7 Tips to Improve Your B2B Customer Service and Retain More Clients
B2B customer service is the assistance or advice that you provide to other businesses that use your products or services. It is different from B2C customer service, where your customers are individuals. B2B customer service involves more stakeholders, longer sales cycles, higher expectations and more complex solutions.
B2B customer service is not just about fixing problems or answering questions. It is also about building trust, loyalty and long-term relationships with your clients. According to a report by Accenture, over 90 percent of B2B leaders believe that providing a great customer experience is the key to reaching their company’s goals.
But how can you deliver excellent B2B customer service that meets and exceeds your clients’ needs? Here are seven tips to help you improve your B2B customer service and retain more clients.
1. Know your clients and their goals
One of the first steps to improve your B2B customer service is to know your clients and their goals. You need to understand who they are, what they do, what challenges they face, what outcomes they want to achieve and how your products or services can help them.
You can use various methods to gather this information, such as surveys, interviews, feedback forms, CRM data, social media, etc. You can also segment your clients based on their industry, size, location, needs, preferences, etc. This will help you tailor your customer service to each client and provide them with personalized solutions.
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2. Communicate clearly and proactively
Communication is vital for any relationship, especially in B2B customer service. You need to communicate clearly and proactively with your clients throughout their journey with your brand. You need to keep them informed about the status of their orders, deliveries, projects, issues, etc. You also need to respond to their queries, requests and feedback in a timely and professional manner.
You can use various channels to communicate with your clients, such as email, phone, chat, video call, etc. You can also use tools like help centers, chatbots or knowledge bases to provide them with self-service options. You should also follow up with your clients regularly and ask them for feedback or suggestions on how to improve your customer service.
3. Provide value-added services
Another way to improve your B2B customer service is to provide value-added services that go beyond your core products or services. Value-added services are extra benefits or features that enhance your clients’ experience and satisfaction. They can also help you differentiate yourself from your competitors and increase your client retention.
Some examples of value-added services are free consultations, training sessions, webinars, newsletters, reports, case studies, etc. You can also offer discounts, referrals, loyalty programs or other incentives to reward your loyal clients and encourage them to stay with you.
4. Solve problems quickly and effectively
Problems are inevitable in any business relationship. However, how you handle them can make a big difference in your B2B customer service. You need to solve problems quickly and effectively before they escalate or damage your reputation. You also need to prevent problems from recurring or affecting other clients.
You can use tools like ticketing systems, live chat or chatbots to track and resolve problems efficiently. You can also use analytics or feedback tools to identify the root causes of problems and find ways to improve your products or services. You should also apologize sincerely for any inconvenience caused by problems and offer compensation or solutions that satisfy your clients.
5. Collaborate with your clients
Collaboration is another key factor for improving your B2B customer service. You need to work with your clients as partners rather than vendors or suppliers. You need to involve them in the decision-making process and listen to their opinions and ideas. You also need to align your goals and expectations with theirs and deliver on your promises.
You can use tools like project management software, online platforms or shared documents to collaborate with your clients effectively. You can also use feedback tools or surveys to measure their satisfaction and loyalty levels. You should also celebrate their successes and achievements and show appreciation for their trust and support.
6. Educate your clients
Education is another aspect of B2B customer service that can help you improve your client retention. You need to educate your clients about your products or services and how they can use them optimally. You also need to educate them about the latest trends, best practices or innovations in your industry or niche.
You can use various methods to educate your clients, such as blogs, podcasts, videos, ebooks, white papers, etc. You can also use webinars, workshops or online courses to teach them new skills or knowledge that can help them grow their business or solve their problems.
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7. Ask for referrals and testimonials
Referrals and testimonials are powerful ways to improve your B2B customer service and attract more clients. Referrals are recommendations from your existing clients to their network of contacts who might need your products or services. Testimonials are positive feedback or reviews from your satisfied clients that showcase your value and credibility.
You can ask for referrals and testimonials from your clients by using email, phone, social media, etc. You can also use tools like referral programs, review platforms or online forums to encourage and reward your clients for spreading the word about your brand. You should also display your referrals and testimonials on your website, social media, marketing materials, etc. to boost your reputation and trustworthiness.
B2B customer service is not just a function or a department. It is a mindset and a culture that permeates your entire organization. It is also a strategic advantage that can help you stand out from the crowd and retain more clients.
By following these seven tips, you can improve your B2B customer service and deliver a great customer experience that builds trust, loyalty and long-term relationships with your clients.
How B2B Customer Demand Is Changing Globally
The business-to-business (B2B) market is undergoing a significant transformation as customers demand more omnichannel, convenient, and personalized experiences from their suppliers. In this blog post, we will look at some of the latest statistics and trends that show how B2B customer demand is changing globally and what implications this has for B2B companies.
The Rise of Omnichannel B2B Sales
One of the most striking changes in B2B customer behavior is the preference for omnichannel sales, which means using multiple channels to interact with suppliers, such as face-to-face, remote, and self-service. According to a recent survey by McKinsey, B2B customers now regularly use ten or more channels to interact with suppliers, up from just five in 2016 . Moreover, 94% of respondents view today’s B2B omnichannel reality as being as effective or more than before COVID-19 .
Omnichannel sales are not only more convenient for customers, but also more effective for suppliers. The survey found that the more channels a sales organization deploys, the bigger the market share gains . Additionally, buyers are more willing than ever to spend big through remote or online sales channels, with 35% willing to spend $500,000 or more in a single transaction, up from 27% in February 2021 .
The Challenge of B2B Customer Loyalty
Another key trend in B2B customer demand is the increased willingness to switch suppliers if their needs are not met. The survey revealed that B2B loyalty is up for grabs, as customers are looking for exceptional omnichannel experiences that offer performance guarantees, real-time customer service, personalization, transparency, and flexibility . For example, eight in ten B2B decision makers say they will actively look for a new supplier if performance guarantees (e.g., a full refund if a certain level of performance is not met) are not offered .
This means that B2B companies need to invest in building long-term relationships with their customers and delivering value beyond the product or service. According to another survey by UserGuiding, 68% of B2B customers say they are willing to pay more for a product or service if they receive a better customer experience . Furthermore, 74% of business buyers say they are more likely to buy from a company that offers personalized recommendations based on their needs .
The B2B market is evolving rapidly as customers demand more omnichannel, convenient, and personalized experiences from their suppliers. B2B companies need to adapt to these changes and offer more value to their customers to retain their loyalty and grow their market share. By leveraging data, technology, and customer feedback, B2B companies can create engaging and effective omnichannel sales strategies that meet the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s B2B customers.
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