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Leveraging Voice of Customer Research in B2B E-commerce: A Strategic Imperative

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By Lori Winkler
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05.10.2024
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Lori Winkler

Lori Winkler

Lori Winkler serves as the Managing Director of BlueSky's Marketing Division. Lori has a demonstrated history of working in the marketing and advertising industry. She is highly experienced and skilled in Digital Strategy, Marketing Management, Nonprofit Organizations, Sales, and Public Relations. She is a strong business development professional with a B.S. focused in Majors in Psychology and Education from St. Joseph's College. 
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Leveraging Voice of Customer Research in B2B E-commerce: A Strategic Imperative

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Understanding stakeholder needs is crucial in the rapidly evolving landscape of B2B commerce. Conducting Voice of Customer (VoC) research has emerged as a strategic imperative for businesses aiming to transition to B2B e-commerce successfully. This blog will outline how VoC research is crucial at every stage of the customer journey and why providing an omnichannel experience is vital for sustainable growth.

The Customer Journey in B2B E-commerce:

Awareness:

At the awareness stage, stakeholders become aware of e-commerce solutions through marketing, industry recommendations, or direct sales approaches. Independent sales reps, distributors, and dealers need clear communication to understand the benefits of e-commerce platforms.

Consideration:

In the consideration stage, stakeholders evaluate whether the platform fits their needs. Distributors and dealers require seamless integration with their existing systems, and end customers prioritize intuitive and user-friendly interfaces. Here, VoC insights help identify usability issues and align the platform’s features with customer needs.

Decision:

During the decision phase, stakeholders commit to adopting the platform based on perceived value, training, and ease of use. VoC research at this stage can reveal specific objections that sales reps, distributors, or end customers may have, allowing companies to tailor their approach, address concerns, and communicate the platform’s benefits more effectively.

Adoption and Loyalty:

Post-adoption, VoC research helps ensure customer satisfaction and retention by identifying friction points and areas for continuous improvement. Providing ongoing support and adding features based on customer feedback can enhance loyalty.

Creating an Omnichannel Experience Across the Customer Journey

An omnichannel experience ensures consistent and integrated communication across all channels throughout the customer journey, resulting in a seamless and positive interaction.

Awareness & Consideration:

  • Surveys: Conduct surveys via email, web forms, or SMS to gather initial insights on customer preferences, pain points, and expectations.
  • Focus Groups & Roundtables: Engage in roundtables or focus groups to uncover deeper insights and involve stakeholders in platform design.
  • Social Media Listening: Monitor social media for brand mentions and customer feedback to understand trends and sentiment.

Decision Stage:

  • Training and Support: Provide comprehensive training sessions for sales reps, distributors, and dealers to familiarize them with the platform’s benefits and address their specific concerns.
  • Content Marketing & Case Studies: Share case studies demonstrating the platform’s ROI and usability and create tailored content that resonates with stakeholders.
  • Security Assurance: Highlight the platform’s security features to address end customers’ concerns about online transactions.

Adoption & Loyalty:

  • Customer Advisory Boards: Establish advisory boards to gather strategic insights and involve customers in co-creating new features.
  • Passive Listening: Continuously monitor customer interactions through passive listening (social media, customer service channels) to identify pain points.
  • Personalized Marketing & Retargeting: Leverage customer data to create personalized marketing campaigns and retarget customers based on their interactions with the platform.

Leveraging VoC Research for Continuous Improvement and Revenue Growth

VoC research enables data-driven decision-making by:

Segmenting Stakeholders:

Segment customers based on feedback and behaviors to identify distinct needs and tailor solutions. For example, early adopters who are more inclined toward innovation can be prioritized for rapid adoption and advocacy.

Identifying Friction Points:

Scrutinize feedback data to uncover recurring pain points, such as cumbersome ordering processes, communication inefficiencies, or inadequate support resources. Addressing these friction points can streamline the customer experience, increase conversions, and enhance customer retention.

Uncovering Opportunities:

Recognize emerging trends, unmet needs, and latent desires within the target market to introduce innovative features or expand into new market segments. For example, VoC insights can reveal untapped revenue opportunities through increased Average Order Value (AOV) or customer loyalty programs.

VoC in B2B2C: Navigating the Tricky Transition

For established B2B businesses seeking to enter the B2B2C space, VoC research becomes even more critical due to the added complexities of catering to both B2B partners and end customers. Some unique challenges include:

Channel Conflicts:

B2B partners may perceive the direct-to-consumer approach as a threat. VoC research can identify their specific concerns and help businesses develop strategies like exclusive offers, co-branded promotions, or revenue-sharing models to ensure buy-in.

Diverse Expectations:

The expectations of B2B and B2C customers can vary significantly. While B2B customers prioritize efficiency, integration, and cost-effectiveness, B2C customers look for intuitive interfaces, personalization, and fast delivery. VoC research helps balance these needs and tailor the platform accordingly.

Omnichannel Experience:

Creating a seamless omnichannel experience across B2B and B2C channels requires unified messaging and consistent branding. VoC insights can guide the alignment of marketing strategies, customer support, and user experience across all channels.

Outcomes of Investing in VoC Research

The benefits of investing in VoC research include improved Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) and increased revenue-generating opportunities, such as higher Average Order Value (AOV) and customer loyalty. Here’s a closer look at the potential outcomes:

Improved Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO):

By understanding customer preferences and pain points, companies can optimize the user experience, leading to higher conversion rates. According to a report by Forrester, customer-centric companies achieve 2.5 times higher revenue growth compared to those focused primarily on profit.

Increased Average Order Value (AOV):

By providing personalized recommendations and tailored upsell opportunities based on VoC data, businesses can increase AOV. McKinsey found that cross-selling and upselling through personalized experiences can increase AOV by 10-30%.

Enhanced Customer Loyalty and Retention:

VoC research allows companies to identify and address friction points proactively, improving customer satisfaction and fostering loyalty. According to a Gartner report, companies with strong VoC programs spend 25% less on customer retention.

Navigating B2B2C Complexity with BlueSky Commerce

BlueSky Commerce specializes in navigating the complexities involved in creating frictionless customer experiences in B2B2C businesses. With our expansive understanding of creating omnichannel experiences for businesses’ digital transformation, we help organizations leverage VoC research to balance the diverse needs of B2B partners and end customers. Our tailored strategies ensure companies can transition smoothly into the B2B2C space, providing seamless and consistent customer journeys while maximizing conversion rates and revenue.

Let us help you unlock the full potential of your digital commerce initiatives with our expertise in creating unified, data-driven customer experiences across all channels.

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BlueSky’s unmatched commerce expertise allows us to help our clients understand how to utilize omnichannel and business solutions to reach, attract, engage, and grow customers.

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