We often talk to you about changes in customer relations, but mostly in the context of B2C (Business to Consumer or Customer, in good: from companies to individuals). However, the B2B relationship (Business to Business, trade: from companies to companies) is also evolving greatly. Where are we?
What are the professionals saying?
In order to understand what is happening on the B2B side, Market (software publisher) carried out a survey after a thousand of these customers or marketing professionals based mainly in the United Kingdom, France and Germany.
It emerges that 54% say that it is more difficult to increase your notoriety than before, 58% think that it is more difficult to convert a prospect into a customer. Finally, 56% say that customer loyalty is their biggest challenge.
Why? Simply because the behavior of buyers has changed. The quality of the service or the product sold is no longer sufficient. The value of the jewelry importers brand, its ethics, the ability to have a personalized experience are increasingly important elements in successfully attracting and keeping a business.
Basically, businesses follow the exact same path as individuals. These trends started to emerge 2-3 years ago for them and are even more prominent today. It is therefore not surprising that companies, when they become customers, seek to find the same benefits as individuals.
When ethics become symptomatic
We said it just before, but 54% of professionals surveyed indicate that it is now difficult to increase its notoriety. And if there is one thing to which the world (professional and private alike) has become very sensitive, it is the ethics of a company.
In the major topics of the moment, data processing is one of the most recurring (RGPD helping). And from this point of view, 84% of professionals consider it essential that the company with which they do business seriously protects the company’s data and its personal information. In addition, 81% believe that complying with best practices in data security is a duty for all professionals.
Another key subject of our time, the environment! Indeed, 67% of buyers want to work with companies struggling to limit their ecological footprint. We are talking here about companies that really have actions in place and not a note of intent without verifiable fact behind.
And to finish, last ethical point: the human being of course. 68% of professionals surveyed attach great importance to the way companies treat their employees. And 64% even seek to do business only with companies that guarantee a fair relationship for individuals throughout the production chain.
I will risk a personal interpretation here: even if it is undeniable that the collective conscience is much more attentive and sensitive to these values than it could be before, I cannot help but see before. Quite a marketing security. The “fear” of seeing a scandal exploded on social networks is, in my opinion, very present. Today, being associated with an ecological or social management crisis can destroy a reputation very quickly. After “Greenwashing” (or eco-bleaching in), we are witnessing what I will call “pre-washing”.
As Gilles Lipovetsky puts it very well: “It is not the consecration of ethics that characterizes our time, it is its utilitarian instrumentalisation in the business world”.
Whether for one reason or another, despite everything, let us appreciate the growing importance of these criteria.
Loyalty, David against Goliath?
As I mentioned earlier, customer loyalty is a daily challenge. The need to share a common vision or ideology is a desire that is becoming fundamental. Thus, 48% of respondents indicate having lost contracts because they had not been able to sell the sense of the brand’s purpose, pushing new and old customers towards the competition.
Another figure: 30% of buyers will disengage from a brand whose values do not match theirs. In addition, a sign of this difficult retention, 43% of them will always look for better offers. Thus, even with common values, a similar sense of ethics and even if they are satisfied with the service, buyers will still go and test the competition.
This confirms the purpose of an Accenture study, where it was indicated that 77% of customers retract their loyalty faster than three years ago.
Whether we are therefore in a B2B or B2C relationship, the personalization of the customer relationship and the sharing of value are therefore essential elements on which to build your customer relationship.