Customer is king; the customer is always right, call it what you will – there seems to be a golden rule in B2C sales that communicates that it’s essential that customers are always happy. We, as customers, hold so much power over businesses, especially when something goes wrong with the buying experience that isn’t our fault.
It’s no different for B2B sales – in fact, B2B buyers are perhaps more decorated kings because they have more money. Businesses selling to businesses generate big profits, but in turn, also face big risks. Big partnerships and sales come with great responsibility and an innate pressure to keep the customers — which can be up to ten people per sale — happy. Let’s have a look in more detail at why the B2B customer is king.
The Buying Experience Is More Influential
According to a study by Lumoa – up to 80% of buyers want an experience similar to the B2C buying experience. Perhaps this is because so many are hoping to find a way of simplifying their purchasing experience. The buying experience, in general, is much more influential, with 68% of buyers agreeing they would recommend a brand to a friend based on their customer service experience alone.
There’s plenty of techniques that can help B2B sales mimic B2C – rewards being one of them. Business to business loyalty programs are proven to increase customer loyalty, boost recommendations, and boost profits by up to 95%. It’s similar to B2C companies that offer loyal customers rewards for repeat purchases – the food subscription service Hello Fresh is the perfect example. Hello Fresh offers lucrative discounts to loyal customers that keep them spending more for longer.
A b2b loyalty program like the one available here https://www.incentivesmart.com/customer-loyalty would be just as effective. By offering buyers rewards through a B2B loyalty program, you’re more likely to encourage and entice loyal customers to spend more if they know they’re going to get something back. Rewards can be based on purchases, friend recommendations, or even communication between consumer and brand.
There’s a Longer Buying Cycle
Most of the buying process happens behind the scenes. According to Gartner, buyers will only spend 17% of their time meeting with potential sellers. And, if a buyer has multiple options and is considering different suppliers, each rep per company may have the pleasure of experiencing 5 to 6% of their time. That’s not a lot of time to make an impact, and that’s only one small portion of the buying cycle.
That proves how long and complex the buying cycle is if the buyers only have a short window of time spare to meet with suppliers – and that’s why 77% of B2B buyers report their latest purchase was complex and frustrating. Take the fashion industry as an example – Gucci if you want to be extra.
There’s no way Gucci would let one person purchase materials from one supplier on their own without consulting a team of people. A team of people is involved in inspecting every detail, and that’s where B2B sales differ massively from B2C sales.
There’s More Money In-Play
The better you can treat a customer, the more likely you are to get them to spend. B2B spending, however, is much different from B2C spending. One study in 2019 found the average B2B transaction was $31,118. And, in 2020, the global eCommerce market alone was worth $14.9 trillion. There’s a lot of money in play with B2B sales and transactions – which is why it’s such a lucrative business opportunity. And, it emphasizes why, if anything, the B2B customer is more of a king than a B2C buyer.
The customer will be king, and as customers ourselves, we can benefit from that. Plus, there’s more of a watchful eye on how brands are treating buyers. Thanks to the rise of social media and TikTok, negative business interactions are more widely documented than ever before. To stop your company from appearing in the limelight for the wrong reason, how will you ensure your customers are king?