What’s the biggest challenge of growing a B2B business? Of course, you have to build a rock-solid sales pipeline to generate, nurture, and convert leads. Also, you need a team of skilled marketers and sales professionals who will handhold prospects as they move from one stage of the conversion funnel to the next.
But converting a target buyer into a client isn’t the end of their journey. You need to delight them with a seamless post-sales experience. That’s where customer support steps into the picture.
B2B Customer Support: A Closer Look
Proactive, timely, and resourceful customer support is a must for every business. But unlike B2C organizations, customer support for B2B buyers isn’t as simple as deploying a ticketing system and live chat feature on your website. Nor should you expect B2B clients to reach out to you on social media platforms.
It’s worth keeping in mind that B2B transactions have a higher average order value than B2C transactions. Also, B2B buyers are experienced, senior-level professionals who need effective solutions to optimize their business operations.
That makes them more skeptical about making purchase decisions. They’re going to need extensive hand-holding even after they purchase your product. Also, B2B purchase decisions aren’t handled by an individual. Instead, they involve a team of c-suite executives and senior-level decision-makers. These professionals will likely move back and forth between various stages of the conversion funnel before making a purchase.
Also, the success of a B2B organization depends on forging long-term client relationships. Customer satisfaction, retention, and loyalty are crucial for driving repeat purchases and revenue.
All these factors highlight the importance of providing high-quality customer support at each stage of the sales pipeline. From hiring experienced support reps to using client portal software – there are various ways to enhance B2B customer support.
In the following sections, we’ll discuss a few effective B2B customer support techniques. Let’s get started.
Understand Your Clients
Having a clear idea of the B2B buyer’s journey is crucial for providing high-quality support. Use market research and customer surveys for a deeper insight into your clients’ queries and pain points at each stage. Also, you can use business intelligence tools to better predict and address the needs of prospects and existing clients.
Make sure you outline distinct buyer personas for different customer segments. It’ll simplify the process of resolving their pain points. You can identify specific content formats and topics that’ll resonate with each segment. Also, you can choose the right customer support channels that’ll best fit their needs.
Empower Buyers with a Self-Service Portal
Traditionally, B2B buyers have preferred direct contact with sellers while making a purchase. But the COVID-19 pandemic has redefined that scenario. As more businesses adopt digital technologies, they’d want the freedom to research various products, compare prices, and make purchase decisions on their own.
Also, it’s important to remember that 59% of B2B buyers are millennials. These professionals have grown up with the internet. They’re used to having information at their fingertips. They’d rather conduct their own research than have sales reps reach out to them with offers.
That highlights the need to provide clients with an intuitive and easy-to-use self-service portal. Find a client portal software solution that lets you create branded customer portals in a few simple clicks.
A robust self-service client portal will go a long way to help your customer support team adapt to evolving buyer preferences. It’ll provide your clients with a secure centralized dashboard to access important documents, such as estimates, invoices, and agreements.
Also, they can use the portal to raise support tickets and check service history. Similarly, you can upload useful resources, such as product tutorials and user guides, to further enhance the customer experience.
Don’t Lose the Human Touch
While self-service functionalities improve the customer experience, human touch-points continue to be important. You need experienced customer support executives who share your vision of achieving customer success.
Provide your customer support team and sales reps with adequate training to help buyers overcome various challenges. Keep in mind that they’ll have to deal with senior professionals and stakeholders in an organization.
Make sure you provide buyers with multiple channels, including phone, email, and a ticketing system, to reach out to your customer support team.
B2B organizations must deploy effective measures to provide seamless customer support. Provide clients with a self-service portal to help them make purchase decisions, and use different support channels to help them reach out to relevant teams in your organization.