In recent years it has become evident that integrating technology into business practice is an essential part of success. The use of technology by businesses and consumers is changing how businesses interact around the globe, and it is greatly affecting the B2B buying process.
For the past decade, it has been common for consumers to research products online, look at customer reviews, and to seek advice on third party websites. What is intriguing is that businesses have also adopted these practices, and they are putting a higher value on customer experience than ever before.
In a recent study conducted by Avanade, which surveyed 1000 C-level executives, it is reported that 61% of B2B buyers consult third party sources before talking with a company sales rep when making a purchase. Overall, third party sources play a part in 89% of buyers purchasing decisions. These statistics prove the major influence technology has over today’s buyers. Both consumers and businesses are able to access information about desired products right at their fingertips, and this is done primarily through the use of websites and apps. Companies can use these same resources to improve their marketing strategy by being able to interact with their leads and customers.
Customer service and support is going to be more important than ever before, and it’s going to take multiple departments working together. Eighty-three percent of businesses say that IT, marketing, and manufacturing play a larger role in the customer experience than they did three years ago. It is clear that great customer service comes from the company as a whole; not just one or two departments.
Excellent customer care is important not only in keeping customers happy, but also for winning the sale. Buyers have reported that they value customer experience over price when making a purchase. In fact, 56% of companies are willing to pay 30% more (on average) for a product with excellent customer service than for cheaper alternatives.
Putting that extra effort into customer care is paying off. Businesses that have adapted to the new B2B buying processes are seeing a:
- 61% increase in customer loyalty
- 60% increase in revenue
- 60% increase in customer base
With the lines blurring between businesses and consumer, the traditional B2B and B2C buying processes are merging into one. In the upcoming years it will be crucial that businesses switch their paradigm from product focused to customer focused, or they risk losing out to competitors.
Does your company value customer service over price? How do you see this affecting business as a whole? Let us know in the comments below.
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