Whether you’re B2C or B2B, whoever’s responsible for customer service needs to understand that they’re now a key part of the customer acquisition and retention cycle. Improving customer service and success is not about being an information gatekeeper and reacting to and minimally fixing problems, but proactively managing the customer experience from their initial contact, through the sale, and on an ongoing basis, as a trusted advisor.
Why is this important? Because customers are willing to spend more for a better customer experience. B2B and B2C alike, if someone’s providing better service and working hard at smoothing their customer onboarding — and the customer feels that their needs are not only met, but anticipated — you’ve got to respond.
Customers Know When You’re Not Focused on Them
Every interaction a customer has with you, from a B2C customer walking into a store to a B2B client placing a support call, is a chance for you to show them you care about their needs, and not just their money.
It’s also a chance for them to have a bad experience: a salesperson more focused on their commission than recommending the right solution, or a support technician who’s more concerned with saying whatever it takes to get the customer off the line that actually solving the problem.
They pay attention when your company doesn’t care — and a bad experience will stick with them more powerfully than a string of good ones. If they go looking for a company that’ll make them feel like the people care about working toward their goals, you bet they’ll find one. And they won’t be back.
Don’t Get Caught in a Customer Service Gap
Even if you’ve got great front-facing staff delivering positive interactions, you’ve still got to worry about the technical side. With new technology and smart use of data, the bar for a good — or even acceptable — customer experience will only get higher. You have to be ready to continuously tweak and adapt, because when customers grow accustomed to a particular level of customer service in one part of their lives, they’ll increasingly carry over those expectations.
As clients start using chat bots when, for example, shopping for clothes online, they’ll start to wonder where your chat bot is as they grow frustrated navigating what used to be a perfectly good FAQ section on your site.
Likewise, if your competitors have figured out a way to automatically deduce what a customer might want in their next purchase, your sales rep’s call will be too late. Customer data is available like never before, and the companies that put it to effective use are the ones that’ll rise above the rest.
Achieve Customer Success through Customer Service Enablement
Improving the customer experience is a vital part of distinguishing yourself from the field and driving profits. So, how do you enable your company and its staff to provide the level of service customers expect?
From the sales side, your customers don’t want a pushy sales pitch. They never wanted that — but now that they all have the internet in their pockets, the salesperson is no longer the sole source of information. What they want from the salesperson is honest advice. When the purchase is done, they’ll be able to tell either way, so you might as well get it right and know the customer has the trust to come back for the next purchase.
At the same time, keep up with technology. Use the features available in powerful CRM software like HubSpot to deeply understand your customers’ journeys. Rather than expect the customer to come to you ready to buy, understand that improving your customer service means you need to be an educational resource as they research, and provide multiple points for them to have positive interactions with your company. Then, use new advancing technology to offer them seamless, smooth customer service experiences, automating some aspects while knowing where to filter them — and when they’re ready for a human to step in with personalized advice.
That’s our approach. Using it, we’ve helped more than 60 B2B organisations across Canada and the US implement it too and are always happy to meet for a quick advisory call.