Personalization is all about creating a custom experience for customers to keep them happy and engaged. Marketers in the business-to-consumer (B2C) sector are familiar with the concept of personalization, but the topic isn't as popular in business-to-business (B2B) organizations. However, as CMS Wire noted, B2B customers expect the companies they work with to have all the context necessary to support them in their endeavors. This includes history, recent activity and individual preferences.
So if customers want personalization, why are so many B2B companies reluctant to incorporate the concept into their processes? Many businesses cite a lack of adequate technology and data as reasons for ignoring personalization. Such organizations think of personalization as a consumer-focused issue, but in reality it's just a translation that needs to happen.
In a B2B context, personalization refers to making your content relevant to the business, industry, and unique processes of your business customers. You can include personalization much like they do in B2C by keeping detailed notes on your customer's primary contacts. For example, if they mention their child is in little league, ask them how the team is doing the next time the two of you talk on the phone. This small gesture can make customers feel cared about by the business they are working with. Just remember that striking a balance between personal and professional is always important in B2B customer support.
Personalization through customer support
Support is part of the customer experience and therefore should also utilize personalization. Agents need software that gives them the tools and data they need to truly understand their customers, both at a company level and at an individual level.
First, each agent needs access to a central database that details every customer's points of contact, ticket history, product versions and more. This gives agents the knowledge customers expect, allowing them to understand the customer's needs without having to ask for repetitive or easily accessible information. In addition, custom reports and business intelligence solutions let agents compare open support tickets by severity and quickly assess customer satisfaction, thereby allowing them to pay particular attention to customers that need extra care.
"With software integration, employees don't have to re-enter repetitive information."
Customer support software should integrate with other business applications, syncing information between them to provide an omnichannel customer experience. By sharing customer contact, support, marketing, and sales data, employees in each of your departments don't have to enter repetitive information. Not only does this reduce the potential for embarrassing errors, it also ensures everyone in your business is on the same page when it comes to providing a consistent experience for your customers. Support gets contact information from sales and marketing, while the latter two are updated on any issues the customer experiences and can tailor their efforts accordingly.
By using customer support software built for B2B organizations, you can manage personalization efforts at the company level as well as the contact level. You and your agents can make notes of how each customer or contact uses your product or service in addition to insight into the preferences and past interactions of each contact within your customers' organizations. This makes it easier to personalize experience by both customer and contact.
Personalization is about tailoring the content, responses, and customer experience to the individual you are dealing with. Simply put, it's about being human. Just because you work with businesses or in a B2B environment doesn't mean you have to remove the human element.