State of the Industry: B2B Customer Centricity

16 Tips to Steer Your Customer-Centric Business Ship

If there is one thing we notice about “customer nation,” it is that they have HIGH expectations. They always demand personalized, all-about-me experiences, which require a massive effort from a majority, if not all, of your business. Marketing, sales, and customer service teams must be on the same page, collaborating to get a well-rounded view of your consumer to provide a cohesive customer experience. 

But where does customer centricity start? With you. From the top dog down, we like to say. 

Statistics show that 60% of the sales process is complete before a consumer even comes in contact with your sales team, which means customer centricity is vital at every stage. Buyers are in control of their purchasing decisions now more than ever before. 

Today, everyone is in the know. People have access to endless amounts of information and know exactly what they want, when they want it, and how to get it. So it’s clear that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to marketing anymore, none of that batch-and-blast of the past. Katie needs personalized messaging sent to her, and John needs personalized messaging sent to him, and so on. When does it end?! Unfortunately, it doesn’t, and as technology and data and all these things continue to evolve, it will only get more directional. Those who can’t keep up with demand are losing ground to competition. 

Many companies are asking, “What do we do? How do we change this?” And the answer truly lies in customer centricity. Listen to your buyers and anticipate their needs, and you will improve close rates, retention rates, and elevate your customer’s experience. Customer-centric marketing considers all of these crucial elements and turns them into your business’s top priority. 

To help guarantee your customer-centric success, we’ve put together 17 tips to walk you through everything you need to know about the state of the industry today.

1. Content >> Sales Funnel

Create your content for the sales funnel. Buyers don’t want to go all in on your product or service until they are ready, which means they want to check you out and do the research for themselves, and if you don’t have enough readily available content, they will go to your competitors. So, cater your content to each stage of the sales funnel, ensuring your consumers get the information they need when they need it – for example, educational content at the top of the funnel and more directional product-related details at the bottom.

Another way to look at it is lead nurturing. You will guide your customer through the buyer’s journey with all information relevant to their needs – 1:1, consistent, relevant communications based on your buyer’s actions and interests or during a predetermined interval in the cycle.

2. Personalize Your Message

Today, personalization is a whole different ball game. Everything has to be timely, relevant, and valuable, speaking to the specific needs of your consumer, not just inserting their first name in your weekly email broadcast from the sales or marketing team.

Getting on board with personalization means using today’s marketing technologies to your advantage. Consider segmenting your database and targeting your communications based on specific criteria, i.e., location, product interest, etc. And because web experience is super dynamic these days, you can tailor your content to what’s relevant to your customers by changing the messaging, emails, videos, and call-outs, all specified to each of your prospect’s fields like industry or location.

3. Story Time

Salesy propaganda is a thing of the past. As we’ve covered above, buyers now dictate that content is tailored to their needs. So, how do marketers convey their message? Tell a story. Craft your message in a way that helps the buyer overcome a challenge. Making them the winners of your story makes the reception of your marketing content win, too.

4. Social Media for the Win

Today, social media is a way of life, so that means there is a really, really, really good chance that’s where your customers are and where you need to be. Buyers are social; they look to social networks for research, feedback, opinions, and much more, so if you are not there to interact and engage with them, you are missing out on a huge opportunity. At the very least, you should be on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but with all the different platforms out there, the ones you will use largely depend on where your audience is.

5. Get Engaged

Setting up a profile doesn’t mean you are on social media. You need to be an active participant; your customers and potential buyers expect it. This means you acknowledge their comments, respond to them in real time, and share relevant content of interest regularly. With so many tools available, it’s easy to invest in a program that helps you monitor mentions among other social activities and helps you stay ahead of your engagements while making it easier to plan posts ahead of time.

6. Numbers, Numbers, Numbers 

Customer centricity is more about engagement than anything, so it’s more important to focus on the interaction metrics when looking at data. While it’s essential to grow your community and monitor that growth, it shouldn’t be the most important part of your strategy. Measure the interactions people have with your brand by collecting the number of comments, likes, and retweets you receive in a certain period of time, day, week, month, or year, and compare them to previous numbers to see how your engagement varies over time. This also helps tell you what posts your customers enjoy most.

7. Cultivate Community

The tips above are all steps toward creating a community around your brand. By keeping an eye on your brand, the conversations surrounding it, and actively engaging and monitoring your engagement, you can start to create a community. Encourage feedback, thoughts, and ideas, but also treat your platforms as an educational outlet. Like any good form of communication, it is a two-way street. You should share just as much as your customers, if not more.

8. Paid Advertisement 

A quick note on advertising: There is no doubt about running social campaigns with the potential to produce revenue. So, if you’re in the market for paid social advertising, don’t forget to target your audience here, too! Segment your ad campaigns by demographics, interests, or geography to make them personal and pertinent to your desired audience.

9. Customer Centricity and Sales 

Fun fact: your sales department also plays a significant role in implementing customer centricity. The burden no longer weighs on the marketing department. In fact, the two should be working together as the sales process has shifted, and we see leads moving back and forth during the sales cycle. Sales representatives have just as much responsibility for selling a personalized experience. And don’t worry, they have all the tools they need to do it. 

Now that we have gone through some of the basics, let’s look at how your sales team benefits from working more closely with the marketing team regarding a customer-centric approach.

10. Use Your Data 

Connecting with your customer means knowing your customer, which takes out the guesswork. Yay! So, marketing automation lets you collect more behavioral data, which is KEY for building a complete detailed image of your prospect and keeps the sales team armed with crucial knowledge to keep conversations concentrated on customer needs.

11. Then Use More Data 

While marketing automation is a huge deal regarding behavioral information, the small details also matter. Think about using social media data to combine company attributes – size, revenue, and other extra details that tailor sales pitches even further.

12. Be Proactive 

Do you need a tissue for that huge pile of issues there? Don’t let your customer issues pile up! Top-performing sales teams proactively solve customer issues because they solve them before they happen. WHAT? Mind readers? NO! Regular check-ins with customers are all you need. Schedule a ten-minute conference call or a quick monthly meeting to hear how things are going and to plan for problems before they arise. No more issues, no more tissues.

13. Be the Go-To 

You want your clients to be as prepared as possible when using your product or service, so carve out a space where clients can come to you to solve their own issues by having a library of resources available. Maybe you have a webinar, free training classes, or meeting times; no matter how you do it, ensure you’re a resource for your clients. 

And we’ll keep the last three simple.

14. LISTEN  

Customers provide insight, and that is something you should be seeking out. Set up a place for them to air their thoughts, ideas, questions, or comments, and show them that you want them to be heard. More importantly, act on it. All talk and no show doesn’t build customer loyalty.

15. Be Transparent 

Maybe your company is experiencing some challenges, product/service price changes, or you just have some not-so-good news to share. Customers expect you to communicate with them good and bad news because when it comes down to it, honesty builds trust, and customers want to work with people they can trust.

16. Shower Them in Swag 

Who doesn’t love a good freebie? Am I right? Clients love to be swooned, and nothing is more swoon-worthy than some free stuff. It can be as simple as sending them a gift card or some cool branded company apparel, or you can go big and send them to the big basketball game in town this weekend. Not only are you showing them how appreciative you are of their business, but it’s excellent exposure if they share their experience or excitement through social channels.

Have questions about the content in this blog post? Want to dive into a more comprehensive business and marketing strategy to help you meet your growth goals?

Contact us today >> https://q2mark.as.me/ComplimentaryTriageCall