Business today isn’t just about the products or services companies sell, it’s also about how they sell them. In a business landscape where competition is abundant, and often just a click away, enterprise success depends on how seamless and intuitive the shopping process is.
The numbers back this up. Forrester Research reports that brands that make experiences a key part of their business enjoy an average revenue growth rate of 24%, as opposed to their counterparts who don’t. The customer experience, at every point of interaction with a brand, has evolved in a number of ways, but above all its delivery has become more nuanced and segmented. The shift in customer service is largely in part due to the evolving demands from today’s customer.
Here are three must-haves that today’s customers want, even in the business-to-business landscape, and how companies, including PODS, are responding.
1. Customers want empathy
Customers want companies to understand their needs and desires. They want companies to demonstrate empathy and deliver superior customer service from the buying experience to delivery and beyond. This applies to companies both in the consumer and business-to-business space. The silos between those spaces are fast disappearing, in a phenomenon that’s being labeled as the rise of Me2B.
What do such empathy-driven customer experiences look like? First, they can take the form of rapid delivery of needed products and services. For example, PODS quickly delivers large or small-scale storage and logistics solutions for businesses of all sizes, include those that need services on short notice.
Second, empathy-driven experience can mean transactions that are completed quickly without wasting customer time. Businesses like PODS might offer a suite of solutions that can be customized per customer needs, demonstrating that they empathize with the needs of their clients.
2. Customers want personalization
Business customers want personalized and dependable service. Successful business realize that customer needs can change over time, and can tailor solutions accordingly. One-size-fits-all solutions don’t fit anyone, in this hyper-personalized modern environment.
Big data is one tool that has allowed companies to deliver focused personalization. By assessing data such as customer specifications, business size, service needs, purchasing behavior and more, companies can more precisely calibrate their services to sell the right product to the right business at the right time. They can also tailor their offerings to clients’ precise and evolving needs and demonstrate competence, a factor customers look for.
For example, PODS delivered seasonal switch-outs to The Container Store based on the retailer’s changing needs for storage over time. The ability to quickly and dependably modulate services to the customer continues to be a crucial aspect of customer service.
3. Customers want convenience
Brands that deliver convenience score enduring customer loyalty. Nielsen Insights reported that convenience is the ultimate currency. Some 46% of consumers in the survey found shopping to be a chore, so any service that makes it less painful wins big.
Understanding what convenience means for the customer, and delivering solutions accordingly, becomes a win-win. When the City of Tampa wanted to host a holiday retail village using pop-up stores, for example, they examined two points of convenience: a physical store that could be transported to the site and stocked easily, and storage for when the units would be dismantled. The PODS containers that comprised Tampa’s holiday village were easy to convert into stores and afforded storage when the season ended. PODS delivered the containers to the site ensuring maximum convenience for the client.
Today and in the near future, success in business will hinge on staying ahead of customer needs and delivering frictionless service accordingly. The many data points companies gather about their B2B customers will lay the groundwork for hyper-personalized customer service that is empathetic, personalized and convenient.