In such challenging times we’re all looking at how best to invest our time, effort and budget to make a positive difference. Of course, there are many ways to do this, but to me one of the best places to start as a B2B marketer is customer experience. I’d say the B2B experience is so much more personal than in B2C. Often a B2C purchase is quick, forgettable and far less emotive whereas in B2B the experience can last a lot longer and let’s face it we all want to be seen to have made the right decision in front of our colleagues and peers.
So the good news is that we have the power to change a bad or average customer experience into an epic one and here’s three places to start:
1. Map out the customer journey
Any previous CX maps you had are out of date so take the time to look at the journey from start to finish and across multiple channels. Some questions to consider are:
• Based on your product/service are you attracting the right people?
• Do you engage with them through the right channels? And have you seen a shift during lockdown for example increased website traffic?
• Is your messaging relevant to your target audience and does it convey how your product/service can help them?...personas will really help here!
• Are you fulfilling your customers wider needs for example trust, experience, ability to form a long-term partnership etc.
• Do you maintain a good customer experience throughout the journey or does it fail once a prospect becomes a customer? Have you seen an increase in customer engagement on your website during lockdown for example?
When looking at the customer journey and evaluating success there is often a tendency to focus on converted customers and client satisfaction scores etc. Whilst yes this is useful, don’t lose sight of those prospects that don’t convert – the ones that have been onto the website but not progressed any further. If you can identify reasons why those people despite showing intention didn’t take it forward you can drive change to increase conversion. This approach works across all channels not just online - it’s just for now many businesses are relying on their website to reach customers.
Remember to involve the various internal stakeholders that contribute to the journey for example marketing, sales, customer service/account managers etc. Not only will you gain valuable insight you can develop the unity required to deliver a consistent and connected experience for your customers.
2. It’s not just about selling
Good customer experience drives loyalty and during a time when you might not be selling - you want to be the supplier that helped and informed so when the time is right you will be remembered for the right reasons. Content is a great way to support your prospects and customers but it needs to be relevant and content they will actually find useful - again personas are a great tool for giving you insight about what interests your customers and their pain points. Sales team input here can be incredibly helpful - they’re the ones having regular conversations with prospects.
Linking back to customer journey mapping, when looking at content don’t forget the various stages of the buyer funnel and ensure your content is relevant to the stage your prospects and customers are at. A simple way to do this is to look at the different formats for content ie. video, infographics, articles, eBooks etc and ensure you have the right mix. Remember your content should help your customers, informing them with research and expert information about a key challenge they face, without plugging your company as the answer. People are savvy, they know your opinion is biased!
3. Be relevant and personal
Successful B2B campaigns talk to the right people with the right message in the right format and by doing so create a good customer experience. So, when looking at your messaging, ask yourself: are you delivering a personalised and relevant experience for your prospects and customers and importantly is this replicated across multiple touch points? Examples of good segmentation include:
• Industry segmentation
• Decision-maker segmentation
• Prospect & customer
• Funnel segmentation (awareness, consideration, conversion, loyalty, advocacy)
• Tiered segmentation or ABM – identifying those prospects/customers that have the largest potential to enable you to achieve your business goals through revenue or values etc.
Where possible test, measure and refine to ensure you reach the optimal level of segmentation that delivers a positive uplift in conversion. We all know segmentation means multiple messages and copy versions so identifying which segments create the best traction and on what channels enables you to prioritise your marketing activity.
In terms of personalisation, more and more of us adopting ABM campaigns with personalised content, landing pages, DM etc and when coupled with online personalisation tools the experience is more personal and direct…which is great but only if its relevant and drives a positive outcome - not just gimmicky. This approach is super effective when you can replicate the personalised approach at all stages of the customer journey not just at the awareness stage.
I saw a post on LinkedIn recently stating that:
‘Everything that we have actually really liked about lockdown was available to us already’
And it got me thinking this is so true in the B2B space, we all know that having a great product or service, mapping out the customer journey and delivering an awesome experience every step of the way will drive revenue but do we always see it/experience it...honestly no! So, in these difficult times lets focus on the things we can change and leverage our creativity, purpose and passion to make delivering a great experience for our prospects and customers the 'new normal'.
If you’d like to discuss your customer journey and get some advice, give me a call on 02392 314498 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.