How To Improve B2B Customer Experience In 2024

In the world of business-to-business (B2B) transactions, strong relationships are key. These aren’t quick consumer sales; B2B deals are more about in-depth decision-making and long-term partnerships. This is where a great customer experience (CX) becomes really important.

For B2B businesses, focusing on a quality customer experience is crucial. Why? Because a single bad experience can turn a customer away. In fact, one in three customers might stop dealing with a business after just one poor experience. 

In a world where many B2B products and services are similar, how a company treats its customers can really set it apart and provide a competitive edge. In fact, over 80% of B2B buyers now expect the same buying experience they would get in a B2C transaction.

In this article, we will start by defining the B2B customer experience. Next, we’ll talk about why customer experience is so important in B2B and how it can make or break a business. We’ll also give you five practical strategies to improve your B2B customer experience and share some examples of companies doing it right.

What Is B2B Customer Experience?

At its core, B2B customer experience (CX) refers to a business’s overall impression and interaction with another business, encompassing every touchpoint from the initial contact to post-purchase support. 

Unlike the B2C world, which focuses on quick, individual sales, B2B CX is about building and maintaining a deeper, ongoing relationship. These relationships are built on understanding each other’s business needs, providing solutions, and ensuring consistent support.

Why B2B customer experience matters

Customer experience (CX) is extremely important in the B2B sector and has become a major factor in gaining a competitive advantage. About two-thirds of companies are focusing mainly on customer experience to stay ahead in the market.

This shift is largely driven by customer expectations. According to insights from Salesforce, 80% of customers view CX as equally important as a company’s products or services. This trend indicates that customers are willing to pay more for better service, which presents a significant opportunity for businesses to boost their profits.

Moreover, B2B customer expectations are often influenced by their experiences as everyday consumers in the B2C world. By regularly interacting with various businesses, they become acutely aware of what constitutes good and bad service. Consequently, these customers expect a similar level of service in their professional interactions as they would experience as consumers.

A positive customer experience is good for the bottom line 

According to a study by McKinsey, a strong focus on customer experience in B2B can lead to about 10-15% more sales, happier customers, better-performing staff, and it can even cut costs by 10-20%.

On the flip side, poor customer service can be detrimental. Satisfied customers, conversely, are more likely to engage frequently, with their spending potentially increasing by up to 200% annually. 

In summary, investing in customer experience is a strategic move that can significantly boost a company’s financial performance and market standing.

Five CX Strategies to Improve B2B Customer Experience

1️⃣ Map the customer journey 

To improve the customer experience, it’s crucial to first understand the steps a buyer goes through when dealing with your business. This journey, from the first contact to providing ongoing support, is key to figuring out how to make things better for your customers.

Stages of the B2B customer journey

💡 Awareness: This is the starting point where a potential client becomes aware of your business. It could be through marketing efforts, word of mouth, or their own research. At this stage, the goal is to stand out and make a strong first impression.

🔍 Consideration: Once aware, the potential client starts considering your products or services as a solution to their problem. They might compare your offerings with competitors, look at reviews, or engage with your sales team. Here, providing detailed and relevant information is key.

✅ Decision: This stage involves the client deciding to go ahead with your product or service. The focus should be on making the purchasing process as smooth as possible, addressing any concerns, and reinforcing the value of your solution.

🛠️ Implementation: After the purchase, the client will implement your product or service. Your role is to ensure a seamless integration or onboarding process by offering training, resources, and support as needed.

🤝 Support and maintenance: Ongoing support is crucial in B2B relationships. This includes customer service, regular check-ins, and providing updates or improvements to your products or services.

🔄 Renewal or upsell: The final stage involves renewing the contract or introducing additional products or services. Here, the focus is on demonstrating ongoing value and deepening the relationship.

Mapping this journey is crucial for a few reasons: 

Understanding customer needs and expectations 

By mapping the journey, businesses gain insights into their customers’ needs, pain points, and expectations at various stages. This understanding is vital for tailoring products, services, and interactions to meet customer requirements.

Identifying key touchpoints 

The process helps identify the critical points where customers interact with the business. These multiple touchpoints are opportunities to influence the customer’s perception and decision-making, so it’s essential to optimize these interactions for a better customer experience.

Identifying pain points and opportunities 

Mapping the journey helps pinpoint areas where customers might face difficulties or frustrations. Addressing these pain points can significantly enhance the customer experience. It also uncovers opportunities for innovation and improvement in products, services, and processes.

👉 The Challenge with Video Content💡Expert insight: 

“A detailed customer journey map allows businesses to see their service or product from the customer’s perspective. This insight can help refine the customer experience, ensuring that it is smooth, engaging, and meets their expectations, leading to increased satisfaction and loyalty.”

  •  Ian Naylor, Co-Founder at Hyperise

2️⃣ Provide excellent customer service.

Time is a precious resource for your customers. If placing an order takes too long or has time restrictions, you will lose consumers over time. The goal is to provide an efficient and fast service, both virtual and on-site:

Harness automation, AI, and machine learning to create a more seamless customer experience. This can include chatbots for 24/7 customer interaction, algorithms for predictive customer needs, and digital systems for streamlined communication.

A great example of a B2B chatbot used to navigate a specific website’s content is HubSpot, a leading marketing, sales automation, and customer services company. Upon opening their webpage, visitors can immediately find the chatbot in the right-hand corner.

The chatbot effectively guides visitors by offering specific information and calls to action. For example, the first step leads you to products, pricing, or educational content. 

If you want to learn more about their products, the chatbot gives you the option of starting a free trial or speaking with someone on the team.  After that, visitors can directly chat with a team member or leave a contact email in case they have to interrupt the conversation.

This B2B chatbot is a great example because it combines personalization and efficiency. It makes each visitor feel that they can navigate the page in pursuit of their individual goals. 

The chatbot offers targeted options by simplifying the process of navigation, improving customer service, and providing a seamless experience for buyers.

Here are some other ways to provide good customer service:

✔️ Ensure quick and efficient response times: B2B clients often rely on prompt service to maintain their operations. Ensuring that customer inquiries, requests, or issues are addressed quickly and efficiently is crucial.

✔️ Train your team effectively: Your customer service team should be well trained—not only in your products and services, but also in communication and problem-solving skills. They should be able to handle a wide range of scenarios with professionalism and competence.

✔️ Seamless payment and delivery systems: In B2B transactions, a seamless payment and delivery system is key to a positive experience. Streamline the entire order-to-cash cycle by integrating it with your business payment solutions and delivery partners. Efficiently manage all aspects—from order dispatch to handling returns—to maintain trust and reliability with your business clients.

👉 The Challenge with Video Content💡 Pro-tip: Omnichannel support is gaining traction

Adopting omnichannel support strategies is increasingly becoming a priority for businesses, as it’s driven by evolving customer expectations. 

Today’s consumers anticipate the ability to reach businesses through their channel of choice, whether it’s a website, mobile app, social media platform, or live chat. They expect both availability on their chosen platform and a swift and consistent response regardless of the channel used.

This shift in customer behavior has led many companies to implement omnichannel support strategies. 

The aim is to provide a seamless and integrated customer support experience. By being available on multiple channels simultaneously, businesses can meet customers where they are, enhancing the overall customer experience.

3️⃣ Collect customer feedback 

Another good strategy to improve the B2B customer experience is to ask your customers what they think.

It’s common for customers to be more vocal about negative experiences, often through online reviews or by word of mouth. Many customers don’t directly communicate their issues to the company. It’s estimated that only around one in 26 customers actually makes a formal complaint. 

This trend highlights the need for businesses to actively seek feedback and be attentive to online reviews and social media for indirect signs of customer dissatisfaction. 

Addressing negative feedback effectively by acknowledging and resolving issues can help maintain customer trust and potentially turn unhappy customers into loyal ones.

Here’s how to effectively implement and benefit from a feedback collection system:

Diverse feedback channels

Utilize multiple channels to collect feedback to accommodate different preferences and contexts. This might include surveys (post-interaction or periodic), feedback forms on your website, direct emails, social media interactions, and even phone calls. Each channel can provide different types of insights.

Collect customer feedback regularly 

Customer feedback should be gathered consistently, not just when a problem arises. Proactively seeking feedback at various stages of the customer journey helps in understanding your customers’ evolving needs and expectations.

Internal stakeholder feedback

It’s not just customers who can provide valuable insights. Employees, especially those who interact directly with customers (like sales and customer service teams), can offer crucial perspectives on customer needs, behaviors, and potential improvements.

Integration with CRM systems 

Integrate feedback collection with your customer relationship management (CRM) systems. This allows for a more comprehensive view of the customer experience by linking feedback to specific customer profiles and interactions.

Take action 

Collecting feedback is only valuable if it leads to action. Analyze the feedback to identify common themes, areas for improvement, and potential opportunities. This analysis should inform business decisions, service improvements, and strategic planning.

4️⃣ Personalized experiences are crucial  

68% of new customers say they’re more likely to purchase exclusively from brands that understand them and their needs. As such, personalization in the B2B customer journey is not just a nice-to-have feature; it’s a critical component of a successful business strategy that drives engagement, satisfaction, loyalty, and, ultimately, business growth.

It can improve the customer experience for B2B buyers in the following ways: 

✔️ Building stronger relationships: In B2B, relationships are fundamental. Personalization demonstrates an understanding and appreciation of each customer’s unique business needs, fostering stronger, more meaningful relationships.

✔️ Increased engagement: Personalization ensures that the interactions and solutions offered are highly relevant to each specific customer.

✔️ Enhanced customer experience: Personalized experiences make customers feel valued and understood. This has the power to build strong customer relationships across longer customer journeys. 

✔️ Improved customer retention rate: B2B markets often have higher barriers to entry and longer sales cycles compared to B2C. Personalization helps retain customers by continuously aligning your offerings with their evolving needs, fostering customer loyalty, and reducing customer churn.

Here’s how you can effectively integrate personalization into B2B customer experiences:

Collect and analyze customer data 

Start by gathering data about your customers. This includes basic information like industry and company size, and more detailed data like past purchases, interaction history, and preferences. Use analytics tools to gain insights from this data.

Segment your customers

Segment your customers into groups with similar characteristics or needs based on the data collected. This allows for more targeted and relevant interactions.

Customize communication 

Tailor your communication to match each customer segment’s specific needs and interests. Use their name, reference their industry, and mention relevant products or services in your emails, newsletters, and other communications.

Personalize your website and online platforms 

Use technology to create a personalized experience on your website. This can include customized product recommendations, personalized content, and user-specific offers based on their browsing history and preferences.

👉 The Challenge with Video Content🚀 Transform Your B2B Customer Experience with Hyperise!

Elevate your customer engagement to a new level of personalization. With Hyperise, you can:

✨ Personalize images and videos: Add dynamic layers to your marketing images and videos. Tailor your content to each customer’s profile, capturing their attention and making your messages resonate.

✨ Customize your website in a click: Use Hyperise to personalize your website’s text, images, and CTAs effortlessly. Our Chrome Extension allows code-free customization, ensuring every visitor’s experience is unique and engaging.

✨ Data-driven insights: Identify and understand your website visitors better. Hyperise enriches visitor data with detailed firmographic information, allowing highly targeted and relevant interactions.

✨ Seamless integration: Hyperise plays nicely with your existing marketing tools. Enhance your CRM, email campaigns, and more with our versatile integrations.

Ready to redefine how you connect with your B2B clients? Click here to start your journey with Hyperise and create a personalized customer experience like no other!

Develop tailored products and services

Offer customization options for your products or services to meet the specific needs of your customers. This could range from simple feature tweaks to entirely bespoke solutions.

Offer personalized content 

Create content that speaks directly to the needs and interests of your customer segments. This could be in the form of targeted blog posts, whitepapers, case studies, or videos.

5️⃣ Educate and inform your customers with quality content  

Educating and informing customers with quality content is critical to enhancing the B2B customer experience.

This approach involves creating and distributing informative and valuable content that helps customers understand your products or services better and provides insights to help them in their business operations. 

Here’s how to effectively educate and inform customers:

Understand customer needs and questions 

Start by understanding the common questions, challenges, and informational gaps your customers have. This understanding can guide the creation of relevant and useful content for your audience.

Develop a variety of content types

Different customers prefer different types of content. Some may favor in-depth whitepapers and case studies, while others might prefer quick-read blogs, infographics, or instructional videos. Offering a mix of content types ensures you cater to diverse preferences.

👉 The Challenge with Video Content💡 Pro-tip: Don’t be afraid to try interactive and engaging formats 

Incorporate interactive elements like quizzes, polls, or calculators to engage your audience more deeply. Interactive content can also provide insights into customer preferences and behaviors.

By focusing on educating and informing your customers through quality content, you can enhance their experience, build trust, and position your company as a leader in your field.

Focus on providing value 

Your content should aim to educate, inform, or solve problems, not just sell your product or service. By providing value through your content, you establish your brand as a knowledgeable and trustworthy authority in your industry.

Leverage expertise

Utilize the expertise within your company. Have knowledgeable team members contribute to content creation, which will ensure that the information is accurate, insightful, and reflects a deep understanding of the industry.

Consistent and regular publishing

Maintain a consistent schedule for publishing new content. Regular updates keep your audience engaged and help establish your company as a reliable source of information.

👉 The Challenge with Video Content💡 Pro-tip: Utilize social media and email marketing

Share your content across social media platforms and through email marketing. This broadens your reach and enables your content to be shared and discussed, increasing its impact.

Final Thoughts 

In conclusion, the journey to enhancing B2B customer experience is ongoing and dynamic. It demands a comprehensive approach that focuses on understanding the customer journey, providing excellent customer service, educating customers with great content, and continuously gathering and acting on feedback. 

This dedication to customer experience is not just about meeting expectations but about exceeding them, thereby fostering lasting relationships and driving business growth. 

As businesses strive to adapt and excel in this area, it’s crucial to remember the power that lies in choosing the right tools and strategies to make a significant impact.

Do you want to take your B2B customer experience to the next level? 

For those looking to further amplify their efforts in improving B2B customer experiences, exploring solutions like Hyperise can be a game-changer. 

Hyperise offers a suite of tools designed to enhance customer engagement through personalized images in emails, websites, and more, helping to create a more tailored and impactful customer interaction. 

Discover how Hyperise can help elevate your B2B customer experience strategies by visiting our website and trying it out for yourself.