Business Practices | | Published September 28, 2015

B2B Buyers: Stop Treating Them Like a B2C

Make your B2B customers happy by treating them right.

Although the B2B buying experience is currently changing and beginning to resemble more of a B2C experience, that doesn't mean you should treat your B2B buyers the same way. According to Customer Experience Insight, the B2B buying experience is increasingly going mobile, buyers are doing more research before they purchase and there is a larger focus on quality customer service - all historically B2C traits. Still, the fact that B2B buyers are different than B2C remains, and you shouldn't treat them the same. Having the right customer service tools will help you provide the best B2B service, but the right tools can only help so much. It's imperative that you're focusing on the right things and treating your customers like the businesses they are. 

Really know your buyer
In B2B customer service, you need to know what your buyer needs and why. Remember, you're not selling to a single consumer. Your buyer is a business, and businesses don't make frivolous purchases. Every time a business buys a product, it's for a reason. You need to help make sure that the product or service you're selling is constantly providing a solution to the business. You can be sure of this by really knowing what the business does and how it does it. If you understand how your product or service fits into their overall business, you can make sure to continue to support its needs as time goes on. 

Build a relationship
Getting to know your clientele and how your products and services fit into their needs is the start of what should be an ongoing and communicative relationship. B2B business is about building a strong relationship. While some would say that the B2C relationship works the same way, there is no doubt that the dynamics of the relationship are different in B2B. You can't treat your B2B relationships the same way you would B2C. For example, B2B relationships are focused on value and expertise, whereas B2C relationships are about providing the best deal and focusing on trends, according to HubSpot. B2B relationships are often about mutually beneficial situations. This means really listening to each other. According to Business 2 Community, your focus can't be on plugging your product. You need to actively listen and converse with B2B customers so you're finding real solutions to problems. 

When you listen to your customers as much as you should, you'll collect a lot of data. Customer service software can help you organize and utilize this information. Without a place for all of your customer information to live, customer service reps can't build a strong relationship because they will rehash information the customer has already provided. This means the relationship is moving backwards instead of forward. In addition, customer support software allows reps to collaborate on tickets to provide customers with the best possible answer. This type of customer service helps to build a strong rapport with your customers and expand relationships in the future. 

Realize that there are many people involved
In most B2C transactions, there's one or maybe two people making the purchase. This isn't the case in B2B. You can have a large group of people making the decision, so you need to make sure you're pleasing all of them. This can put considerable strain on your customer service team. Customer support software helps you manage all of the information on the people involved in the purchasing process. Having a central repository for all your customer information makes it easier for customer service reps to access it when they need to. 

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