suppliers use in a single multi-channel management platform.
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