What Kind of Customer Experience Do B2B Buyers Expect?
More and more businesses are handling their purchasing needs online. The once pen-and-paper B2B buying process is waning, and with it, more companies are looking to online to complete their purchases. But with the B2B online retail industry experiencing rapid growth – there is already massive competition in most industries for these buyers. Online retailers must shift their priorities from bare bones business retail features to focusing on a more direct emphasis on customer experience to stay competitive. What are B2B buyers looking for? It isn’t as complicated as it seems. Buyers want a personalized, streamlined experience from a trustworthy company – this is how to gain the notorious loyalty of business buyers.
Transparent Pricing and Quote Request
We’ve all seen it before: the dreaded “Call for Pricing” caption. In today’s eCommerce landscape, that doesn’t cut it anymore. With most customers researching or shopping online, it’s more important than ever to list a product’s price on the company’s site and give business buyers the option to request wholesale pricing directly from a product page. Customers, now B2B, have grown accustomed to instant access to information, and for many, the thought of calling a representative to talk price is off-putting.
If a request for quote function doesn’t come native on your eCommerce platform – companies like Magento support extensions and add-ons for expanded functionality. The Web Solutions NYC B2B Request for Quote module lets business buyers submit quote requests and site owners modify or accept the quote request. Business buyers can then purchase directly from the accepted quote with one click of a button. Streamlining functionalities that used to take one-to-two business days by phone and email can keep the rate of repurchase high and customers happy.
Product Reviews & Video
Sometimes detailed technical information isn’t enough to convince a buyer that a product is right for them. If there’s a platform for customers to post product reviews, however, they may be reassured by the feedback of their peers. Not only will this increase customer engagement, but it will enhance their comfort with the product.
Video is another way to demonstrate a product. When a B2B buyer has a large purchase to make, they may feel more comfortable to know that their product has been well-reviewed and evaluated by the vendor.
The B2B buyer customer experience preference is two-fold. On one hand, they need the ability to contact a company immediately. Whether that’s through instant chat or a customer service helpline, these buyers need instant information to maintain their own business efficiency.
The other half of a company’s responsiveness is their engagement with customer feedback. If someone leaves a bad review of a product or even the company, customers will be pleasantly surprised to see businesses responding in a helpful tone. Whatever the response, B2B customers want to see the human elements of a company. Knowing that their seller will be responsive to their feedback helps them feel like an integral part of the company rather than just another sale.
It’s more than just a website. B2B must also be mobile friendly, allowing customers to make purchases from their phones or tablets. This can be as simple as responsive and optimized design on mobile devices or as comprehensive as an app. Customers expect to be able to access a seller’s online catalog without the hassle of logging onto their computers.
Many of the needs of B2B customers are similar to those in the B2C market. However, B2B sellers have more complex factors to consider, like complicated contracts and payment methods, while also standing to gain significantly more from an individual sale than many B2C marketers. Regardless of the complexity of its structure, customer experience is just as important and should be a central focus of any company.