Humanizing B2B experience
B2B relationships are inherently complex, with buying cycles that stretch for months or even years, and with multiple decision makers and influencers involved along the way. High dollar values—and company reputations—are on the line. Personal stakes are high too, with jobs at risk if transactions go awry. Yet with these and other complexities, B2B has always been, at its core, about people, so it’s not as if relationships are new to B2B.
What is new is the way customers want to engage in those relationships. As digital advancements impact how people buy for themselves, many of the traditional mechanics of B2B relationship can seem archaic, manually intensive, inefficient, and downright maddening to customers.
Deloitte Digital commissioned Forrester Consulting to conduct a study of B2B sellers and buyers aimed at better understanding how rational and emotional factors influence decision-making and how trust is built and nurtured throughout the B2B customer life cycle. The findings from this study can help B2B companies understand what buyers truly value so they can focus on the impactful investments and initiatives that foster emotionally resonant relationships that set them apart from competitors.
By adopting human-centric strategies and capabilities, B2B companies who lead in customer experience are already winning over customers and setting themselves apart—in quantifiable ways. Buyers surveyed are on average 34 percent more likely to buy and 32 percent more likely to renew a contract with B2B-leading suppliers that master customer experience.
For leaders, the benefits of providing best-in-class customer experience show up on their bottom lines. Our research showed that B2B leaders were 18 percent more likely than laggards to have exceeded their revenue goals in the previous 12 months.
The actions B2B leaders are taking can help other companies understand how to gain an advantage. We’ve identified four key approaches that many leading companies are taking to humanize B2B interactions:
- Systemizing trust in ways that help you deliver on every promise made to your buyers, every time
- Prioritizing empathy by bridging human and digital feedback to sense behavioral changes and then help ensure timely and appropriate reactions
- Calibrating timing and content to reflect the vastly different ways that prospects vs. customers want to engage with sellers
- Personalizing every action by using digital tools to understand your customers’ expectations and deliver tailored solutions—while protecting their privacy and mitigating risk
In our research report, we explore these four approaches toward a potent fusion of humanity and technology that can help companies win new customers and retain the ones they already have in today’s competitive B2B market.