3 B2B Customer Experience Trends to Watch in 2018

3rd July 2018

In the current era where the customer is now king, successfully defining and delivering a stellar customer experience is a surefire way for B2B companies to seize a winning competitive advantage.

Recently Accenture discovered that while 90% of B2B leaders believe that customer experience is crucial to their companies’ strategic priorities, the majority aren’t fully in control of the process. Over the coming months, it’s clear that CX is going to become a growing priority for growth-oriented businesses.  

So what could the shift towards delivering a better customer experience look like in practice? As the second half of 2018 gets underway, here are the top 3 trends that we expect to see making waves in the B2B CX sphere.

 

1. Automated Assistance

With AI technology becoming more sophisticated, B2B brands are beginning to leverage it to provide automated assistance that enhances their customers’ experience.

In particular, conversational chatbots allow brands to provide almost instant gratification to customers in a whole host of contexts. For example, chatbots can be used to facilitate:

  • filling out application forms and providing decisions based on the answers
  • troubleshooting for technical services
  • personalised lead nurturing content delivery
  • tailored product and/or service suggestions
  • worldwide customer service with instant translation

As well as being quick and convenient for customers, chatbots can provide businesses with a rich dataset which can be fed into further CX-enhancing endeavours. Win-win!

Can you identify any untapped use cases for automated assistance that would wow clients in your industry?

 

2. Analogue Stikes Back

Just as digital brand touchpoints continue to increase, opting to break the mould and go ‘old school’ can also become a unique point of difference for B2B brands.

Especially when a customer’s relationship with a business has been purely digital, bringing it into the physical world can be a charming, humanising touch that enhances a customer’s perception of your business.

Here are a few ‘real world’ ways B2B brands can surprise and delight customers:

  • sending a handwritten thank you note
  • delivering physical greeting cards on special occasions
  • hosting face to face coffee and/or lunch meetings
  • delivering physical materials, e.g. a treasure chest with useful brand swag for your client's office, branded cupcakes for the break room etc.

The possibilities are endless, and there is room to be as creative as your brand personality allows. Can you see how you could incorporate analogue tactics to enhance your customers’ experience?

 

3. Moving Beyond Rationality

When B2B brands consider the customer experience, it’s very tempting to get caught up in focusing solely on the rational benefits they deliver. Despite the B2B label, it’s important to remember that at the end of the day, you’re really communicating with humans.

For CX-focused businesses, the magic happens when they’re able to bundle up and deliver emotional as well as rational benefits to customers.

If you want to appeal to the heart as well as the head, here is a list of emotional benefits you might want to consider weaving into your customer experience:

  • feeling optimistic about the future
  • feeling informed and knowledgeable
  • feeling in control
  • feeling safe and secure
  • feeling unique and special
  • feeling like they’re a part of a community
  • feeling like they’re making a positive impact
  • feeling understood

In essence, creating a captivating customer experience is all about going above and beyond to create the kind of emotional connection that will make people want to tell all of their colleagues about your brand and stay loyal to it for years to come.

 

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Considering how your brand’s customer experience could be upgraded to create a positive impact on your bottom line? Get in touch with our Managing Partner, Philip Martin, at philip.martin@dma-partners.com to discuss how we can help you create a winning CX strategy.

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