Companies today are spending a fortune on content to attract new customers. Businesses that sell primarily to consumers (B2C) in particular are creating dazzling ads and rich media communications. But some companies that sell to other businesses (B2B) are also creating videos to post on YouTube, as well interactive content on their company site.
Some of these B2B companies are launching engaging, personalized email campaigns to make a sale and maintain a robust social media presence, to promote their brand.
However, once a prospect becomes a customer, and the responsibility for communication shifts from marketing to customer support, the focus on creating content that wows the audience evaporates. This is especially true for B2B companies, which tend to adopt a businesslike tone when communicating with people at other companies. And the truth is, that tone is often dry and impersonal.
Dull, lifeless content isn’t painful only for the B2B customers who consume it — it can hurt your bottom line. Failure to keep up with your customers’ content preferences can be a serious problem.On the B2C side, as the Salesforce blog has described,consumers expect personalization, but it’s important to realize that people who work at B2B companies are consumers in the workplace, too.
They deserve interesting, personalized content. So, why not give it to them?
What engaging B2B support content looks like.
If you lead an organization that provides B2B support, then retaining customers, driving product adoption and successfully handling customer training issues are tasks on your to-do list. One of the best ways to accomplish these goals is to take a page from the B2C marketer’s’playbook and incorporate visual elements like images and video into your support communications.
Cisco research has estimated that video will account for 82 percent of online traffic by 2021, but many B2B support organizations still haven’t incorporated video into their support communications. A predictive content technique, like suggesting applicable content based on self-service site-usage patterns, can be valuable to increase satisfaction and retain customers.
In addition, customer support software helps liven things up, with video, and achieves a greater degree of personalization and interactivity so you can hit your customer retention goals.
For instance, you can create content around a new product version, hosting a video tutorial in your knowledge base (technology used to store complex information) that walks customers through new features. Hewlett-Packard’s humorous “Propel” demo video is an example of funny, engaging B2B communications that break the “boring” mold.
You can, further, personalize such outreach efforts by sending the video only to companies that use that specific product, using data from the support software to identify those customers.
Customer-support software that incorporates video can also help agents resolve issues faster, which keeps those customers happy. A support platform that allows customers and agents to share screen and video recordings gives both parties a way to instantly convey an accurate picture of the issue or resolution. This technology eliminates the need to laboriously describe a multi-step process via email or phone.
Keep the focus on your customers’ knowledge base.
Just as you do with tutorial videos, your company knowledge base is an ideal space from which to host support videos dealing with common issues. Support videos give customers a self-service option, providing a richer media experience and a more thorough and personal training session than a simple article could do.
The result can be strengthened ties between B2B companies and their customers, and increased customer retention. For example, Vidyard, a company that creates software to host and analyze video performance, includes videos in its knowledge base to walk users through the steps needed to execute more complex operations.
A knowledge base connected to your support-system tagging function can also display suggested solutions based on keywords so customers can find an answer to their question before they submit a ticket.
Interactive content such as calculators, templates and Q&As can be yet another valuable supplement to your support material. Intuit uses interactive content effectively to market its QuickBooks products to small business customers, providing currency converters, video tutorials and product overview content, online.
These assets increase user “stickiness,” which keeps them engaged, and you can use a similar strategy to help your support agents find answers quickly. B2B support teams, moreover, can use interactive content to personalize customer outreach and make it more engaging. For example, a financial company could create an interactive calculator where accountants input problematic data and the calculator helps troubleshoot the source of the problem.
Create engaging content for all customers.
It’s important to never lose sight of the fact that the businesses you serve are made up of people. Your business customers are consumers just like you, and they aren’t immune to the trends that drive modern B2C communications. So, if keeping customers happy, upselling them on new products and quickly resolving any issues they encounter with current products are part of your agenda, consider giving B2B customers the same level of excellence in content that they receive away from the job:
- Make B2B content personalized to increase customer satisfaction; harness customer data to shape offers and extend assistance.
- Use predictive content to engage customers and resolve issues quickly, applying data (such as product information) to understand the context of the support request.
- Include rich media elements like video in ticket resolution and customer-training processes to humanize interactions.
- Offer interactive content to speed issue resolution and improve stickiness.
Customers are empowered today, and they expect high-quality content ailored to their needs. This is true whether they are B2C or B2B customers. By providing engaging content for all customers, you can ensure that your company’s support interactions are more immediate and human.
That’s how long-term relationships are built.