B2B companies typically implement client services or customer care processes to address customer concerns and enhance customer satisfaction.
Give examples of the types of customer concerns faced by B2B companies, and the common methods used to address these concerns
- Customer concerns may arise due to issues over product quality and functionality or a lack of corporate responsiveness to customer complaints.
- B2B companies may use customer care ticket systems, online blogs, or extranets to better capture customer feedback and respond to customer demands.
- Merging customer feedback with customer service Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) helps guide companies’ attention to areas where customer data can make a positive impact.
- stakeholders: A person or organization with a legitimate interest in a given situation, action or enterprise. It can range from employees and investors of a company to the customers purchasing from the company.
- customer relationship management: A widely implemented model for managing a company’s interactions with customers, clients, and sales prospects. It involves using technology to organize, automate, and synchronize business processes—principally sales activities, but also those for marketing, customer service, and technical support. Also known by the acronym “CRM. “
- extranet: A private computer network that uses Internet protocols and can be accessed by authorized individuals via the Internet.
Concerns of Customers
Nearly every brand must have a client service or customer care process in place to address customer concerns and enhance customer satisfaction. This is especially true for business-to-business (B2B) companies where stakeholders often provide constructive criticism to help marketing, sales, and technical departments adapt product offerings to meet changing customer needs.
Types of Customer Concerns
Customer concerns may arise due to issues over product quality or functionality. Mass product recalls are examples of company efforts to limit liability or avoid costly legal penalties due to corporate negligence. In addition to addressing customer concerns over product quality and functionality, B2B companies such as manufacturing firms must reassure customers they can handle the high cost of incidents at their factories and in their supply chains. These include responding to customer and public concerns over sudden plant shutdowns, employee strikes, explosions, toxic spills, and other unplanned occurrences. Similar to business-to-consumer (B2C) companies, B2B brands must have quality control and crisis management programs in place to respond to events that can result in a loss of customers and revenue.
Corporate responsiveness and sensitivity to customer complaints also impact brand image. Account or sales managers are often a B2B company’s first line of defense when it comes to flagging and responding to customer complaints regarding service disruptions or product malfunctions. B2B brands often assign cross-functional teams – sales representatives, developers, product specialists, and call center professionals – to oversee individual client accounts. This is especially true for large business accounts that generate significant revenue for the company. Reassuring customers that their needs and concerns are the company’s top priority is reflective of B2B brands that use a customer-driven approach to ascertaining customer demands.
Methods for Addressing Customer Concerns
The Internet era has presented challenges in maintaining and enhancing the personal customer experience, while making use of the efficiencies of online commerce. B2B companies such as software firms may implement online ticket systems, which allow business customers to submit electronic tickets that are automatically routed to customer care professionals. Business customers are then assigned a ticket number that allows the company to track the entire history of the customer problem and determine whether the issue was satisfactorily resolved. It also allows customer care professionals to properly escalate customer issues to appropriate channels such as the sales or research and development team.
B2B brands are increasingly using web and social media channels such as community blogs, online forums, and extranets to capture customer feedback. These communication channels give customers the ability to give detailed explanations of both negative and positive experiences with an organization. Sales methodologies applied to customer relationship management (CRM) systems allow B2B organizations to accurately monitor, track, and measure this information. Merging this data with customer service Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) also helps direct the company’s attention to areas where customer feedback can make a positive impact (e.g., cost savings, service improvement) on the overall organization.