The development of the Internet as a communication tool, and its commercialization as a tool for sales, purchasing and other business activities has created a drastically expanded marketplace. The geographic walls that once limited many companies from finding the best vendor or service provider across the country no longer exists. Additionally, customers can now compare attributes such as price and reputation in a short time frame, making them more informed and savvy in a given market. As Forbes described the situation in a recent article, customers, both individual consumers and those operating in the B2B sector, have more options than ever before.
New avenues, changing preferences
The world of options cited by Forbes means customers are going to seek out the products and experiences that they value the most. While the quality of the service, the item offered and cost are two major and enduring considerations, there’s another vital area that may not be as widely regarded: ease and simplicity. Customers value low effort experiences that limit time spent making a purchase and allow them to go on with their day. This isn’t news to many businesses, but they have to understand how the B2B marketplace is predicted to change in the coming years.
While customers have an increasing number of options, their desire for simple, easy processes hasn’t changed. It’s the responsibility of companies to make their customer interactions as easy and painless as possible. Customer loyalty today rests heavily on being able to seamlessly communicate with a business. A study from customer intelligence firm Walker, cited in the Forbes article, found that customer experience will surpass both price product quality as the most important brand differentiator by 2020. That survey of B2B customer behavior and preferences also found that proactive and personalized customer support will become increasingly important in the future. Businesses that aren’t adjusting to the shifting demands of B2B consumers will, sooner or later, be left behind those that do.
Businesses need to align two major concepts, company attitude and technological tools, to meet and exceed the expectations of customers. When an organization is dedicating the right resources toward developing the customer experience, it’s moving in line with the overall direction of the marketplace. Improving that experience through customization and early action means happier customers and better business results in both the short and the long terms.
The right tools for the job
With Whitepages Pro, contact centers can instantly access accurate, up-to-date customer contact information. With Pro’s Caller ID solution, contact center representatives can eliminate unnecessary data verification procedures, as well as reference historical data pertaining to the customer, to provide him or her the best service and ultimately the most enjoyable, easy experience. Reducing or eliminating pain points in the customer experience will continue to grow in importance as more businesses realize the need to provide simple, easy experiences for their clients. Organizations that get an early start on this process will have a better chance of connecting, engaging with and keeping customers while seeing the associated benefits from a revenue perspective.
Eliminating the seams in communication between customers and businesses may seem like a difficult proposition, especially if organizations have already made major investments into a multichannel engagement and experience strategy. However, the move to enjoyable, easy and simple experiences doesn’t necessitate more high-level spending and development. The targeted application of the right tools, such as Pro and its connection to valid, useful and current customer contact information, can make the transition manageable and profitable.