Putting the B2C into B2B

The ICE Agency’s Guy Wilcox explains why user experience design is key to B2B customer engagement.

When you think of companies with exemplary customer service who do you think of? Amazon, Apple, John Lewis, First Direct? Or maybe a company in the hospitality industry where its vitally important to keep customers both happy and engaged. We all have our own reference points for service against which delivery is judged and these expectations are often informed by our own experiences as consumers. So why, when it comes to B2B do many companies seem to forget that all professional buyers are consumers at heart and most, if not all, will bring B2C expectations into their work. Their motivation for purchase may be different but they all still want a high quality user experience or UX as it’s known in the trade. At The ICE Agency, we know that providing the right experience is the key to customer satisfaction, regardless of whether you’re in the B2B or B2C world. That’s why we’ve been able to help so many B2B businesses by shifting to a more consumer-focused outlook.

Through our work, we’ve experienced instances of shocking online service and UX from B2B companies who really should know better. And, they’ve all been guilty of the same thing; forgetting their customer’s inner consumer. The B2B world may be less emotive, more factual and more statistics-based, but that doesn’t mean our experiences of it have to be dry or boring. What the B2B world suffers from is a lack of storytelling and online interactivity and this is especially true if the product is more technical in nature. So many audio visual and technology companies, for example, still focus on individual components and black boxes, be it a camera, screen, microphone, speaker, amplifier, computer and the accompanying software rather than showing how these components combine to solve their clients’ business challenges. They, like many B2B websites, still work on the more traditional ‘mega phone’ mentality – here is what we sell and we are going to shout about it.

Luckily, we’ve worked with some big B2B clients who take a more enlightened approach and together we’ve developed some truly innovative UX solutions that have helped them to deliver premium service levels and an outstanding customer experience. Like the audio visual reseller who wanted to differentiate itself in the market by bringing some life and energy to the traditional ‘catalogue of part numbers’ website or brochure. We responded with an interactive online portal that enabled its customers to visualise technology in a photo-real environment and build unique spaces by selecting from a choice of modular components. It’s exactly this sort of joined-up, visionary approach that we specialise in. That’s because we believe it’s possible to package B2B offerings into simple yet powerful digital solutions that resonate with the consumer inside us all.

After all, we all bring our personalities into the workplace, its something that we at The ICE Agency actively encourage because we believe our work is richer for it. Our business and our solutions are all the better for injecting a bit of personality and creativity into the mix, and we believe yours could be too.

If you’d like to know more about how shifting to a more consumer-focused outlook can impact your brand and sales, contact us.

Writen by
Guy Wilcox
Posted: 23rd November 2017