In the first part of our blog article, we talked about the challenges of customer communication in B2B. To be fair, today, we’ll have a look at B2C customers.
B2C communication: go fishing
B2C customers can be described as follows. They:
make impulse purchases
require more marketing effort
generate less profit than B2B customers, but also cause less loss when they defect
are from a heterogeneous target group
Every company may be different and every contact may have his or her own characteristics, but at the end of the day, target groups in B2B are much more homogenous. A personnel management software, industrial spare parts or machines are bought by people or companies with similar goals and motives. Soap for examples is something everyone buys.
The big challenge in B2C communication consists in finding in the haystack of opportunities exactly those who are most likely to spend a lot of money and become long-term customers or brand advocates.
Like I did for B2B, I would like to describe three B2C challenges now:
Communicate in a more targeted way
Contrary to B2B customers, B2C buyers only care about their own interest. Therefore, when creating buyer personas, it’s not very much about detailing job positions or very specific information but to identify customers’ motives for their needs.
While a B2B customer’s interest lies in saving money and optimizing processes, B2C buyers often have very emotional reasons for a need, where information plays only a minor role. In most cases, people don’t buy a dress because they really need it (having 10 of them in the wardrobe already) but because they want to surprise someone or treat themselves to something new.
Find the underlying motives of your B2C customers for their purchases und plan your buyer personas accordingly: from pragmatic soap buying to lifestyle shopping.
Personal communication without being personal
One-to-one communication in B2C retail is rather unrealistic, unless it’s about concrete services. If Amazon assigned a sales rep to every customer, no one would be unemployed anymore and every Amazon customer would at the same time be an Amazon sales rep.
Yet, with marketing automation and an excellent database, you can communicate with your B2C customers in a personal way, which means more than knowing their names. Use automated mails, progressive profiling and customer segmentation to send your customers information that matter to them personally. Remember their buying behavior and act accordingly. In short: customers want to feel as if they were unique, yet only very few of them will request such a treatment in calls or mails. Invest in personalized communication and in service staff that are aware of all customer interactions, and customer loyalty will come almost automatically.
While B2B customers expect personal communication, there are many B2C customers that defect when you call them to often, or send to many unsolicited text messages or mails. Private customers want to decide for themselves how, if at all, and how often they communicate with a company. That’s why your customer journey needs to be flexible and adapt to the individual customers.
Customer segments may help you to differentiate those who are happy to receive regular mails from those who are more likely to run away when they get a newsletter or a product news three times a week.
Especially for service requests and sales meetings, the customers should be able to choose their preferred way of communication. Phone calls including waiting lines are so frustrating for customers that having a mail or chat option can actually prevent a lot them from defecting.
Can customers solve their own issues without any communication – by offering them FAQs, instructions or video tutorials for example – they will be even happier.
For perfect customer communication you should reach out to your customers at the right time and in the right place. Learn more in our customer journey guide
https://www.ec4u.com/ec4u-blog/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2016/09/B2C-Kommunikation.jpg269710Juliane Waackhttps://www.ec4u.com/ec4u-blog/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2016/02/Logo-ohne-Schriftzug.pngJuliane Waack2016-09-29 11:20:542018-05-24 16:18:45How to address customers – the „subtle“ differences between B2B and B2C (part 2)