4 Elements Of Efficient B2B Ecommerce Customer Experience

customer service

The customer journey is the driving force behind any customer experience. It should be the backbone of not only marketing, but every department in the company. Each customer touchpoint should be carefully molded to ensure that the customer is surprised and delighted at every stage. The company as a whole, should be deeply entrenched in the customer journey. 

But, how do you get the process right from start to finish and ensure that the customer not only converts, but returns as a loyal, paying client? We took a look at what B2B companies are doing globally and how they have optimized their customer experience.

Automate as Much as Possible 

Automation is a great way of ensuring that all of your processes are done efficiently, swiftly and with as little human error as possible. There are tons of automation tools out there for you to make use of. And you can automate almost every aspect of your business. From eInvoicing to procurement, supply chain, HR, and many aspects of marketing, there are hundreds of online tools and platforms for you to choose from. 

What is more, most of them are incredibly affordable and easy to use. They mostly work on a subscription basis, and there is usually a variety to choose from to suit your unique business needs. So, if you need, for example, custom invoices to automatically be sent to your clients, you can opt for a solution that not only fits your budget but your brand. 

Remember, the customer journey is pulled through to every aspect of your business and dealings with clients, and this includes finance and invoicing, so make it as streamlined as possible. 

Make Customer Service a Company Wide Effort 

Customer service should not be a siloed effort. It should not just be client-facing staff that are trained on effective and quality customer service. It should rather be pulled through to every part of the company. Make sure that each staff member from each department is sent on some kind of training to ensure that your customer journey is streamlined. 

Now, you might think that this is slightly unnecessary for, say, the guys in the dev department who are working on your site. But consider for a moment what your first point of contact usually is with a client. It is usually through your website. So, not only do they have to consider the full UX design of the site, they need to optimize each point that they would be in contact with your brand. 

Take, for example, chatbots which usually appear on most landing pages of your site. It is up to the development team to create interactive, helpful, and efficient points of contact that your clients can effectively use. So, training your developers on customer service and its intricacies of it can ensure that these small elements are carefully designed to optimize the customer experience. 

Heighten Communication With your Clients 

While we are on the topic of chatbots, when was the last time you audited your contact points? The fact of the matter is that every single client prefers different forms of communication and contact. While some prefer phone calls and direct contact with a person, others prefer getting questions and troubleshooting done with instant messaging. 

Make sure you are offering your clients a variety of ways to engage with you about a wide variety of issues. From social media, to chatbots on landing pages for real-time query solving, and access to an account manager, the more you can offer, the more streamlined the customer journey. customer experience

Keep communication transparent and honest at all times. Allow them to choose what communication they receive from you and provide them with regular opportunities to provide you with feedback. Remember, the more feedback you get from your clients, the more you can streamline your services and offerings.

Test, Measure, Monitor and Track Everything 

How do you know what you are succeeding at without the right data and metrics? If you are not receiving feedback from your clients, how do you know if the products or services are what they want? Or how would you know what they need for continued patronage?

The rule of thumb is to measure everything. From the traffic going to your site, how it behaves and where it drops off and converts, to the success of your social media campaigns. Gather metrics from various sources to be able to understand which campaigns were successful, what your clients responded well to, and what was a flop. 

Google Analytics allows you to track the traffic on your site and understand how it behaves. Your social platforms and mailing tools provide you with relevant metrics too about the success of your campaigns. But there are a plethora of other tools that allow you to track everything. 

The Bottom Line 

Customer service is a company-wide initiative. Train up your entire staff complement regularly and make sure that you have the right information coming to you at all times. The customer journey is your answer to great customer experience. 

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7 Tips To Master Customer Interaction Management

customer-interaction-management

Your customers have high expectations, and if you can’t meet them, they’ll go somewhere else. Customer interaction management can assist with this. They would want to buy from businesses that make it easy to receive help when they need it, go above and above for them, and make them happy pre- and post-sales.

Customer loyalty is increasingly based on how successfully a business interacts with its clients right from the start. In today’s competitive business climate, exceptional service can result in selling more products to more people for more profit.

While it may sound simple, many businesses today are failing to provide excellent service, and customer satisfaction is declining. While customer satisfaction is declining, customer demands are rising. People demand everything, anywhere, and at any time in this fast-paced, technology-enabled culture. To help you meet and understand customers’ demands, you need to manage customer interaction wisely. 

What Is Customer Interaction Management And Why Is It Important?

customer-interaction-management

Customer Interaction Management (CIM) as the name suggests, is the way businesses interact with their customers. This is a system that facilitates engagement with customers. Also, CIM is a subset of CRM meaning customer relationship management. CRM is a catch-all phrase, abbreviation, and is the most diverse technological segment.

Keep in mind that CIM is more of a post-sales activity for a business. Its importance as a customer satisfaction tool through optimizing communication channels like email, phone, self-service, and chat is clear. By managing customer interaction, a company can develop a long-term consumer base. How so?

  • Your company can make data-driven decisions and readily focus on areas that can assist improve the end-user experience.
  •  Customer interaction can help organizations rethink their customer satisfaction approach. This can also assist reduce client turnover.
  • Managing interactions effectively allows you to simply provide a great client experience across communication channels and promptly resolve issues.
  • Interacting with customers enables a business to study and comprehend the customer’s behaviors and pain points.
  • Successful interactions increase the likelihood of customers endorsing your business to others. Referrals are a great way to grow your business, so don’t be afraid to follow up with a request after a positive service interaction.

To get you started, here are some ideas to master customer interaction management:

  • Be Human

Your service representatives must realize that they’re not machines. Customers don’t want to interact with robots. Reps should show empathy, patience, and concern. The entire interaction will appear insincere if it feels rehearsed or formal.

Individuality and creativity will endear you to your customers while remaining professional. Build rapport with the clients. This way, they will feel more at ease and certain that you will assist them.

Here are some tips to do that:

  • Empathize with your customers.
  • Focus on the positive, not the negative.
  • Be attentive, courteous, and receptive to your consumers.
  • Know your product and technology.
  • Keep cool.
  • Learn from every consumer.

 

  • First Impressions Are Key

If the first staff a customer interacts with is impolite or grumpy, it ruins the purchasing experience for them. It will make your customers look for new pastures. Put your happiest, most productive team members in charge. Your company’s first impression should be welcoming. That’s the way to get them shopping.

  • Consider Using Multiple Channels

Customers can reach you via a range of channels, so build a strategy that covers more than one.  Customers expect to interact with your organization in new ways. Customers can contact you via live community forums, social media, live chat, and review sites.  While every interaction is unique, it must nonetheless be customized to the environment.

Not every issue can be resolved on every channel. The public nature of social media makes it improper for account and billing issues. Move the customer to a more private, secure channel. Remember to not rush customers. It’s considerably easier for everyone if you can close the engagement on the same channel the customer started it.

  • Monitor Effectiveness

You’ll receive a full view of how your staff communicates with clients and can regularly check for quality. It’s critical to monitor your team’s and consumers’ reactions. On one side, you want to please your clients. On the other hand, you want to know which areas your staff needs to improve on.

With the correct tools, you can track productivity and efficiency to uncover gaps and opportunities for development.

  • Use Software And Automation

The right technology can help customer experience managers and contact center workers handle client interactions across several channels. Start off by having CRM software.  There are a lot of different ones you can choose from, depending on your needs and budget.

The CIM system allows workers to easily engage with customers, updating them on case progress and requesting additional information. It can also be used to deliver upsell messages after a service interaction or appointment reminders. So, clients are always kept informed and system administrators can set it up to send messages automatically.

  • Keep A Good Reputation

A poor experience with an employee or another customer can lead to social media criticism. If your organization is known for horrible customer service, it’s difficult to regain trust. Avoid losing consumers due to a bad reputation by observing how others view your business. 

Ask customers to complete a service survey and use their feedback to enhance customer service. Of course, few people will do a survey without an incentive. Therefore, give them a little bonus. The survey and discount will bring back customers.

  • Act On Feedback

customer-interaction-management

You can’t just say ‘valued customer,’ you have to ask for and act on it.

Asking for feedback from consumers is an efficient technique to discover possible issues before they happen. A survey allows customers to express their opinions on your product or service in a way that makes them feel valued, and it allows you to fine-tune your processes or recognize staff who go above and beyond.

If your organization currently regularly solicits feedback, don’t overburden your customers with additional messages that could lead to survey tiredness.

If your organization currently asks for feedback, make sure you do so in 1:1 dialogue with clients. No matter how anonymous it is, qualitative feedback will help you develop your services, and buyers will enjoy the opportunity to express themselves.

Conclusion

There’s never a wrong timing to improve your customer interaction, and it will only get better after you put in place a customer interaction management plan.

Prioritizing your clients will always benefit your business. Therefore, begin exploring ways to engage them on a deeper level immediately.

 

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How Electrical Contractors Can Grow Their Company in 2022

How Electrical Contractors Grow Their Company

Your electrical service contractor company likely provides residential and commercial customers with a full range of design, installation, repair, inspection, and renovation work.

While highly skilled in all things electrical, many of these independently owned service companies face challenges in strategy, organization, communications, and marketing.

We at Small Business Coach Associates would like to offer 6 effective methods that will specifically help an electrical contractor company to grow and succeed.

Six Best Marketing Tactics to Grow Your Electrical Service Contractor Company

The following approaches can make a significant difference in working smarter, not harder as well as building up team rapport, improving customer service, and reaching your target clients.

  1. A Catalog of Contacts
  2. Relationship Building
  3. Follow-Up
  4. Word of Mouth
  5. Services, Services, Services
  6. A Marketing Strategy

Following is more detail on how to easily implement these tactics:

#1 Arrange Your Contacts in Your Database

As the owner of an electrical service contractor company, we are sure that you have contact info from most (if not all) past and current customers. However, you probably don’t have them all in the same place.

electrical contractorWhen the time comes to send a message or announcement about a new product, location, event, sale or other promotion, you want a simple way to send the same message to the same group of contacts at the same time.

Gather up the accumulated business cards, post-it notes, email contacts, and all online or paper lists to compile your customer contacts in one place.

You may also add names of people you’ve met while networking and at events. You may include contact info from vendors, contractors, partners, or other business associates.  At a minimum, keep their name, company, and email address. Consider including other data that you might need for a communication such as phone number, address, last contact date, type of contact, or description of work provided.

Prepare Your Customer Data to Begin Marketing

You can store this data many ways, such as in an online app, an Excel spreadsheet, or a Customer Management System like SalesForce or ActiveCampaign. You can keep everything in an email “group” consisting of only business contacts (no friends, family, et al).

Whatever method you employ, be sure to update it regularly.

With a ready-to-go list of contact information, promotional campaigns will be a breeze … and that will result in … new business!

#2 Build Better Team Relationships

When you have a small business with a limited number of staff, like an electrical service company, it is important that all the members of the team get along, are acknowledged, and are empowered to play a part in your company’s success.

Having a good relationship between the different staff members allows your electrical contractor company to work better. This culture can be fostered through individual recognition, respect, teamwork, and communications. An obstacle to communications is the fact that you have “cowboys and cowgirls out on the range.” Since they are outside your office performing work, you have less contact with them.

Ways to Build Your Team Relationships

A great first step is in recognizing that any team member (whether full-time, temporary, or intern) may bring not only potential customers but also possible ideas that further your success. They can recommend your services to their friends and families. Their attitude and enthusiasm may be the reason that some customers continue to use your firm.

To nurture their job satisfaction, input, and work ethic, find ways to:

  • Acknowledge the good – which can be as simple as an email recognizing what they’ve done well, a “Job Well Done” sticker, or a $5 gift card.
  • Come together – have regular all-hands meetings to discuss the state of the business, to talk about new plans, or announce promotions. Allow time for Q&A.
  • Keep your door open – sincerely offer for staff to come to you or their manager with their ideas or potential leads in addition to their concerns or feedback. All input can play a role in better working relationships and a more successful business. 

#3 Follow-Up With Your Customers

A rather simple method to build a good relationship with customers is through follow-up communications.

Make a call or send an email after a service call or when a project is completed. Ask for a ranking or feedback on aspects such as:

  • Response time
  • Professionalism
  • Efficiency
  • Cost

This method will, first, give you an idea of areas needing improvement while, second, building rapport. You can include a short questionnaire about these key points.

Thank Your Customer For Choosing Your Business

You can take this opportunity to thank the client for choosing your company and to offer a discount or gift card for new clients they recommend. You can even remind them of your guarantee or warranty, or request a testimonial on your website or social media page.

Doing follow-up communication is a clear signal that you care about your customer’s satisfaction and about doing a good job.

“We would like to recommend Alan at Small Business Coach Associates for making a large impact on our business. We are on track to double our generator sales this year. We gave ourselves and our employees raises, and we have paid an additional $75,000 on a loan that is nearly paid off. We have improved our quoting process, our sales process, our collections process, and our conversions process.  These improvements have resulted in a big positive impact on our sales and cash flow.  Additionally, we are offering financing and other value-added services which have benefited our customers and our business. Finally, we are taking more time off: 5 weeks this year!”  Andy, President, Electrical Service Company

 

How to Handle Customer Complaints

When you receive a customer complaint, it could pertain to dissatisfaction with the service, the poor manner a consultant has handled a query, or a lack of updates concerning an appointment. No matter the reason for the complaint, it is important to provide the customer with an attentive response in which you do your best to resolve the issue.

While most businesses will experience a customer complaint, it is essential to always put your best foot forward. Many people who have a negative encounter fail to alert the company but will spread the word about a negative perception to colleagues, friends, and family.

What to Do When a Customer Complains

Breathe Deeply and Relax

It can be challenging to deal with an irate customer but remember; it’s all about your service. It is not a personal attack. When you quip yourself to approach a tough situation with a calm attitude, you can think reasonably and determine the best course of action to improve their experience.

Listen and Identify the Problem

Your customer wants to be validated. Listen to what they are saying and try to understand their perspective. Show them that you understand and explain the steps you will take to address the matter.

Provide a Solution Based on the Details

customer complaintBefore agreeing to the customer’s terms, always get your facts. You need to make a professional decision that not only addresses the customer’s interests but maintains your business integrity.

Let the customer know that you have a handle on the problem by issuing follow-up calls. You could also offer a customer some form of a gift to show your sincerity, including a promotional offer. A discount off their next electrical maintenance service or a free electrical inspection are examples of such gestures.

 

#4 Cultivate Word-of-Mouth References

When someone needs an electrical contractor company, they no longer turn to the yellow pages and call the first number they see. Most people ask friends and relatives if they know someone who can handle the job.

According to Nielsen, 92% of people trust recommendations from friends and family over any other type of advertising. Plus, after analyzing specific case studies, researchers found a 10% increase in word-of-mouth [offline and online] translated to sales growth of up to 1.5% (source: www.bigcommerce.com).

So, you want to put some thought and planning into how to get the word out there.

The best strategy to get a reference will always be to maintain a high standard of service, be professional, and have a great relationship with your clients, staff, vendors, and other business contacts.

Consider a promotional plan, such as offering a $10 gift card to anyone who sends you a new customer. (Include employees in this, too!)  Flood your local area with promotional products – like baseball hats, t-shirts, and signage.

Social Media as a Marketing Tool

Along with referrals, social media is a powerful marketing tool for business exposure and growth. For contractors, failing to incorporate social media is a missed opportunity. With more than 3.5 billion people across the world using social media, tapping into this market can help businesses convert visitors into customers.

electrical servicePeople are naturally drawn to visual content. Even those looking for an electrical service contractor may be more inclined to click on a video or an image compared to reading a traditional advert. This does not mean you shouldn’t include descriptive ads; it is simply about being concise, innovative, and creating intriguing content that addresses your customers’ pain points.

Shares, likes, followers, and joining groups are all part of networking. It works similarly to ‘word of mouth references’ but uses online posts, videos, and images to attract and educate consumers. This offers immense potential to build your customer base and assert your business as a trusted, competent, and leading service.

Using Social Media to Get Referrals

Use your social media presence as a referral channel, and for reviews. FaceBook, YouTube, and Yelp play a major role in building trust and getting new business.

On your web site, emails, social media pages, and marketing materials, (1) include testimonials from homeowners and businesses that you’ve serviced, and (2) apply your branding.

Ensure that social media platforms present a bright and glowing view of your company and its services. Don’t forget to check Google, Angie’s List, Home Advisor and Yelp reviews and rankings –

If it’s an unfair comment, respond to it (of course) with all the professionalism you can muster.

Click Here to Access a Free Tool to Get Great Reviews

If it is a fair but negative appraisal, respond by first contacting the unhappy customer and making things right, then reply online with that story.

#5 Offer More Electrical Services

Once a customer has experienced your services, don’t neglect to make them aware of the range of other services you offer. Take time to let them know you can do more than just hang a light fixture or repair a broken wall outlet.

electrical serviceCommunicate that you can wire any size home, office, or commercial building. Let them know you do home inspections.

Publicize seasonal offerings like the installation of Christmas lights or yard displays. In the spring, show them photos of your most impressive outdoor lighting projects. People will be enticed by a photo of decorative strung lights on an attractive deck, or by discretely placed colored lights showcasing their home. Offer a free estimate on how to make their home look unique and upscale.

Consider offering service contracts, especially for commercial businesses. In such an agreement, a client would engage your company to exclusively perform electrical services.

Keep abreast of what customers want – if you don’t provide that service, then consider adding that to your offerings. That may require hiring new employees who are already trained and certified

#6 Define Your Marketing Strategy

As with any other company in any niche or industry, you need to have a well-defined marketing strategy. 

Research the answers to these questions:

  • What geographical areas do you serve?
    • Do you see your geographical areas expanding in the near future?
      • If yes, to where?
      • In any new service area, what will be different (weather, household income, number of commercial properties, etc.)?
      • Will it require new hires?
  • Who are your target customers (homeowners with over $100K income, small business owners with 20 to 40 employees, local home developers)?
    • What is the best marketing method to reach that audience?

marketing strategy

  • How much do you make in each type of work?
    • What types of work gave you the most profit over the last year?
    • What type of work do you anticipate will increase or decrease in demand in these areas?
  • What is your Unique Selling Proposition? That is, explain what it is about your products, services, delivery, culture, etc. differentiates you from the competition.
  • When are the times of year when your services are most in demand?
  • Are you willing to add more services to your company?
    • What type of electrical services are becoming more in demand?
    • Which services have the highest ROI (return on investment)?
    • What will this require (special skills? training? new marketing approach? added staff/subcontractors)?
    • How much of a financial investment will be needed?
  • Which methods of marketing have been the most effective (social media, TV, radio, newspaper, word-of-mouth, mailers, networking, etc.)?

Use the answers to develop your approach about WHO to market to, WHAT to promote, HOW and WHEN to advertise, and WHERE to market.

Why Your Electrical Service Business Needs Digital Marketing?

Owing to the impact that the 2020 pandemic has had on business, digital marketing has become a crucial part of growing your brand, making customer conversions, and attaining your professional goals.

digital marketingThe best way to reach customers and grow your business is by capturing attention, creating targeted advertising, and establishing your brand as an authority online. Digital marketing, including social media marketing, helps you attract potential customers to your services over your competitor.

Today’s top electricians are not only successful because of their skills but have invested in influential marketing and channels that local audiences can easily reach and access. By developing your very own online presence, you can reach more customers and represent your brand on the internet. Websites and social media allow you to describe your services, share client testimonials, and list the geographical locations you cover.

 As customers can use their PC, tablet, or phone to perform research into electrical services in a specific region and find your business faster than traditional marketing methods, it is important to become part of the online trend.

How to Start Marketing Your Electrical Service Business?

Marketing your business online should include service-based locations. Keep customers updated on new technologies, practices, and jobs completed by posting images and reviews on your website and social media.

Online marketing is also a great way to advertise your contact details. Include an online submission form for booking consultations and performing general inquiries.

Creating a Successful Web Presence for your Electrical Service Business

A professional website is a great way to increase brand exposure. It is the face of your company but also a resource for clients to learn about who you are and what you offer. Your site should be easy to navigate with a breakdown of the electrical services you provide. Along with advertising your brand and services, you can encourage visitors to sign up for a newsletter or promotion using their email address. The greater the number of emails, the easier email marketing strategies become part of your marketing campaign.

An electrical business is service oriented. From your website to the moment you answer the phone, your focus should be on the customer experience. Brand and service consistency improve customer perceptions and loyalty.

Along with the digital strategies and groundwork you put into building your business, optimizing your online campaign remains a crucial part of successful marketing. SEO for your electrical service business will increase brand awareness and place your company in the higher pages of Google’s and similar search engines’ rankings. By incorporating terms and locations for your electrical business, SEO helps target customers who are looking for your service in a particular area. This can include keywords such as: “electrician in Location.” It is the most effective way to boost the business website and convert customers.

Electrical services are considered a niche market. Learning about your customer and your competitors can help you develop communications and internet marketing strategies that place your brand ahead of the rest.

In 2021, expanding your electrical contracting company can be achieved with incredible rewards when you invest in a customized and effective marketing campaign.

Summary: It’s All About Marketing and Relationships

Employing these tactics can only improve the morale of your team, please your clientele, and increase your market share.

In the ever-shifting nature of areas like strategy, marketing, and communications, owners of an electrical service company can never stop working on ways to grow and stay competitive.  

 

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