Three Tips for Communicating with B2B Customers
Communication is a key theme in customer experience, also known as CX.
Yet some organizations still believe it’s scary to communicate with their customers.
Confirming problems and issues means you actually have to do something about them, you have to fix them, to let customers know you heard them and are addressing their problems.
But communicating with customers drives trust and helps to ensure they realize your organization is serious about accepting and acting upon customer feedback.
For example, one financial services company sends out surveys to all new customers and existing customers with new service offerings requesting their immediate feedback. This helps to ensure that customers who are dissatisfied or who had a poor experience are identified in real time, with “red flags” mitigated quickly. An action plan is formulated by the account team for immediate follow up.
Here are three tips for communicating with B2B customers.
1. Find the Right Lingo
Communicating is about using the right language or “lingo” when speaking with customers.
This is especially important in highly specialized industries. A common set of terms helps to demonstrate to customers that your organization and teams understand their issues at a deep level. This, in turn, builds trust for long-term commitments.
For example, a B2B CX executive in the technology industry described his company’s goal of being a “trusted and valued partner” to its customers through ongoing collaboration, innovation, and execution, including usage of terminology that’s familiar to customers throughout the process. Failure to do so would deny “privileged access” of this company to key customers and exclude the organization from ongoing collaboration to develop solutions that will solve next generation problems.
2. Share Results with Employees
Along with that, communicating customer experience analysis results to employees frequently and on an ongoing basis ensures B2B CX program success and allows internal stakeholders to see how initiatives are playing out in different parts of the organization, thus building momentum for continued success. It’s important to celebrate organizational successes by publicly recognizing organizational and departmental progress, especially when reporting updates to internal employees. This helps to ensure that employees are receptive and excited about continuing the customer experience journey.
As one customer experience executive in the technology industry explained, “We focus on having different mediums. One time it might be an infographic with the latest net promoter score results. The next time it might be a video talking about one of the projects that’s kicking off.” This executive has also successfully used grass roots champions throughout the organization as catalysts for change, allowing individuals to share “what’s going on in their part of the work or their part of the business” that may spark interest and encouragement from others.
3. Conveying B2B CX Data Through Stories
Conveying customer data using stories is also a powerful tactic that successful organizations have used to spread success about their programs. One customer experience leader recommends, “Going out and spending the time to develop [customer] stories, and let your customers tell them for you. [Using this approach], I was able to engage my entire executive team in a day-and-a-half session.” Incidentally, this executive refused to put everyone to sleep with PowerPoint slides, much to the shock of her staff. Instead, she led with stories, which are inherently superior to most other communication mediums.
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