How treating customers like people improves success for everyone


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In B2B, you don’t deal with a business — you work with people. Humanize your customer experience. Too often, we fall into the trap of depersonalizing B2B interactions and making them robotic, but the truth is, our customers are just like us. They experience emotions, successes, failures and frustrations. Making connections on a personal level elevates your business relationship, their brand perception and the success of everyone involved.

Business success relies on CX. Nearly three-quarters of B2B buyers strongly consider customer experience during the purchase process, and customer-centric companies are 60% more profitable. By making customer relationships more personal, you build emotional connections, foster trust and loyalty, and drive revenue. Here’s how to accomplish it.

1. Understand pain points and needs

Customers seek you out because they have a problem. You must understand their pain first and then show how your solution solves that problem. Your product or service has many great features, but customers really want to know, “How will it help me?”

Customer experience market research identifies customers’ motivations, desired features/benefits and opportunities to optimize the customer journey. This information creates the foundation for a personalized experience.

Ask your customers questions about their specific challenges and leverage that insight to find a customized approach. Go beyond stats and capabilities to explain specifically how your company helps your customer achieve their objectives.

2. Connect with them as humans.

B2B customers want human connections. A survey found that 75% of people preferred waiting for a human response to receiving an immediate answer from a chatbot. Respondents repeatedly listed a personal relationship as a characteristic of a good vendor.

Meetings are imperative to fulfilling the desire for human connection. The pandemic created an aversion to meetings, but I firmly believe they are indispensable for fostering strong client relationships. Meeting face-to-face, whether in person or virtually, builds a connection beyond what email and messaging allow. These interactions build trust, loyalty and empathy. After all, customers aren’t account numbers but individuals who, like you, want to succeed at their jobs.

Equally important, meetings allow customers to get to know and feel connected to you and your business. The shared time promotes familiarity and collaboration so both sides reap maximum value from the partnership.

Throughout your relationship, speak to customers like they are a human. No one (or at least most people) likes jargon-filled conversations. Instead, talk like you would to your friends and family.

3. Make customers’ success your success

Ultimately, we and our customers share the same goals: We want to do our job well and grow our business. When you make your customer look good in front of their boss and stakeholders, you look good too.

Let’s face it. What matters isn’t the product or service but what your customer did with your product. A personal relationship uncovers your customers’ specific goals so you can help them achieve them. Success drives value for your clients, which drives value for your company. You retain the happy customer who may even become a brand advocate.

4. Customer experience market research

You can’t discount the value of CX market research. This process must be continuous to support customer relationships. Regularly gathering real-time qualitative data highlights underlying motivations driving purchase decisions, predicts future needs and informs responses to feedback. Fine-tuning your offerings to address requirements shows customers you value their input.

Your customers are people with goals and feelings. Treat them that way. While cultivating personal relationships requires effort, you and your client will reap the benefits through shared success.

Polly Speros
Polly Speros is a customer experience leader with hands-on experience selling large-scale, complex technology and SaaS solutions to Fortune 500 key accounts. Polly currently serves as the Chief Customer Officer at Fuel Cycle, an award-winning Market Research Cloud and the most comprehensive intelligence gathering ecosystem that exists today.


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