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The business communication landscape is forever changing thanks to global digital technology advancements and changing customer expectations.
However, there is one clear trend among B2B customers—they want instantaneity and accessibility when it comes to solving their complex issues.
In fact, 63 % of B2B decision-makers increasingly prefer messaging platforms over traditional business communication channels like email. This leaves no choice for companies; they must respond by engaging with their customers on their preferred or perhaps most convenient channel.
The good news is that moving B2B interactions to a unified communications platform presents an opportunity to squeeze out the efficiency in managing customers, empower internal teams with insights, and reduce the complexity of the overall engagement strategy.
With that said, we break down some of the most relevant forces that shape the outlook of messaging platforms for business communications and boost the importance of accessible and instant customer engagement.
Emails are great when you need to disseminate complex information, but they are less effective in facilitating real-time business communications.
The pandemic has forced businesses to go remote and utilize applications like Slack and Microsoft Teams to facilitate real-time internal communications, sustain employee productivity, and keep business operations ticking along.
But as enterprises embraced the potential of messaging platforms internally, they quickly realized that email interactions with people outside the organization are rather cumbersome.
Firstly, when customers are contacting you, it means they ran into some hiccups and need a response nearly instantly, which emails cannot provide.
Likewise, emails are unproductive since employees must manually transfer customer queries back and forth using multiple communication channels. And when many businesses’ success hinges on customer service velocity, siloed email threads with partners and customers are deemed wasteful.
B2B customer relationship management is based on value and expertise. For this reason, managing the entire customer lifecycle in a B2B environment is becoming increasingly nuanced.Buyers expect companies to deeply understand their pain points and be readily available to solve issues regardless of their complexity. It’s not a secret that if your product fails to fulfill expectations, it can negatively impact your customer’s business and revenues.But stakes are high for the B2B vendors, too. Slow response speed delays the customers from getting the resolution and erodes their trust and loyalty, which businesses cannot afford to lose.Recent studies show that almost 80% of businesses would switch vendors if they failed to offer consistently exceptional experience across the omnichannel ecosystem, with 72% of decision-makers emphasizing the importance of on-demand customer service.
73% of B2B buyers desire a personalized experience; hence you must harvest data from your leads and existing clients. This consequently adds more importance to real-time messaging support and conversational interactions.
Business messaging platforms that facilitate real-time conversations are an effective way to learn about the troubles that your clients are experiencing.
They don’t want to be merely treated as a source of revenue for your company; they expect you to understand the intricacies of their business, the challenges they face, and how your product can and should address them.
Businesses that interact directly with clients can keep their finger on the pulse and identify what challenges arise repeatedly. In turn, this can empower product, sales, and support teams to collect customer feedback, document their problems and identify opportunities for innovations that can deliver additional value to the users.
Messaging platforms can also be used to predict customer churn and identify opportunities for up-selling and cross-selling. Increasingly, b2b conversational data serves as a method to gauge early signs of decreasing customer satisfaction.
Jumping to assist today’s B2B customers whenever they encounter a problem is never straightforward. They progressively face more complex issues requiring multiple stakeholders’ involvement to work on a solution.
However, the clients’ desire for seamless experience reporting issues, asking questions or requesting an update on a task is driving the popularity of conversational ticketing.
For example, b2b businesses frequently collaborate with customers via Slack Connect. So, it makes sense to use the same platform to engage and respond to their requests rather than switch to email threads.
Conversational ticketing enables customers to communicate their problems in the chat, which gets converted into a concrete task allowing relevant employees to respond without needing to jump platforms.
This helps companies improve their workflows and serve customers rapidly and on their terms via preferred engagement channels, which is the holy grail of today's business communications.
B2B businesses expect the same seamless experience and superior customer support as their B2C counterparts.
Messaging platforms are no longer just for internal business communications; they’re gaining momentum in serving customers, partners, and vendors in real-time and via a channel they already use.
At Thena, we believe that emails are obsolete, and Slack-powered instant communications with customers are the future.
Our solution eliminates back-and-forth email support and makes it easy for customers to open requests, attach files, and launch chat conversations in sync with internal tools—all orchestrated from Slack.