Strategies

Customer Engagement in B2B Industry during Covid-19

Written by B2BChief

Embrace the online customer experience: Given that much of life has moved online and is likely to remain online for the foreseeable future, it is time to ensure that online customer experiences are designed as personal. Pay attention and reshape your organization as you learn more about the needs of your customers, rather than developing products and services and shaping your business around the sale of those products.

For example, B2B / B2B2C companies are redesigning their organizations and operational backbones around customer data to inform their digital offerings and enable closer alignment with customer needs. By exchanging customer data across companies, these companies have a clear advantage in the agility with which they can react to changing conditions. B-2B companies are investing more resources in developing innovative ways to break down barriers, develop mutually beneficial partnership alliances, share customer data and jointly invest in building new ecosystems – something they have not done before.

In addition to the ease with which B2B buyers expect their digital interactions to engage and stimulate emotions, there is also a growing expectation for platforms that enable digital collaboration.

Providers who provide an outstanding digital experience to their B2B buyers are more than twice as likely to be selected as those who provide a bad experience.

Digital channels are perceived as a valuable source of information and research for potential suppliers, which means that many B2B customers consider online sites more important than traditional face-to-face meetings with sales representatives. With the advent of COVID-19 lockdowns and directives on remote work, the commitment of B2C buyers to digital content has increased dramatically. The more they engage with digital content, the shorter digital sessions become, increasing the pressure on marketers to capture and maintain their audience’s interest.

A recent McKinsey study on the behavior of industry decision-makers at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic shows that the great digital shift will continue. What began as a crisis response has become the next normal, with major implications for buyers, sellers, and businesses in the future.

More than three-quarters of buyers and sellers say they prefer digital, selfish, remote, or human engagement to personal interaction – a feeling that will only intensify once the closures end.

Now is the time to rethink your sales experience to offer added value to potential customers and be a key element of your strategy in a COVID 19 world. A well-designed sales experience can help customers gain insight into the challenges and opportunities that the virus brings.

Switching to remote work and virtual interactions can lead to unexpected efficiencies in time and resources that can help you improve proactive customer engagement and create an entirely new customer experience.

Move your B2B marketing efforts beyond the lead generation to the areas of travel support and customer relationship management. Companies that make these efforts are more likely to build new customer relationships, build trust, and generate loyalty in an environment where customer exodus can have outsized effects. In an industry where long-term relationships between customers and suppliers are the norm and increase material value, these companies will not only survive the pandemic, but for years to come.

B2B trade is undergoing incredible changes due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. In anticipation of a rocky recovery in many parts of the world, B2B companies are turning to data and artificial intelligence to predict future disruptions.

In a sector where much depends on face-to-face interaction to seal the deal, business models are shifting toward prioritizing digital engagement. Self-service and remote interaction make it easier for shoppers to obtain information, place orders and arrange services, and customers enjoy speed and convenience.

Around 20 percent of B2B buyers say they hope to return to personal sales, especially in sectors where field sales models dominate, such as pharmaceuticals and medical devices.

B2B buyers are not a monolith with a variety of companies and industry perspectives. B2B companies with different customer bases need to understand and adapt their approach to meet a variety of customer challenges. This makes it difficult to track and anticipate customer attitudes and behaviors in order to personalize communication, experiences and offers.

People are investing in their homes and home offices to make them as productive as possible. Changing customer behaviour is difficult and recovering the lost wallet share (even if you haven’t lost the account) can be expensive.

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B2BChief

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