B2B Customer Support In 2023: Complete Guide
B2B companies are increasingly realizing the importance of having a killer customer support team. Amidst a highly competitive SaaS landscape, great customer support is a way to prove your business is a cut above the rest.
Businesses commonly invest vast amounts of capital into certain departments to gain potential customers. They include areas such as marketing and advertising. Another essential side of a business is customer support. An excellent customer support team is just as valuable as those other departments as it can also directly increase your company revenue.
B2B companies are increasingly realizing the importance of having a killer customer support team. Since your clients are experts in their field, they can recognize a service that will truly benefit them and their users. Yet a host of companies can provide similar business tools, so how would you stand out? Customer support is a way to prove your business is a cut above the rest.
Why is customer support so important for B2B sales?
Customer support should stand as one of the most important aspects of any company. Whether the focus is business-to-consumer (B2C) or business-to-business (B2B), customer support is your company’s direct connection to consumers and clients. With a successful customer support team, your company can enhance its reputation and cultivate loyal customers.
In a B2B context, customer support can be a complex and challenging task that is, nonetheless, highly rewarding. If your business provides a technical solution to a client, it is imperative that they see the return on their investment. The client’s users need to be happy with the tools and the level of service provided. That is why customer support plays a key role in whether the client continues using your tools or opts to churn.
An effective B2B customer support strategy can greatly impact company revenue. That is because B2B relationships offer high returns. When a customer purchases your services, your company has the chance to impress beyond its tools. One sale could significantly impact your revenue, depending on the size of your customer. By leveraging your support team, you can earn greater customer satisfaction.
By providing dependable and pleasant customer support, it is easier for you to satisfy and retain customers over extended periods of time. This leads to an increase in profit as the customer could look to you for other provided products. This also improves the lifetime value of the customer account.
Better company reputation
Consider the amount of resources that go towards advertising a strong reputation and brand for any company. It is a challenge to build that positive reputation and stand out in today’s highly competitive markets.
For example, you could have the best enterprise network security products on the market. You may create and disseminate a number of quality proposals to generate potential customers. Yet, when there is a following of happy customers that advocate on your behalf it is far easier for prospects to see your brand.
The work your company puts into providing positive customer experiences results in testimonies, reviews, and conversations among perceived trusted sources. Research has shown that word of mouth and customer references are the two most important factors when a business software purchase is to be made. Customer support and customer satisfaction are crucial to gaining this type of promotion and brand loyalty.
Differences between B2C and B2B customer support
B2C and B2B customer issues are quite different in nature. B2C issues revolve around individual consumers, and are singular. There are few things that can go wrong with individual purchases. This means it is usually easy to quickly diagnose and solve their issues.
B2B customer issues can differ entirely, depending on the different customers. Given the scale of services provided, it is not uncommon that a business would require multiple departments to cooperate in addressing the problem.
For example, your business may provide video conferencing tools for another. If ever the server goes down, your IT and product department would need to collaborate to fix the issue.
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How to Improve B2B Customer Support
By emphasizing customer-centricity, your customer support teams can be more proactive in addressing customer issues. This type of strategy comes as a part of a wider business model driven by customer experience (CX). After a sale is made, this approach to continued customer support can build a closer relationship between your business and your customer.
For that reason, it is increasingly common to see customer success teams after the point of sale. This approach to support means your departments can streamline queries by customer. It gives your company the competitive edge in terms of CX by showcasing your productivity. B2B companies that excel at CX can see an increase of up to 20% in customer satisfaction. That translates to a 10% increase in growth.
Customize the support
In order to provide high-quality support to a customer, it is important that you know them well. Recognize their needs, characteristics, and behaviors so that you can provide a tailored service for them. A B2B buyer may have multiple stakeholders, varying contact points, and different user demographics. By knowing your customer and providing customized support, you will show how much you value them.
Considering that customers communicate in multiple ways, it will be important to have a consistent omnichannel support system in place. Your company will need to provide consistent interactions across multiple touchpoints like on web, mobile, etc. In doing so, you lower your company response times and build trust with the customer.
As touched on earlier, B2B customer issues can require the input of multiple teams. Depending on the scale of a problem, it can be a challenge to efficiently fix an issue as different departments are required. Through cloud tools, your workforce can be mobile. Even with remote teams, using team collaboration tools, your support teams can lower the amount of time taken to address support tickets and boost productivity.
Communication is a key aspect of efficient collaboration when fixing B2B customer issues. It is increasingly common to find members of the customer support team working remotely. Though there are challenges to having a partially remote workforce, there are software solutions that keep lines of communication clear and shorten response times, e.g. report design and VoIP tools.
Invest in automated customer support tools
Customer support tools can greatly enhance the quality of your service. By incorporating great customer support tools, your business will see increased customer satisfaction. For example, you may need an automated live chat on product landing pages. That may aid customers wanting to do their own research.
When you find the technology you need, you will see greater potential in the quality of support your company can provide. A smaller business may find it easier to provide good customer support by automating processes to improve operations. For example, by incorporating chat software it is easier to request a customer’s contact information or collect other data on them.
By automating live chat software, it is possible for staff to offer a more personalized experience at the right time. With the information gathered, it may also be easier to move deals forward or drive certain actions with specific interactive content engagements. With the use of automated ticketing, you can save the support team’s time by having dedicated account managers receive tickets for specific accounts.
Integrate customer relationship management
In the realms of B2B sales and customer support, it is better for the agents to have the most up-to-date customer information possible. Using the information, support agents will be able to send consistently useful engagements to your customers at the right time. For example, you may send a blog titled, “Is VoIP good for small business” to new small business prospects.
As CRM and customer support tools are usually separate, there could be a slight lag in time when finding customer information. Say marketing has a blog campaign titled, “what is the best VoIP phone service” aimed at undecided leads. By integrating CRM and customer support tools, your agents can find all the necessary customer information in the same location and avoid sending conflicting messages to the wrong offices.
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By maximizing the technology available, it will be easier for your customer support team to provide exceptional B2B customer experiences. The time and energy invested in nurturing B2B customer relationships will pay off. By providing high-quality customer support, your company will see a positive influence on brand reputation and in customer advocacy.
Take the time to assess and improve your B2B customer service. B2B customers are not solely focused on the quality of a product. Today, they are spoiled for choice. They want to know how your product meets their needs, but by providing a personal service, your company may have the edge over others.