Customer support is important for any business, and it is especially critical for B2B businesses. Since B2B businesses deal with similar businesses, they are hard pressed to provide stellar customer support. This is because losing a single customer hurts B2B businesses more than B2C businesses, where increased volumes can make up for sub-par customer support. The increased pressure of operating in the COVID era compounds the customer support demands faced by B2B companies. In such demanding environments, B2B businesses face their own unique customer service challenges. In this article, we will look at some of the major customer service challenges that B2B businesses face and the best way to handle them.
Issues are complex and time-consuming
Customer issues in the B2B sector is increasingly complex. Since B2B businesses serve other businesses, each customer issue might require repeated communications to resolve. In some cases, B2B businesses also have to deal with multiple parts of the customer business to resolve an issue. If communication breaks down on one end, the B2B business risk losing the customer. If we factor in cases where B2B businesses provide critical services/products for a customer business, we could see the value of constant communication.
To combat these challenges, B2B businesses should use digital communication tools like WhatsApp Business and live chat. By using these tools, the business can constantly stay updated with the issue resolution process and be appraised about the level of complexity. Using digital communication tools like WhatsApp Business can also encourage collaboration as it allows for seamless chat, voice and video conversations.
Lead generation & conversion is a tough prospect
For an emerging B2B business, lead gathering and lead conversion is extremely difficult. This is because businesses often do not easily trust other businesses without a significant brand image. Nurturing a lead and developing trust with them is crucial in B2B business. There is also the fact that the products and services provided by B2B businesses are more complicated than the ones provided by B2C businesses. With companies mainly using the digital medium to communicate, showcasing your product and educating targeted customers becomes increasingly complex.
Emerging B2B businesses should understand that they cannot satisfy all their leads. So, they need to segregate their leads and identify the top prospects. This can be done easily with the help of a good lead management tool. By focusing their energy on nurturing top prospects, they will save time and increase their revenue. This should also be complemented with a good digital marketing initiative to showcase and educate their products/services. This will help educate prospective leads and increase brand reputation in the long run.
Customer needs support throughout the day
While B2C businesses might get some leeway from their customers if they provide delayed customer service, B2B businesses are not that fortunate. Since B2B businesses serve other businesses, they need to provide instant customer support all through the day. If B2B businesses are not capable of offering 24/7 instant customer support, they might lose their precious customers.
Solution: Small B2B businesses should use mobile-friendly apps like WhatsApp Business to provide instant customer support even after their business hours. The companies can also look to automate their live chat and customer support systems to offer instant solutions to businesses.
Consistency & personalization is key
Since emerging B2B businesses will find it hard to acquire new customers, they need to focus on building long-term relationships with their current customers. However, that is easier said than done as it is a well-known fact that B2B customers are ruthless. So, B2B businesses should not be complacent even after they have built a solid relationship. It is important to provide consistent and personalized customer support to each customer to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty. For emerging B2B businesses, this might be a challenge.
New and emerging B2B businesses should focus on building trust and loyalty by offering personalized customer support. However, it is only possible if they gather data about their customers. Using a good CRM tool will help B2B businesses understand each customer’s needs better. This data can be used to provide personalized support to the customers. To ensure consistency, B2B businesses should constantly stay in touch with their customers and conduct regular surveys/feedbacks to improve their support.
B2B businesses are facing a lot of customer relation challenges, especially during this COVID time. This article was created with the goal of helping small/new B2B businesses understand the challenges and create concrete solutions to combat some of them. We hope that this article helps B2B companies increase their customer satisfaction and loyalty.