Countless B2B purchases are made every day from product reviews. These product reviews can be found from third-party websites, distribution/wholesale centers, and sometimes even at the manufacturer’s site itself. The “product review” has become a sort of standard since the publication of the Cluetrain Manifesto, where with elegant simplicity, the author simply stated a truth forever etched on our economy: “Markets are conversations”. The author did not state “markets are product reviews” or “markets are your NPS score”. Our economy is more subtle, intertwined and complex than a single number. Looking at improving the path to purchase using the “markets are conversations” context, we can state that the conversation must include all aspects of the purchase – not just the product review.
Several years ago, the New YorkTimes questioned brands about “Relying on Product Reviews? Knowing How a Company Treats Its Customers Is Just as Valuable.” Essentially, it shows that the quality of the product, and the quality of the customer service, are too strongly intertwined to be taken separately and must both be examined when looking at making a purchase. Customers want to know that a product should work as promised, and if that promise fails then the brand’s customer service must step up to fix it. This truth of today’s economy means B2B companies must do the following on a regular basis to migrate to anxiety-free purchases for their customers:
Focus on details: setting a theme of paying attention to details helps the entire company focus their efforts on seemingly small challenges that play a big role in customer satisfaction and experience.
Ensure you have a process for looking at employee experience: generally speaking, customer experience scores will rarely go higher than employee satisfaction scores.
Provide unique customer experiences: search for opportunities to provide something additional to your customers in every transaction.
Innovate: companies that watch and listen to their customers regularly achieve higher innovation scores than those that do not.
Monitor your NPS scores: ensuring that your efforts actually move the needle is a critical component to building an anxiety-free purchase process for your customers.
Provide value first and foremost to your customers: only you can provide the guidance necessary to the entire organization as to what “value” means for your product.
Actively listening to your customers through observation, conversations, and surveys is the beginning of eliminating anxiety in the purchase process for your products. Focusing like a laser on listening to the customer, and the entire purchase eco-system surrounding the purchase, will ensure that you never lose a sale to anxiety, or cold feet, again.