How high tech delivers buyer-led experiences

A certain level of convenience has become standard for customers, and self-service options have become non-negotiable. In a business-to-business (B2B) setting, this expectation of convenience remains the same. Satisfying customers with self-service journeys has been a challenge for high-tech firms, but it’s possible for them to provide those experiences — with some savvy strategy work.

In this post, you’ll learn how to exceed buyer expectations with next-gen B2B experiences and content that connects at just the right moment.

Exceed complex B2B buyer expectations

Every time a customer interacts with your brand, expectations of your high tech business are high. Meet those high expectations, and you give people a differentiated experience that sets your brand apart and sets the foundation for a lasting relationship. Disappoint even once, and you risk losing them to a competitor that offers the experience they are looking for.

Customers are looking for a buying experience that provides them with easily accessible information — curated to their roles, business needs, and priorities — no matter which channel they decide to use. Despite most companies’ efforts to meet this need, just 34% of B2B buyers said that the tech companies they’ve interacted with recently have met their expectations. In addition, another study shows 59% of B2B buyers reported losing interest in a product or solution due to a poor buying experience.

59% of B2B buyers reported losing interest in a product or solution due to a poor buying experience.

A poor buying experience could mean anything from a website with a broken link to an email that promotes a product or service the customer already owns. And a company’s ability to identify and avoid these common missteps can increase a customer’s trust and loyalty to their brand significantly.

Understand the B2B buyer experience

Many instances where customers are frustrated with a buying experience can be avoided by providing self-service opportunities. When a customer finds a seamless way to communicate with your business or find information about your high-tech products, their first experience with your company will be associated with feelings of satisfaction and reliability. This positive experience can help progress an opportunity, build support among a buying group, or convert a customer into an advocate.

As helpful as self-service options can be, companies often face the challenge of understanding and responding to customer behavior.

Let’s say that on her lunch break, Jessica is browsing the internet to find tech solutions for her department, and she ends up on a tech company’s website — but for some reason, she abandons her search. The tech company wants to know what contributed to Jessica’s decision and how they can avoid that in the future. Maybe Jessica struggled to find the information she was searching for, or she attempted to contact the tech company and was met with no response.

Companies first need to understand what happened in a situation like this one, and they need to be prepared to respond effectively. The two most important strategies are to:

Your company can deliver better experiences for high-tech customers like Jessica. Understanding how customers are interacting with your brand online can feel impossible — but with the right resources, you’ll know how to engage them in a way that exceeds their expectations.

Craft a seamless experience

Developing a next-gen experience that leaves customers feeling understood, satisfied, and involved starts with meeting them where they are in their buying journey. When Jessica ghosted that tech company, it was likely because of a lack of personalized interaction.

Customers want to feel like they are being catered to directly by your brand. One way to bring that feeling into their customer experience can be to offer assisted and self-service customer journey options on all channels. These options work together in important ways.

You can make your customers feel like their experience is more personalized by using targeted ads, personalized emails, media posts...

When most people picture an assisted customer journey, they think of a buyer entering an office and talking with a representative to find what they are looking for. In addition to the human element, an assisted customer journey could also include targeted ads, personalized emails directing buyers to your site, or media posts that encourage interaction. These types of interactions can help guide the customer to a need that they didn’t realize they had or catch their attention with something that they have interacted with before. Assisted customer journeys are helpful because they can target those who have already interacted with your company — and potential new buyers.

Assisted customer journeys help target those who have interacted with your company with product purchase and product information.

A self-service customer journey starts after the assisted interaction has taken place or after the customer decides to interact with your business on their own. Self-service interactions could include a customer accessing information about a product on your website, a buyer choosing to buy a product and directing themself through checkout, or someone scrolling through your social media feed and interacting with a post. When both assisted and self-service interactions are available and personalized on every channel, customers can navigate their own journeys with ease.

With both assisted and self-service interaction options, it is essential to use accurate customer data to curate content for each unique buyer. A targeted ad is only targeted if the company used current, comprehensive information about the customer to personalize it.

Let’s take a look at how we could apply this idea to Jessica’s experience. Instead of ending the interaction after Jessica disappeared, a tech company can use her choice to visit their website as a customer data point to support her on her assisted customer journey from there.

After Jessica decides to interact with the website, she is matched to an account-based marketing (ABM) account. After matching her with that account, any previous interactions she has had with the company are analyzed and stored as customer data. Following her interaction with the website, the company’s marketing team places a targeted ad on LinkedIn for a relevant webinar for her to see. After she clicks on the ad and attends the webinar, that new customer data is put into her profile and she starts her automated customer journey that is customized based on her role, interests, and buying stage.

Collecting all that data and activating it can be simplified with the right tools. Adobe Real-Time Customer Data Platform combined with Adobe Marketo Engage allows companies to gather real-time customer data, track engagement, and create personalized content to orchestrate customer journeys similar to Jessica’s. Curating this kind of customer journey helps your buyer feel like they are being recommended products that they actually care about.

Connect through content

In high tech, timing is everything. In addition to personalizing the content that the customers will be seeing, it is important to have curated content ready to deliver at any given moment. Delivering the right message at the right time can be achieved with planning and content management platforms like Adobe Experience Manager and Adobe Workfront.

Experience Manager and Workfront give your teams efficient tools for faster, more efficient content creation and management. This means that each time a customer interacts with your brand, content becomes personalized more accurately. This agile content delivery is an essential part of a next-gen B2B experience — built on knowing which content resonates with customers and delivering that content at the right moment.

A customer profile shows the customer's webinar history, key promotions, age, occupation...

If we circle back to Jessica’s experience, we left off where three of her interactions had just been added to her ABM account as customer data.

To deliver content at the right time, the marketing team could continue her journey by timing an email with relevant content to be delivered to her the day after she watched the webinar. When she goes back to the website using the link in the email, a chatbot offers her access to a demo. As she engages with the chatbot, she offers more personal information to gain access to the demo. Marketers can then use that customer-triggered event to continue the conversation both online and offline.

Access to Jessica’s customer insights made it much easier to make informed decisions to curate content through Adobe Experience Manager. A content management platform provides the accessibility that companies need to interact with their customers virtually as if they were face-to-face.

Next steps

B2B buyers want to lead their own experiences while also being provided with content that feels like it was made only for them. Balancing those two variables is a complex process, but it can be simplified with the right resources.

To be prepared to give B2B customers the content they’re looking for on their self-service journeys, consider a few key actions you can take now and the impact those actions will have on your marketing efforts:

Bring together known and unknown data using AI and automated tools to organize it for your sales and marketing teams.
Learn what content your customers engage with — and when — to improve customer satisfaction.
Organize and manage digital assets for delivery across multiple channels with content management platforms. Tools that help in this process include Experience Manager and Workfront.
Connect with customers in real time.
Automate nurturing efforts and campaigns.
Deliver highly specific, personalized content creation at the right time, every time.

Delivering a personalized, buyer-led experience for B2B buyers is revolutionizing the way customers interact with brands. Marketers in high tech have the task of consistently raising the bar when it comes to delivering customer experiences that make a lasting impression. Having the tools to keep a customer interested can make or break a company’s marketing success. But when a company focuses on curating personalized customer journeys, it can exceed B2B customer expectations and gain customers that stick around for life.

Learn more about Adobe solutions that help high-tech companies deliver next-generation B2B experiences.