In today’s hyper-competitive business landscape, delivering an exceptional customer experience could be the difference between success and failure.
At HubSpot’s INBOUND 2023, Todd White, Co-Founder and Vice President of Sales at GUIDEcx, delivered valuable insights on using the wisdom of successful B2C companies like Amazon to apply to B2B organizations. After all, the ultimate goal of both B2C and B2B firms is to create outstanding customer experiences that sustain and drive business growth.
In his session, White provided four pieces of actionable advice on optimizing your B2B customer experience, with an emphasis on the importance of delivery.
What Can We Learn From Amazon?
First, focus on the customer. Amazon is almost relentless in its customer-focus and prioritization of accurate, transparent information. This has set industry standards. Furthermore, White highlighted Amazon’s ability to provide the “same product, but different delivery.”
Amazon’s dedication to the customer experience extends far beyond the product alone. This dedication encompasses the entire delivery process. In particular, Amazon offers a comprehensive delivery tracking system with real-time updates, allowing customers to closely track and monitor the status of their package.
By notifying customers about on-time delivery or any possible delays, Amazon creates transparency and lets customers plan accordingly. This open communication instills trust and boosts customer satisfaction. By focusing on delivering both timely products and exceptional experiences, Amazon has distinguished itself. They set a high industry benchmark.
White broke down the key strategies we can take from Amazon’s exceptional business model:
1. Automation Enhances Customer Experience
Process automation is paramount in enhancing the customer experience. By providing customers with accurate delivery date forecasts and real-time updates, you maintain their trust in the product and company by informing them.
White illustrated this with data. A comprehensive GUIDEcx study conducted across a sample of 300,000 projects underscored the profound impact of automation in informing customers about delivery dates.
The study results revealed that businesses with automation received an outstanding 98% logo retention rate versus just 87% retention for businesses where automation was not effectively utilized.
TLDR: Automation retains customers. Surprising bad news is the worst kind of news; automation helps eliminate such unpleasant surprises.
2. Customer Experience Thrives with Active Communication
White emphasized how open and active communication forms the cornerstone of a thriving B2B customer experience. Communication is vital to forging strong relationships with customers and nurturing collaboration within product teams.
Implementing an automated customer portal can significantly increase a project manager’s capacity, as evidenced by a 40% capacity increase across the 300,000 GUIDEcx projects. Furthermore, implementing automated communications for project overviews, task assignments, late notices, and tech stack updates improves transparency and efficiency, ultimately ensuring timely delivery of the product.
3. Accountability Increases Engagement and Boosts Customer Experience
Engagement and accountability go hand in hand.
White emphasized the importance of a strategic approach in his presentation. He cautioned against the potential drawbacks of frequent customer logins, which can result in an alarming 83% drop-off rate. Instead, he advocated focusing on persona-based engagement strategies that align with customer preferences.
Furthermore, White discussed accountability measures within project teams by involving multiple participants in project delivery. Research shows that 91% of projects that finished on time involved five or more participants, compared to only 61% when there were two or fewer participants. With more people held accountable, delivery is accelerated.
4. Optimal Customer Experience Requires Speed
Templatizing processes, analyzing internal and external perspectives, and integrating systems can yield significant increases in speed. By streamlining operations in this manner, you can ensure a seamless, efficient, and timely delivery process.
White recommends developing clear boundaries and determining how deeply you want customers to be involved in your operations. Just as customers don’t belong in the kitchen of a restaurant, they may not need access to every aspect of your internal workings. It is about discerning the right balance to maintain an optimal customer experience.
By prioritizing a streamlined and seamless experience, free from unnecessary frills and information overload, businesses can significantly enhance and speed up the customer journey.
What Are White’s Ultimate Recommendations
for B2B Businesses?
Delivering exceptional customer experiences is a shared goal among B2B and B2C companies. By embracing the principles that have made companies like Amazon wildly successful in the B2C realm, B2B organizations can set themselves apart from the competition. Implementing automation, establishing transparent communication channels, fostering accountability, and prioritizing speed are all best practices that will pave the way for an outstanding B2B customer experience.
White urges B2B companies to remember: Customer experience extends beyond the product itself; it encompasses each step of the delivery process.
His advice? “Order your product, experience the delivery.”
This lets you go step-by-step through your product’s experience — as the consumer — to uncover the best ways to optimize and improve it. Eliminate the inevitable disappointment customers experience when faced with an unwieldy onboarding or delivery process. Embrace your role as a provider of experiences and deliver beyond expectations.
Rachel Dong, HubSpot
About the Author:
Rachel Dong is an Associate Marketing Manager on the SEO team at HubSpot. She is a graduate of Tufts University and is passionate about all types of content — writing, design, video, and more.
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