This article was based on the interview with Chris Costello, Executive Vice President Worldwide Strategic Accounts at Amazon Business by Greg Kihlström for The Agile Brand with Greg Kihlström podcast.
Listen to the original episode here:
B2B customers want simplified, efficient experiences. This is evident in the evolving expectations of B2B customers, who are increasingly seeking a level of convenience and ease that is comparable to their B2C experiences. Traditionally, B2B marketing has been treated as a separate practice from B2C marketing. However, it is important to remember that B2B customers are also B2C customers outside of their work life. This means that they have come to expect the same level of simplicity, speed, and convenience in their B2B interactions as they do in their personal lives.
One of the reasons why the B2B customer experience may not always match the B2C experience is due to the unique challenges in the B2B environment. B2B customers often have specific needs, such as integration with existing procurement systems, detailed analytics, and the ability to track spend against diversity and sustainability goals. They may also require higher volumes of orders and more complex logistics, such as delivery to loading docks or remote work locations. Additionally, many B2B customers have to navigate negotiation processes and formal RFPs, which adds another layer of complexity.
However, B2B customer expectations are changing. The COVID-19 pandemic, supply chain constraints, and the shift to remote work have accelerated the demand for simplicity and speed in B2B interactions. B2B customers now have a higher bar for convenience and efficiency, driven by their experiences with innovation advancements in their personal lives.
For example, B2B customers appreciate the convenience of mobile apps for purchasing, quick delivery times, prepaid shipping return labels, and the ability to access services online. They have become accustomed to having their groceries and dry cleaning delivered to their homes, printing stamps online, paying bills digitally, and even monitoring their homes remotely through security cameras. These experiences have shaped their expectations for simplified and efficient B2B interactions.
To meet these evolving expectations, B2B companies need to prioritize simplicity and efficiency in their customer experiences. This can be achieved through streamlined processes, user-friendly interfaces, and intuitive platforms. Companies should invest in technologies that enable seamless integration with existing systems, provide detailed analytics, and offer personalized recommendations. Moreover, B2B companies should aim to consolidate suppliers and provide comprehensive solutions that address their customers’ complex needs.
In conclusion, B2B customers want simplified, efficient experiences that mirror their B2C interactions. The changing expectations of B2B customers, driven by their experiences in their personal lives, require companies to prioritize convenience, speed, and ease of use. By embracing technology, streamlining processes, and offering comprehensive solutions, B2B companies can meet these expectations and create a seamless and satisfying customer experience.