NOTE: Updated February 2021 with 2 new customer experience examples!
When customers buy from you, they want it to be an enjoyable experience that’s well-worth their valuable time. That’s in addition to buying a great product or service, of course.
Customer experience goes beyond standard, expected customer service.
It means intuitively guiding customers through the buyer’s journey in a way that caters to their interests, needs, wants, concerns and questions.
It’s knowing your customers on a deeper level and anticipating what they need and want from you without them even having to ask for it.
With such an emphasis on enhancing the customer experience, companies can no longer depend solely on a great product.
In fact, in Econsultancy’s B2B Digital Trends report companies stated the single most exciting opportunity for 2018 is customer experience (ahead of content marketing and mobile marketing).
This transformation can’t be ignored as the tides shift, so we’re sharing five customer experience examples for B2B brands to get your marketing team headed in the right direction (you can also checkout our top customer experience examples for non B2B brands).
Collaborate with well-known brands for an immersive experience
Most of the time, consumers relate to well-known B2C brands over the (sometimes) less exciting B2B brands.
We get it.
How do you overcome that challenge?
Partner with well-known brands to bridge the B2C and B2B bridge.
That’s exactly what Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) did when they associated their brand with Paramount Pictures’ Star Trek to support their “Accelerating Next” campaign.
This is a perfect example of how finding a collaboration that makes sense can increase visibility for your brand and enhance customer perception.
A great customer experience is important, but taking it to the next level can make all the difference.
Take Qumulo as an example. Qumulo, a provider of simple, scalable, and efficient enterprise data storage systems, listens to feedback and suggestions to give customers the experience they want.
“You have to come with a modern customer experience approach that is able to evolve and adapt.
Ask your customers what they want and then give it to them,” explains Chris Lisica, Director of Customer Success.
One way they do this is through their Qumulo Care portal that gives customers easy access to important resources, a like-minded community, and the option to open a support case ticket.
You could even take things a level further by “gamifying” your community – so community members who answer questions, provide feedback, or engage in your community get rewarded.
Build an emotional connection
When we think of brands creating an emotional connection with their customers, B2B companies aren’t first to come to mind.
But, Motorola wanted to try something different – and they did.
Motorola’s arm of the organization that works with government and enterprise customers needed a new brand purpose that resonated with their audience.
The result was Motorola’s Moments that Matter.
“‘To help people be their best in the moments that matter’ – whether it’s first responders in emergency situations, doctors caring for their patients or retail associates during busy holiday sales. Motorola needed to tell the story of how it mattered all around the world, in moments that are truly mission-critical as well as those which are life-enhancing.”
Keep people at the heart of the strategy
B2B marketing and sales might not be as exciting as B2C, but that doesn’t mean it has to be downright boring.
At the end of the day, you’re still marketing to people.
That’s why it’s important to keep people at the heart of your customer experience strategy.
Let’s look at Jamf, a provider of software for both enterprises and smaller businesses that helps them manage their Apple devices, as an example.
Sam Johnson, VP of Customer Service, says “In high tech, great customer success is all about going through the technology and humanizing it so that you can connect with people on a more enriched level……and to enable that we look for people that can make their passion for something contagious.”
To connect with their customer base and provide a place for their customers to connect with each other, they created Jamf Nation as a place to connect with fellow IT professionals, gain insight about Apple device deployments, share best practices and bounce ideas off each other.
In other words, building a brand = building a community.
Leverage feedback to find the best solution
Customers dishing out negative feedback isn’t always a bad thing – as long as you know how to use that feedback.
Incoming support requests and calls might be frustrating but this is your opportunity to hear what your customers are saying, take it to heart, and find a solution that fixes their problem.
That’s a huge opportunity that can turn a negative situation into a positive outcome.
That’s the approach Paycor takes as a provider of recruiting, human resources, and payroll solutions through an integrated, cloud-based platform.
Their HR Center of Excellence provides a unique experience that empowers their clients to drive HR success within their own organization.
Provide tangible value
Nowadays, everyone and their mother have a blog to draw attention to their business online (and if you don’t, this is your sign to look into one).
If this is the market everyone is now competing in, how can you take your customer experience to the next level?
The first thing you can do is to stop treating your blog, e-book, or other lead generators as lead generators.
Hear us out: when you use these powerful tools as lead generators, they bring you value once (i.e. when you bring in a new client) and then become obsolete.
They are far too powerful to be reduced to lead generation; blogs, e-books, and other marketable materials are value-adds to your service.
When developed accordingly, these assets can have a useful life for your clients from the moment they become a lead to well after you’ve worked together.
This is a powerful lesson Later uses every day in their customer experience journey. Later is a social media planner that aims to provide value with every step for their customers.
Aside from their blog, their corporate site boasts free training courses, e-books, business challenges, and guides.
Rather than being seen as just another marketing tool, they have rooted themselves as a hub for all their social needs (have you ever seen reviews that included how great their “lead generators” are?).
You don’t need endless materials to use this strategy.
Try adding some of your current educational assets in different steps of your sales cycle and let your lead generators do more of the long-term heavy lifting.
Take a page from B2C
Customer experience often starts without any formal introduction, and that’s with your brand.
A quick Google search on examples of top tier branding can usually be recapped as a simple compilation of the best B2C companies in business.
When framed this way, it often times feels like a great marketing experience is reserved for a consumer audience.
Well, if their marketing is as good as everyone says it is – maybe it’s time B2B marketing steals a page out of their book.
One look at Canadian lending startup Clearbanc’s social media and you might think you’re scrolling through a direct-to-consumer page.
Memes, TikTok challenges, giveaways, and most importantly, a sense of humour.
With this marketing strategy, it’s surprising to find out the startup works exclusively in the B2B space (and in financial services too!).
At the end of the day, B2C and B2B customers want the same things; success, recognition, and to avoid failure at all costs.
Adopting a human brand (which yes, can look a lot like B2C) is the first step in approaching recognition and trust from your clients first interaction with your company.
So, go ahead, we’re giving you permission to steal. Take a page from the tried-and-true B2B marketing handbook to add a little spice in your brand.
Ready to get started?