The basic pillars of B2C and B2B customer service are the same: resolve your customers’ problems as efficiently as possible. However, B2B customer service issues tend to be significantly more complex, and identifying a resolution can often take a lot longer. And when there are a lot of other products in your space available to your B2B customers, your service needs to be top-notch.
So how do you deliver exceptional customer service?
One of the first steps is to make sure your customer service or support team members always have the information they need to help customers in the moment. When your customer service representatives deliver helpful information quickly, your customers will feel confident that the rep– and by extension, your brand– is a trusted source.
And what better way to make sure your reps always have access to the information they need than to arm them with a searchable knowledge sharing platform?
Below are six reasons your B2B customer service team needs a knowledge sharing platform to outshine your competitors and keep your customers happy.
1. Knowledge to resolve one issue may come from multiple people.
More often that not, B2C customer service employees are in contact with one person to resolve an issue: the customer. For example, a customer may call to report an issue with their cable box, and a support rep will stay on the line to assist the customer in troubleshooting until they reach a solution.
For B2B customer service employees, things aren’t so simple. Resolving issues for B2B customers often involves the knowledge of multiple people from multiple departments. Even if your support reps don’t end up transferring a customer to someone with specialized expertise, your reps may still have to put customers on hold while they scramble to find the information they need.
Keeping up with each business customer’s demands can get chaotic, and fast.
With a knowledge sharing platform that includes a powerful search engine and an intuitive organization system of categories and tags, your B2B customer service employees can quickly identify the information they need to resolve complicated issues, learn from top performers on your team, and document processes to save time and resources in the future.
A searchable knowledge sharing platform sets your support reps up to find the information they need on their own, without having to put customers on annoyingly long holds or transfer them to different points of contact.
2. The stakes are higher.
It’s no secret that B2B companies tend to have fewer customers, but a higher lifetime value for each customer than their B2C counterparts. Although not ideal, one unsatisfied B2C customer is not going to put your consumer-facing company under.
Losing a few strategic B2B accounts, on the other hand, may be detrimental to your bottom line.
That said, impressing your customers and retaining their business is essential, and B2B customers expect exceptional customer service. To truly be competitive, your team needs a knowledge sharing platform to store and share helpful content that they can send to customers, immediately find the information necessary to solve a problem, and ensure that a mistake is never repeated.
When you don’t have all your customer support knowledge in one centralized place, your customers are much more likely to experience some trust-eroding pain points: wasted time, conflicting information, an unorganized process, and a bad taste in their mouth.
3. Your team benefits from better training.
How can you expect your customer service team to provide competitive customer service without continued education on best practices within their role? A knowledge sharing platform with a strong Q&A feature provides an opportunity for your employees to complete training on their own time, ask team leaders questions, and learn from strategies used by top performers on your team, at little cost to the company.
With a Q&A tool, new hires can search the platform to see if their question has already been answered (and often, it has). If it hasn’t, new hires can post their question and quickly receive a response from an experienced team member or leader.
4. You can better anticipate the needs of your customers.
If one of your customers experiences an issue, it’s likely they’re not the only one. When you track and document common issues in your knowledge sharing platform, your team can compare strategies for tackling common issues and determine the most efficient solution.
Team leaders can create how-to documents for handling common issues, and your customer service employees can revisit these guides whenever they need to. As a result, your reps can deliver straightforward solutions to customers as issues arise, and customers don’t get inconsistent or inaccurate information from different team members.
5. Provide valuable content to your customers.
One way to outshine your competition is to provide customer service to your customers before there is an issue. Get ahead of common issues encountered by your customers by giving them access to an external knowledge base.
Once you begin documenting common problems in your internal knowledge sharing platform, you can identify what triggers these issues. When you know your customers’ most common challenges and their causes, you can create help guide content and publish it to a self-service customer knowledge base.
Providing access to content on how best to use your products will allow your customers to resolve minor issues on their own, leaving your support reps with more time to tackle complex issues.
As a B2B company, the customer experience should be the driving force of everything you do, and that begins with the customer service team. Investing in a knowledge sharing platform will empower your employees to provide the best possible quality of service to the customers who allow you to do what you do.