The buyer’s journey hasn’t changed much, but buyer and customer expectations certainly have.
We understand the journey much better than we did even ten years ago, and it’s still not clear. Here’s what we do know:
- Today’s buyers are millennials who came of age with access to emerging technology.
- Buyers only spend 17% of the journey meeting with potential suppliers.
- The journey is confusing, convoluted, and not linear.
If you want to win leads and build loyalty, you must figure out what buyers and customers want from your experience.
5 Things Customers Want That You May Have Overlooked
Buyers aren’t a monolith. Even buyers and customers in the same organization have diverse needs and expectations. However, most B2B marketers have neglected to keep up with the overall shift in expectations, falling short in the following areas.
1. A Seamless Blend of Human Interaction and Automation
Back in 2018, only 15% of buyers made most of their purchases online. Today, 44% expect to complete most transactions digitally.
Customers want an empowering and informative digital experience from you.
Start by evaluating your website. Ask yourself, does it answer every question a lead might have, or do they need to contact my sales team?
Ask your sales team about the most frequent questions they receive. Answer those questions on your website so buyers can find them without committing to a sales call.
Gating access to certain pieces of content or information while hoping your sales team will convert a lead on the phone isn’t a wise strategy. Instead of calling, most buyers will just go to another website where they can find the information they need freely.
Meanwhile, some customers would rather speak to a human at your company for certain tasks. 61% say they’d like help with complex configurations and another 61% say they want to hear about custom pricing. Still, over 50% want to hear about your products or confirm a purchase’s terms and conditions.
People want options. Make your online experience empowering and give them the choice to contact you if they please.
2. Interactive and Well-Organized Content
Buyers and customers are bombarded with low-quality content from all angles. They need content like blogs, eBooks, whitepapers, and videos to make smart decisions, but generic content won’t fly.
High-quality content that solves buyer pain points and questions is key.
However, you also must make sure buyers can easily find the information they need.
77% of buyers said their last purchase was complex or challenging. When they arrive at your website, they don’t have time to dig through blog post history or lengthy landing page copy.
Interactive elements can improve your content experience and encourage binging. Likewise, categorize your content repertoire by pain point, vertical, issue, or firmographic. The proper organization ensures a user-centric experience.
3. Better Thought Leadership Content
Thought leadership demonstrates your authority in your industry and shows buyers why you deserve their business.
A proper thought leadership strategy takes your content marketing from good enough to outstanding.
Study your competition, looking for topic areas they’ve neglected or ignored. Pick a niche or two where you can shine.
Your thought leadership should include a wide range of content, including digital events, to flex your skills. Thought leadership isn’t about extreme nuance—it’s about being thorough and well-rounded.
4. Post-Purchase Support and Resources
Lots of organizations have a bad habit of nurturing leads with awesome service and experiences, but then fall short once a lead converts into a customer.
Customers often feel neglected post-purchase, like their investment doesn’t live up to the product or service. Lines of support disappear, they get ignored, and online resources vanish.
Always create comprehensive and genuinely helpful content for customers like tutorials, special offers, explainer videos, and anything else unique to your base.
Make sure you keep this content readily available for every website visitor as well. Leads will see it as evaluating your organization and they’ll know you care about what customers want.
5. A Personalized Experience Across Every Touchpoint
A whopping 69% of buyers say they expect a B2B experience that mimics the personalization of Amazon.
Amazon personalizes every touchpoint:
- Product recommendations inside the app based on previous purchases and browsing behavior
- Hyper-personalized social media ads based on shopping behavior
- Unique video suggestions based on prior sessions and other viewers like you
Use data to do the same for your buyers and customers. With tools like custom APIs, integrated predictive analytics, and intent data, you can suggest personalized content recommendations and offers, every step of the way. Just make sure to keep your personalization helpful and relevant. Otherwise, hyper-personalization can feel unsettling.
Pinpoint What Your Customers Want
Improve the areas above (if you haven’t already) to keep up with evolving customer expectations. You’ll notice each area mentioned is somewhat vague. Work within each of the points above to figure out what YOUR customers want.
Research and conversations are the best tools in your arsenal for figuring out what kind of content, resources, support, and experiences win with your unique segments.
Digital events are a valuable resource for connecting with your leads, demonstrating your authority, and empowering your buyers to make smart decisions. Check out the Televerde Events and Resource Hub to see how you can put them into action too!