As business-to-business (B2B) relationship management models and customer care expectations evolve to resemble business-to-consumer (B2C) ones a little more each day, it's important to remember that there are still unique needs within a B2B framework. If you plan to build stronger B2B relationships this year, you know how important it is to differentiate those needs and expectations, which require a mindset that understands and prioritizes those needs. There's no better place to get that perspective than from other industry leaders who understand the importance of B2B relationships as providers and vendors who have found success in their fields.
Build Stronger B2B Relationships: Where to Start
How to Humanize Customer Service for B2B Organizations | Forbes.com
This primer goes back to basics with an outline of four foundational elements of customer support that applies what we understand about interacting in a B2C environment to the world of B2B relationships. It emphasizes the importance of a human-to-human (H2H) connection and offers an exceptional piece of advice: "Even in big business, there are human beings on both sides of the interaction."
How to Create an Exceptional B2B Customer Experience | Hubspot
If anyone knows B2B, it's HubSpot. This quick read delves a little deeper into ways companies can personalize the care clients in vendor-buyer partnerships are increasingly craving, and includes links to valuable, up-to-date research on customer experience as a whole.
The Definitive Guide to B2B Customer Experience | Customer Gauge
If you're after a more detailed long read, this eBook from Customer Gauge can be pored through over your lunch hour. It takes on the 'B2B CX Gap' and introduces Account Experience as an alternative to Customer Experience.
Essential Guide to Customer Success Management | Gainsight
Pivoting a little, this article from Gainsight focuses almost exclusively on the role of the Customer Success Manager (CSM) as a point of single contact on the provider or vendor side of a B2B relationship.
The B2B Elements of Value | Harvard Business Review
Here's an in-depth look at what B2B decision making units (DMUs) really value when they're looking to purchase from or partner with another organization. Some of it is pretty surprising – like the fact that "cost-reduction" is ranked much lower than "expertise" and "responsiveness". It includes insights gleaned from a survey of Information Technology (IT) Infrastructure Buyers to back up its claims and has a useful graphic that arranges what B2B clients are looking for into a pyramid.
Looking for Infographics? Visit our Visual Library for more.
Maintain Your Partnership: Tools for Retaining B2B Clients
The Absolute Best Times to Reach Small Business Owners & Decision Makers | Valpak
For something a little more actionable, there's this useful guide from Valpak. Small businesses also need resources to guide how they'll implement B2B customer experience. This superb article takes a deep dive into which times of the year, week and even day are your best bet for successful communication with B2B DMUs, examining industries from insurance to dental care.
25 Ways to Thank Your Customers | Help Scout
Everyone likes to be acknowledged, and Help Scout has a bookmarkable list of real ways to reach out to your B2B customers so you can do exactly that. While this list isn't exclusively for B2B partnerships, it's hard to argue with number 10 on the list: Send Cookies.
Want more? Here are 33 Ways to Show Your B2B Clients You Care.
B2B Texting Traps to Avoid | Thryv
Thryv is another expert on B2B relationships, and their blog is full of answers and advice you can actually implement. This article on how to make texting a part of your omnichannel support for B2B is a prime example. It delves into the ethics and etiquette of reaching out via text so you can provide personalized experiences that add value to your customers' experience with you.
B2B Customer Experience: Winning in the Moments That Matter | KPMG Nunwood
Research entity KPMG Nunwood has distilled meaningful B2B customer care into 6 key pillars. Their eBook on the topic guides providers through applying everything from integrity and expectation setting to empathy and personalization at key moments of the relationship-building stage.
Improving B2B Relationships: Tools to Follow Up and Identify Improvement Opportunities
B2B Customer Experience Assessment | Customer Gauge
Whether or not you decide to implement CX-specific software – Customer Gauge's key offering – the free assessment the company offers is robust enough to give you a clear picture of what your strengths and weaknesses are in what you already deliver to your clients.
Want more? Take a look at what's in store for Customer Experience in 2020.
How to Get Useful Feedback from Your Clients | Help Scout
This article on how to solicit high-level, focused feedback from B2B customers has clear, to-the-point advice on how to involve customers in fixes and solution-finding in a way that benefits both parties. It also has a comprehensive section on how to turn down client requests with sincerity and empathy.
Net Promoter Score (NPS) Survey Template & Questions | Qualtrics
B2B providers that use metrics to take the temperature of customer sentiment are usually more successful at delivering the kind of CX that drives long-term loyalty. NPS determines whether customers are detractors, passives or promoters of, well, anything you can think of. This template from Qualtrics can get providers started whether they want to measure how customers feel about a product they offer or the customer care they provide.
How to Retain Client Relationships | Marketscale
John Nichols — VP of Account Management right here at Personiv, guest hosted the MarketScale Hospitality podcast, where he outlined the customer experience essentials that has fostered our own legacy B2B relationships. In 20 minutes, you'll get the rundown on how to provide white glove service that's client-focused and highly flexible by using feedback loops and predetermined KPIs.
Looking for Podcasts? Visit our Listening Library for more.
Let's Be Honest, These Last Two Are Just for Fun
Download: The Best Hold Music Since ‘Careless Whisper' | Zendesk
In our CX and Tech series, Personiv Gurugram's EVP and Site Head, Vishal Bora, talked about why it’s important to offer your customers a knowledgeable and empathetic human voice via traditional lines of communication like phone support. Zendesk tackled the inevitable "hold music" conundrum that comes parceled with that offering by enlisting the help of a world-class composer to create the perfect piece of background noise. You can even download it to use with your own phone system.
100 Inspirational Customer Service Quotes | Insight Squared
When it boils down to it, every business is in the customer care business. It's so important to remember that without the people who require that care, none of us could stay in business for long. Bookmark Insight Squared's comprehensive list of customer service quotes for a quick and easy reminder to focus on what matters most: people.
At Personiv, we're all about People Power. Our custom solutions create human to human connections for the benefit of all. Whether we're investing in the talented people who drive efficiency to the organizations we serve or rolling out the red carpet for our phenomenal customers, we put people at the center of everything we do.
Let's start a conversation. Contact us today to tell us what we can do for you. We're here to listen.