If you are in B2B and your products or services are not 100% unique, you have a customer experience business – that’s it.
You might be in accountancy, law, IT, telecoms or just about anything else. The reality is that there are dozens (or possibly more) competitors that your customers or prospects could find in a single Google search. Businesses that do what you do – and probably do it just as competently.
This matters. If you don’t appreciate what customers really value, how will you ever focus your website content on anything that affects the action your prospects will take?
What stops your customers from jumping ship?
If people can get similar products and services anywhere else, what makes them stay? At a basic level it might just be the inconvenience of switching that keeps customers ‘loyal.’ It could be the risk that the service they would get from a competitor might be worse than they get from you.
Hopefully they have a stronger motivation to stay with you. I hope so because finding alternative suppliers has never been easier. You don’t even have to be actively looking.
If you’re wondering why the word ‘loyal’ above is in inverted commas, read this recent article on customer loyalty and satisfaction. Don’t be misled by what customer loyalty really means.
What persuades your customers to refer you to other businesses?
Hopefully your customers do more than just stick with you, they also recommend you to their networks. Why would they do this? Is it the technical details of what you do? The fact that the numbers on the management accounts you produce always add up? Or something else?
Surely this has more to do with the experience of working with your business.
When it comes to retention and referrals it’s easy to understand why B2B customer experience is the determining factor. But where does it feature in new business and marketing?
When somebody searches for a new supplier, how will they choose?
If every site is describing the details of what the business does and preaching the benefits, there’s nothing to make any of them stand out. There’s certainly nothing there to say to a prospect: ‘you are what we care about most.’ Which is, of course, what they really want to hear.
If a business is looking for a new supplier it’s probably because they don’t like the service they are getting. They want to find somewhere that the experience of being a customer will be different.
I once advised a partner in an accountancy firm to replace their entire web content with one page that simply said: we are accountants. Essentially that’s all they were conveying through countless web pages detailing what everyone already knows accountants do.
They found it funny. Who said I was joking?
B2B marketing – built around customer experience
One of my first priorities when I engage with a new client is to get them to lift their heads up from the detail of their business and ask what it’s really like to be their customer.
We then end up in a very different conversation. They start telling me all sorts of things that I can’t find anywhere on their current web content.
Invariably, we end up agreeing that it isn’t the technicalities of what they do that keeps customers coming back. The output of their business doesn’t generate referrals. It’s all the extra things they do that add value to the B2B customer experience.
Which means, of course, they’ve been missing a massive opportunity to tell this story in their marketing and through their web pages and digital content.
Does your web content really tell your story? A content audit will give you the answers.