Every B2B customer is also a B2C customer. So it follows that the experience they experience from their best consumer facing brands they will expect to see in their interaction with business brands. Automation plays a key role in improving that experience.
Automation helps marketers make sense of their customer data and use it to provide a more meaningful and customer-centric service. It can improve nearly every section of your strategy; from generating content, to lead generation and measuring performance.
Marketing automation software can take many forms, but these are some of the most popular:
- CRM / Sales Automation
- Campaign tracking
- Dynamic landing pages
- Social marketing automation
- Dynamic form builders
- Reporting and analytics
When these tools are applied correctly, they help deliver a much-improved customer experience.
In addition, according to the Service Profit chain, the companies that are more successful at delivering an excellent customer experience, are those who also understand what satisfies and motivates employees. Regardless of industry, teams feel demotivated by having to constantly focus on boring, repetitive tasks. By freeing time and resources for more creative and strategic work through automation, marketing teams get more job satisfaction and customers get a better experience.
Research from Infosys and Accenture shows that 74% of customers are frustrated when content is not personalised and 81% want brands to get to know them and understand the correct time to approach them. Time is also your customer’s most valuable possession. Above all else, your CX must be quick.
While there are lots of applications where automation can help, we'll focus on CRM, analytics, dynamic landing pages and chatbots. These tools can deliver extraordinary benefits to CX as they help to give you an improved understanding of your ideal customer and implement complex strategies more easily, giving your customers a more personalised, tailored experience.
Use CRM and analytics to recognise your customer’s behaviour and when the best time to contact them is. Then you can create personalised content, based on their preferences and behaviour. When you interact with your customer this way, it will resonate better and mean they are more likely to engage.
You can further personalise content with dynamic landing pages. These pages will automatically adapt to each customer, based on their preferences and behaviours on your website. This allows your team to create content that engages your customers with deep, personalised experiences. A dynamic landing page also means that a single page or email template can connect with various audiences.
One of the simplest and most effective tools to implement is a chatbot. A well-designed chatbot can be a godsend for your team and your customers. It allows for 24/7 responses to your customers. Research from Sana shows that 60% of B2B buyers prefer accessing product information, delivery details and paying invoices online – all of which a chatbot can do. The research also shows that 40% of B2B customers considered speed the most important KPI of the CX. Utilising a chatbot is one of the most efficient ways to improve this metric.
When you start to effectively implement automation tools, you will see your CX improve dramatically so naturally you next question is probably…
How do I do this?
To help you decide which elements of automation to employ, you will need to first decide on your goals and how you will measure success. Next you must choose your audience segmentation. Do this carefully and correctly, not quickly. This is the core of your strategy, the better its foundations, the better it can help you grow and evolve. As the system runs, it will collect more data, refining your audience further.
Now you can decide which tools you will implement. It is very important to consider that while employing one or two separate programs may suit your needs at the beginning, employing multiple programs on one system can get very complicated, time-consuming and expensive so it is worth considering an all-in-one platform.
Now that you know what you want your automation to achieve, here some best practice examples:
Amazon often provides excellent customer service. Their speed of response is extremely high and their content is always tailored to the customer. From their content on the homepage to their purchasing suggestions that arrive in the customer’s inbox. This is based on the customer data they collect to personalise the CX as much as possible. People who bought X, also bought Y.
Thomas Reuters implemented a CRM strategy with great success, after growing rapidly but failing to align sales and marketing. They had no segmentation and leads were sent without being qualified. CRM consolidated this. It then implemented a lead scoring system and customer profiles were created. They subsequently saw a 23% increase in leads passed to the sales team and a 175% increase in revenue attributed to marketing generated leads.
Hubspot’s chatbot combines human and artificial intelligence to provide a great CX. Their chatbot has the initial conversation and when a live person becomes available, they take over the conversation. This moves leads through the funnel while giving customers excellent service.
As you have seen, automation in B2B CX is a powerful tool and can help you provide not just great CX, but a consistently great CX, that listens to your customers and only gives them information based on their needs and preferences. Increasing productivity and conversion for you, while also improving customer and employee satisfaction.
If you utilise these strategies successfully, you will have freed your team of tasks they likely find demotivating and 'time-wasting' and have created a CX that is tailored to each of your customers.
If you'd like to explore the marketing automation strategies that could improve your B2B Customer Experiences, then get in touch to chat to one of the Blueprint team.