The notion “the customer is always right” or “the customer is king” must have been heard by us all. Usually, we hear all these phrases in the context of the foodservice industry, retail shops, or B2C business, but shouldn’t this be the motto for every type of business?
True is the fact, an effective marketing or sales strategy must assimilate a deep-rooted knowledge and understanding of customers.
It would be near to impossible for any business to entertain the requirements of their customers unless they understand them. Keep in mind, formulating a customer-centric approach will be beneficial your business in more ways than one.
Despite the availability of all the evidence pointing in favour of customer-centric policies, B2B marketers still appear to fail in devising a lasting connection with their customers.
It was concluded with the Gallup survey that almost 70% of the B2B customers were totally disengaged with their vendors. With the competition navigating all up high in every direction, it has morphed into less of choice and more of a necessity to adapt customer-centric marketing strategy!
In the light of events happen in the last decade, we witnessed a shift of B2B marketing strategies from conventional tactics to the approaches applicable in the digital-savvy world.
Along with the acceptance of contemporary techniques, the old methodologies are also dying, and so is the concept of attracting a customer for B2B sales and neglecting it after the deal closure.
B2B businesses in correspondence with the B2C marketing is formulating a way for all the phenomenon that all the products and services should revolve around the customers to lure them into continuing business with your platform.
Lack of personal connection with vendors – hurting the business?
The reasons behind the lack of connection between B2B buyers and vendors can be a product of impersonality that arises from the nature of the business since the inception of B2B marketplaces, it was presumed unnecessary to connect with customers in the manner as B2C marketers.
But all these resulted in formulating an air of impersonality, curtailing the possibility to form a true connection.
As per studies conducted by Forbes, it is enhancing customer experience that was found to be the number one trend that needed to be developed within the realm of B2B marketers.
To collect all the useful data is crucial to transform the ongoing marketing approach and building a meaningful relationship with clients.
In particular, B2B business needs to learn and observe the patterns and structure based on what the purchase decisions are made. How to engage in B2B companies? What drives their purchase decisions? When do they purchase? Who control the strings for the final decision?
It does sound like a hell lot of an effort to put in, to understand the customer behaviour as well as continuously delight them, but it no reason not to opt for it.
Results are granted to those who put in great work.
Just as it is crucial to for B2B marketers to show their needs and requirements can be met the following services and products, it is vital to stimulate their connections with customers using relationship-building approaches that are widely employed in B2C structures, like communication and sales framework.
Using connective approaches will fortify that not only their vendors understand the business objective, but the vendor has invested time and effort in personalizing the services or products to tailor them to accommodate the purchasing actions of that precise business.
These traits, coming from any B2B marketplace, exhibit thoughtfulness and compatibility.
Furthermore, it implies that the vendor has put effort into materialising the mechanisms and decision making actions of their clients. This can serve to be the start of a meaningful vendor-customer relationship.
Still not convinced? Let’s come out form the indirect advantageousness and put it in terms of direct benefiting acts.
If a B2B is successful in charming and captivating their customers, there are thicker chances that not only they will stick with that vendor for a more extended period of time and make more purchases in future, but they will also become their campaigners.
These campaigners will advantage your business with word-of-mouth marketing, which is still in this digitally savvy generation considered to be the best and most effective marketing technique, driving a lot more traffic to the business with already convinced and willing customers. Now, this does sound a return to all the invested efforts!
What it takes to devise a good customer-centric marketing strategy
B2C customer-centric strategy differs immensely with what is enquired from B2B. B2B businesses have a vast audience that works and act on logic-based facts.
B2B marketing has the challenge to understand and implement a diverse strategy with diverse business to satisfy them, making the experience remarkable for each one of them.
The complicated part for any B2B Customer-Centric approach is knowing how to go about executing this type of strategy.
There are various things that could be altered in order to assimilate a meaningful plan, applicable for all business types, following are the few essential things that should be incorporated in every B2B Customer-Centric Marketing Strategy.
Expectation is everything
The primary ground for devising an excellent customer-centric strategy is definitely standing on aligned expectations. These expectations can be in between sales and services, salesperson and the prospect, sales, and marketing, or business and customer.
It is advised to communicate the timeline clearly, and the nature of services being promised to the customers to amplify the level of trust. It is the basic and most trusted way to develop confidence and align your services in accordance with customer’s expectations to fashion pleased customers.
Prospects are to be treated like customers
If you wish to transform your potential customers into your loyal customers, demonstration them what it would be like if they decide to become a part of your organisation.
Be sure to pay attention and concentrate on listening to their requirements for a tailored experience. Also, convincing customers to buy is one thing, never try to shove an offer down their throat, nothing drives a prospect customer away faster than this.
Naturally, it is crucial to stay connected with the probable customers and customers for both B2B business and B2C business. Starting of B2B E-commerce marketplace witnessed the lack of connectivity.
But with advanced need surfaced to engage prospects, various B2B platforms like Alibaba.com, Amazon.com, etc. devised a 24/7 active support system to ensure customer satisfaction and provide them solutions whenever they need.
Almost every B2B business have fallen into these footsteps to ensure that the customers will experience no change in attention even after the deal is done. Even after the sales, be certain to be listening to their feedback and problems they are facing, the last thing that they need is to feel ignored after the purchase.
Customers should be catered like prospects
If you are efficient in solving and tailoring the service according to the requisites of prospects, then they can become your loyal customers, but for B2B job is not done just yet.
With a sound and modern-day applicable customer-centric strategy, B2B business will have to guarantee a continual connection with the customer to retain them and also work towards up-selling.
A great way to do this with the help of a dedicated key account manager who works devotedly with a particular client. This phenomenon is widely accepted, and all emerging B2B business like BeauteTrade.com, etc. are compelling with this requirement.
Put customers in the spotlight
Since we have already established the fact customer engagement is crucial, another way a B2B business can keep their clients engaged is by putting them on the highlight.
Numerous B2B businesses are involved in the act where a specific customer is selected, and then his problems or issues are then solved on priority. This directly gives to the impact the customers that they are valued and cherished.
Outcomes to expect from a customer-centric approach
The entire case of developing customer-centric approach will not only benefit in terms of obtaining more and more clients or in retaining them, but it will also help to make the employees more efficient than before.
With customer centricity, businesses are arming their people with the understanding of what they are working on. It helps in removing a lot of confusion back and forth. It also helps the company growth by ensuring that what you make or what services you provide are in accordance with the requirement of the industry.
Most importantly, a good customer engagement strategy will surely help you surpass your own revenue-generating goals.
As narrated through the Forrester report, customer-centric companies are more likely to leave behind their revenue goals when associated with less-obsessed peers. As an estimate, it could be said that almost 42 per cent of customer-centric business acclaimed to grew their revenue by 10 per cent or more.
In rake of building an expressive, long-lasting, and mutual rapport with clients, a salesperson must treat them with as much attention and carefulness as they would do for any individual customer.
Because under the lights of contemporary digitalization and high tide competition, the alternative model will surely demonstrate to be ultimately ineffective, and in that case, it would be the business who will end up taking the fall.
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