While 90% of business-to-business (B2B) leaders recognize the importance of customer support, fewer than 25% of companies excel at helping their customers. It’s a concerning statistic as B2B markets thrive off long-term relationships with their clients.
Phone calls are a vital component of any B2B customer support strategy, as it’s often the fastest way to resolve problems. Here’s a blueprint to improve your customer experience process by leveraging the three key tactics to every successful B2B call.
1. Providing Personalized Support
The B2B industry can have long and complicated customer experiences that consist of many touchpoints. As a result, B2B customers have larger budgets and higher lifetime value (LTV). Therefore, these customers often expect a more personalized experience.
So, how do you personalize the customer call experiences at scale? Here are a couple ways to start:
Use support software to centralize your information
B2B customer support representatives require in-depth and accurate customer information. This includes data points for every customer’s point of contact, product version, targets, goals, and ticket history. With support software, it's easier to understand the customer’s needs without having to ask them for information - instead your support team becomes a repository of information they can leverage!
Integrate software and technology systems
Your support software should also be combined with a customer relationship management solution, business efficiency tools, and possibly even a hosted VoIP provider to improve internal communication. Sharing information between different departments ensures a consistent customer experience and provides the information needed to create a personalized experience is always recent and relevant.
2. Resolving Problems Quickly
Despite the rise of text support, email, and chatbots, phone support remains vital. According to a recent survey from Clutch, eight out of ten people see an “efficient resolution to their issue” as one of the most important aspects when calling a business.
There are two primary tactics support teams use to resolve problems quickly – reducing hold times and improving collaboration.
By reducing hold times, you’ll notice that customers will be more willing to contact you via phone support instead of other channels such as email or live chat. If your phone wait times are too long, they may not reach out at all! Keeping these wait times acceptable is important, and if you don’t know how long a customer is willing to wait, don’t hesitate to be direct and ask for feedback on their support experience.
The other tactic is improving collaboration to resolve problems faster. B2B issues can sometimes be complex. By making the most of your support software solution, information can be at the fingertips of the entire support team so they can get the right answer faster and help the next customer.
3. Listening and Responding With an Impact
While listening is a key trait for customer support teams regardless of their industry, B2B problems can require picking up on that one critical detail to solve them. That’s why support teams need to listen to all their customers with full attention.
What are the key factors you need to listen to?
The customer’s REAL problem
Issues in the B2B industry aren't always easy to solve. Self-service sites can help with simple issues, so if a customer is contacting you it’s often because a problem is too complicated for them to fix. Listening and asking the right questions can unearth what’s really wrong so your team can figure out a way to resolve the issue for good.
Who’s making the decision with each customer
When working with different customers, no hierarchy is the same. As you attempt to tackle problems, make sure the right people are on the line with your customer to solve them. For example, if a solution you’re proposing impacts a customer’s IT operations, suggest setting up a quick follow-up call with an IT person to walk them through your solution to ensure it will work for their business.
Having successful B2B customer phone calls is crucial to any business. By listening and asking the right questions, providing personal support, and resolving problems efficiently, companies can turn support calls into great customer experiences.