John Hinder John Hinder Digital Strategist and Analyst
Your B2B Customer Journey is Just the Tip of the Iceberg

Your B2B Customer Journey is Just the Tip of the Iceberg

John Hinder, digital consultant and former Head of Digital at Royal London and Martin Currie, explores ways you can elevate your B2B customer experience with an effective channel strategy, a single view of the customer and impactful content marketing.

In B2B the customer journey is about creating an experience that meets your customers’ needs; providing the right information at each stage of the buying process and ensuring retention once customers are on board.

How do you approach buying products or services on behalf of your company? Look at competitors and speak to your customers to find out what they want and value.

Capturing customer interactions across channels; whether from social, web, phone or email, means you can build a single view of their “body language”; giving you the opportunity to understand their behaviour whilst delivering a more personalised and connected experience.

Tracking this behaviour can help you identify who is “putting their hand up” to show interest in your products and services. If you combine this with their role and organisation you can soon build up a good picture of potential prospects and leads.

Design your customer experience to be trackable, with the right calls to action and supporting indicators. At the awareness phase, make sure your adverts, social posts, industry articles and search engine placings drive them to a landing page on your site, with a form to capture their details.

During the research phase, don’t push your products too hard, focus on education materials that will help them understand their needs and build their business case. Think about content like blog posts, white papers, calculators, demos and customer references.

Don’t forget your existing customers too. Think about what support information and tools you can provide; for example FAQs and online chat tools. Making it easy to get answers to questions or problems is key to ensuring they stay your customer; with the potential for increased revenue and referrals.

Your customer experience is just the tip of the iceberg. It should be underpinned with the right tools and platforms that deliver the experience and also provide the information you need to make it easy to understand customer and prospect behaviour.

Key to this is ensuring your systems are properly integrated and automated. It’s vital to have a single view of all activity. From a sales perspective, being able to see contacts’ behaviour and interests is hugely valuable. Combine this with proactive alerts and it allows sales staff to focus their efforts on the right prospects; saving time and money whilst increasing the conversion of leads to customers.

For marketing, it means a greater understanding of what works and what doesn’t; allowing them to focus on the right channels and tactics, with a greater understanding of customer needs.

Don’t forget your existing customers either. By being able to track what help and support they need, you can find out potential issues with your products and services – if everyone is struggling with the same thing then it might indicate a problem that needs to be investigated and fixed.

Get this right and you’ll be able to successfully integrate your sales and marketing teams, delivering effective content that creates good leads who, in turn, convert to great customers and beyond.