The customer experience (CX) might sound like it’s just the latest marketing lingo for “the customer is always right,” but in reality, it’s a powerful branding tool. It represents your brand, who you are, that ultimately impacts your bottom line. When considering a B2B sales solution, having the ability to create the CX you need, should be a critical requirement, something that you cannot compromise on.
While B2C companies have risen to the challenge and used CX optimization to differentiate their brands, B2B brands may be a little bit behind, but that’s the opportunity! With B2B digital commerce, brands can easily modernize their ordering experience and improve customer experience across the board.
In this article, we’ll look at why digital commerce is such a critical component of CX for B2B sales teams, and exactly how a digital B2B sales solution improves the customer experience.
Digital Natives Demand Digital Commerce
As decision-makers in ordering roles get younger, the demand for digital commerce in the B2B sphere increases. This is because younger generations are digital natives, raised in the age of the internet, smartphones, and online shopping on the go.
These digital natives have come to expect a stellar customer experience in their B2C purchases, and that expectation extends to the B2B realm too. Some 73% of 20- to 35-year-olds help make ordering decisions for their team or department, meaning that you’re increasingly catering to a market filled with digital natives.
To attract these purchasers, you need a B2B self-service solution that takes the form of a digital commerce site that centers on the customer experience.
How Digital Commerce Improves CX
Improving CX isn’t as simple as giving your website a facelift. It’s a deep dive into improving every aspect of the research and sales process for your customers, so they arrive at the decision-making point with all of the information they need to make the purchase. It’s about understanding their customer journey and removing the friction at every step of the buying process. And of course, the digital purchasing process should make it easier for them to buy.
Here’s a closer look at some of the ways a digital B2B sales solution improves customer experience:
Tailored Customer Offerings
With a digital B2B sales solution comes a ton of data, and that data is key to marketing’s most powerful tool: personalization.
Knowing who your customer is – what they are interested in, what they bought before, what they browsed or searched for, what they were doing on social gives you that insight. And then by integrating your digital commerce site with an ERP or similar database, you can present truly customize the experience to your prospective buyers with personalized price lists, custom product offerings, or even tailor your site to target specific business units or geographical areas.
With this level of personalization, you help your customers find exactly what they need and exactly what’s relevant to them. They won’t have to sort through products they can’t buy or offers that don’t make sense for their type of business. By removing that friction and making it easy for your customers to find what they need, you create a better experience and turn one-time buyers into regular customers.
Digital channels open up a whole new assortment of ways to communicate with customers – ways that are faster and easier than phone calls, faxes, or even emails.
Live chat, text messaging, push notifications and chatbots help customers get answers faster. They’ll be happier, and your team can work more quickly too. When you incorporate automation for routine tasks or frequently asked questions, the results come even quicker, and the customer experience is even better.
Complex Product Ordering
While a digital B2B sales solution is great for products of any type, it’s particularly well-suited for complex and highly configurable products. Previously, these advanced configurations would have to be handled manually, leaving no option for customers to place an order independently while also requiring a higher time investment from the B2B sales team.
Thanks to advanced CPQ (Configure Price Quote) technology, it’s easier to set up self-service options for your customers or guided selling where your sales team walks a customer through configuration using the same tools, but brings those additional insights. CPQ solutions offer step-by-step configuration of computers, servers, and complex machinery. Tesla cars, for example, are sold exclusively on the web and configured by the buyers without any human intervention. When combined with personalization tactics based on customer data, you can automatically provide price optimization and customized offers that meet the customer’s exact needs.
Best of all- this can all happen in a matter of minutes online, rather than taking days or weeks via phone calls and in-person meetings.
Digital commerce as a B2B sales solution opens up new avenues for customers to find your product offers. Tools like visual search allow customers to submit a picture of the product they are searching for, and then find matches in your product catalog.
This approach is particularly useful for companies selling replacement parts, where descriptions, barcodes, and other information might be hard to come by. It saves the customers hours of time by matching them with the right product right away.
Digital commerce sites can also make use of filter options, allowing prospective buyers to hone in on the solution that is best for them during their research phase. Automation and artificial intelligence tools can also help customers find related or similar products to aid in their search for their ideal solution.
Mobile devices are pervasive, and B2B sales teams and purchasers alike are increasingly managing orders on the go. Buyers want to be able to purchase when they’re away from their office, an increasingly important need as remote work continues to become more prevalent.
B2B digital commerce solutions typically come with responsive web templates that can adapt to any device. Or they tap into the capabilities of the device to enhance the experience – using the camera, the GPS etc. They may also have progressive web apps or other tools that further streamline the mobile ordering experience.
Start with Your Customer in Mind
Today’s purchasers have high expectations in their customer journey. You can win their business if you start to look at things from their perspective. With HCL Commerce’s innovative digital commerce platform, you can streamline the ordering process while providing personalized product offers on any device. You’ll meet your customers in the right place at the right time, every time. When your customer experience is that optimized, you’ll be amazed at the impact on your bottom line.
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