Whether you work in the B2C or B2B world, it’s clear that organizations can gain a lot from the deep connections they create with customers. Customer-centric companies like Apple and Amazon cannot achieve great success without listening to what their customers are saying and asking for in each interaction with their business.
Did you know that companies see an 80% revenue increase when they improve their customer experience? A powerful way to do so is to lead each interaction with empathy, curiosity, and especially convenience. Yes, that means giving your customers the suggestion box works!
As businesses continue to face supply chain challenges, here are some tips on how taking a proactive approach can help you support your customers and set you apart from your competitors.
Be available on different platforms — the omnichannel experience
To provide a more personalized experience, companies can take an omnichannel approach, allowing customers to navigate multiple channels seamlessly. That means, if you have a retail presence, it would be wise to create an online presence using online website tools like Shopify, Magento, or WooCommerce. Did you know that companies with omnichannel engagement strategies retain 89% of their customers on average, while those not using this strategy retain only 33%? Since each customer has their unique preferences in how they wish to interact with your business, you should offer them flexibility and more options to reach you. With that, make sure your social media and e-commerce platforms are tested well for mobile usage, as almost 75% of all online shopping occurs on a mobile device.
Be responsive and empathetic
You should not be surprised to learn that B2B and B2C buyers believe long wait times to reach a company is their most significant pain point, twice as much as pricing. That means your prices can be a little higher than the competition, but they will be happy to pay the difference because you are more available for your customers. Not only is it essential to respond quickly, but it’s also vital that customers are spoken to with respect and empathy — ultimately following the voice of the company. In short, you need to consider both the speed and quality of your response to improve the customer experience. That’s applicable across all communication channels.
Nourish your connection with your customers
While automated customer support messages could be fast and reliable, they can also alienate customers. These systems give customers the feeling that they are interacting with a robot. The fact of the matter is, they are. The problem is that robots cannot detect emotions. At least not yet. When specific issues require connecting to customers on a deeper level, only people can do that. Spending time on the phone with customers helps build customer trust and loyalty. Yes, we believe companies should still pick up the phone.
Build a community
Community development leads businesses to brand success. To strengthen relationships with customers, you must put yourself in your customers’ shoes and be proactive about their desires. Ask yourself questions like: how can we increase loyalty? What are our customers experiencing? What else can we offer? It’s not just companies like Nike who have figured this out with their tagline “Just Do It.” Sports franchises are experts at this. The Toronto Raptors came up with the slogan “We the North” in 2014, which helped ALL Canadians, basketball fans or not, identify with the only NBA team in the country. The Raptors ended up winning the 2019 NBA championship. This was a monumental step in the team’s brand image. It’s all about providing more value. It takes some creativity, but in the end, your customers will be thankful for the additional value you bring them.
What results to expect when taking a more human approach in engagements with your customers
Trust and loyalty
Research says that 87% of your customers would purchase again if they had a positive first buying experience. Excellent service and relationships enhance customer retention, encouraging them to return. A lack of a loyal customer base will make it difficult for any company to achieve long-term success. Like in any relationship, trust needs to be earned. It can also break very quickly, so everyone in your organization must align with your companies’ values from the bottom up. A simple but thoughtful approach goes a long way — when you support customers, they will support you back.
Smoother decision-making processes
In some B2B transactions, there could be 15 to 20 people to approve a decision or a purchase. As people seek experiences where their needs are met, creating a safe and comfortable buyer environment is essential. This makes the most complex transactions a lot simpler. You can make decision-makers feel less overwhelmed by listening to them and adopting a consultative approach. Through empathy, curiosity, and consistency, companies can help reduce stress and create seamless experiences instead. When customers don’t have to deal with uncertainty, your company has a better chance of winning its business.
Positive brand reputation
A positive brand reputation develops over several years of consistent, reliable customer service. Credibility is critical for growth and to establishing trust early with potential buyers. It’s been said that “63% of online users have written a positive review, and these positive reviews have an impact. In fact, 94% of consumers report that positive reviews make them more likely to use a business.” By creating impactful experiences for customers, you create opportunities for people in various industries to want to work with you. Do not underestimate the power of word of mouth, online reviews, social media, and the news. These channels represent your community. Customers have prioritized associating with brands that make them feel good and reflect their values in recent years. By focusing more aspects of your business on customers, you can earn their trust in spaces beyond customer service, marketing, and sales experiences.
A human approach with customers and partners leads to creating a supportive supply chain network. By applying the principles mentioned above, you can positively impact people’s lives. Products matter, and it’s important that they deliver value, but focusing on the customer experience brings the human element, making buying your product more fulfilling and establishing a stronger bond. Through this human connection, you can grow with them, as they grow too, so it’s a meaningful exchange for everyone.
What’s Vantree’s philosophy?
Customers appreciate businesses that take the time to meet their unique business needs and connect personally. At Vantree, we believe in a partner-for-life philosophy as we are working towards a common goal of helping customers in their digital transformation journey. We also believe in a Team-Based Support model where each customer receives the fast and reliable support they need without being bounced around from agent to agent. In summary, we approach each customer and partner engagement with a long-term human connection in mind. And by using Vantree‘s personalized EDI and API automation solutions, companies can save time so they can spend more time doing value-added activities in their organizations.
You can see Solange Dugas from GB Micro Electronics speak about her experience working Vantree.
Digital Transformation Content Specialist