Today, a majority of companies are competing primarily on customer experience (CX). Yet, while 80% of these companies believe they are delivering outstanding experiences, less than 10% of customers agree with them.
The result? Higher attrition and reduced brand equity — which is something you certainly want to avoid if you wish to see your business grow.
Take the example of Zappos, an online retail company that has seen outstanding success. Their CEO, Tony Hsieh, often says that Zappos is not just an online retailer. His company aims to be the very best at customer service, ensuring excellent experiences for its customers. He adds that up to 75% of orders on the site come from repeat customers, stressing the importance of focusing on customer experience to maintain brand equity.
Brand equity has always been a significant focus for B2C companies — however, it is also an important performance metric for the B2B sector. Yet, Forrester found that while “25% of B2B CMOs consider Brand Awareness an important marketing metric, only 15% believe Brand Equity is important.”
What is Brand Equity, and Why Is It Important for B2B?
We can understand brand equity using Keller’s Brand Equity Model. This simple model says that to build a strong brand, you need to mold what customers think or feel about it. And, to accomplish this, you must create the right type of experiences around your brand so that customers develop the desired perceptions.
Building Your Brand Equity Through CX
The benefits of developing and maintaining strong brand equity are manifold, including but not limited to product or service identification and differentiation from competitors.
But how do you build brand equity?
Through outstanding customer experience — that’s simple. And, if you're thinking 'what constitutes an outstanding customer,' have a look at this insight from Wunderman’s Study, Wantedness, quoted by Adobe in an article.
In this study, “the majority (79%) of consumers said that brands have to demonstrate that they understand and care about them before they consider purchasing.”
We know the next logical question: how do you make customers feel cared for?
The answer is again a simple one — invest in your customer experience through hyper-personalization and improve your customer service. In fact, a PwC survey reveals that customers across industry sectors are willing to pay up to 16% extra for better service. It also adds that “speed and efficiency are the cornerstones of the customer experience,” with 52% of consumers happy to pay more for better speed and efficiency.
In other words, improving your customer service can be a game-changer for your business.
Remember, customers consider it apathy on your part if you make them wait for a solution. Therefore, enabling real-time support on all your important touch-points can not only boost your lead qualification process but also make the customer experience much more enjoyable and hassle-free. A look at the customer service response times below clearly indicates which way your customer service should be heading.
Here are some ideas to improve your customer service for outstanding CX:
1. Leverage Modern-Day Chat Support Tools Like Live Chat
To ensure your customers feel valued, invest in real-time chat support for quick query resolution by instantly connecting buyers with your support staff.
Another advantage of live chat is that agents can reach out to customers proactively, while they are on your site, to initiate a conversation and make personalized offers. Besides, by integrating your live chat software with your CRM, you can enable highly personalized service that is sure to amaze your users.
2. Invest in AI-Powered Chatbots for Prompt Support
Real-time support is great. But what about offering it 24/7? Obviously, hiring humans to work 'round the clock' is an expensive proposition. Instead, you can invest in an AI-powered chatbot to streamline your customer service through automated query resolution and lead qualification.
With advancements in Natural language processing, chatbots no longer offer robotic conversations but can understand queries contextually to lead a user to the right answer in the form of FAQs, blogs or connecting them with a human agent in case no other solution is available.
The best part is that chatbots can handle multiple interactions simultaneously without any fatigue, making your customer service faster and less cost-intensive, while also offering personalized recommendations to users based on their browsing history, for an improved overall experience.
3. Use CoBrowsing Software for Easier Onboarding and Instant Query Resolution
Presently, there are several visual engagement tools in the market, such as cobrowsing, which make for seamless customer experience. For example, for explaining the features of a highly technical product, you can use cobrowsing to guide the user to every single feature, using his or her browser remotely.
With a cobrowsing feature, your sales agents can view and use your customers’ browsers, in their full view, leading to prompt query resolution. Such real-time engagement between support agents and clients is the closest you can get in terms of in-person support, leading to an 18% improvement in first call resolution and a 14% reduction in the call handling time.
4. Offer Personalized Experiences
Besides enabling real-time support, B2B companies must also pay more attention to personalization. According to research, “75 percent of business buyers expect companies to anticipate their needs and make relevant suggestions before they initiate contact, while 73% expect that the products they purchase will self-diagnose issues and automatically order replacement parts or service.”
To achieve a high degree of personalization, you may use analytics to know your customers better and communicate with them proactively using the previously mentioned technologies. You can also use contact forms, live chat and chatbots on your site to gather user feedback, which will help you improve your product or service, as well as get to know your customers better.
Investing in modern customer support technology is a must for B2B companies that wish to elevate their CX and create a unique brand. However, it is essential not to forget the human element and create a customer-centric organization by holding regular training sessions for employees including both technical and soft-skill lessons to reinforce the importance of traits like politeness, patience and empathy while handling customers.