“Sales and conversion are the bull’s eye to B2C companies. Sales, conversion, and retention are the bull’s eye to B2B companies.”
Marketing has seen drastic changes with the development of technology in the 21st century, placing people right in the center of its world. This people-centric approach has humanized a lot of practices in the marketing arena.
To give an outstanding customer experience, it has become essential for companies to map the customer journey and optimize every part of it for a smooth experience that provides super-satisfaction to the customers.
By understanding what phases the customers go through, it becomes easier to guide them through their journey, without letting them lose your product because of challenges like navigation and complexities.
The phases differ for B2B and B2C companies. Read along and learn what you need to know about customer journeys and the key differences.
Table of Contents
Customer Journey Map
Customer Journey Map is a strategic tool that analyzes and understands a customer’s experience, observing the touchpoints to improve their services. (A. Perego)
The ULTIMATE goal is to give the BEST customer service.
Three Stages of the Customer Journey
A typical customer journey has three main stages that apply to both B2B and B2C companies.
Then what makes the customer journey of B2B different from that of B2C? It’s the customers themselves!
Who Are the B2B Customers? And Who Are the B2C Customers?
B2B customers include businesses looking for assistance, advice, and solutions to their problems. They are not your average, daily customer looking to shop for a product, contained by proximity from the seller.
They are skilled stakeholders and decision makers with high-up industry knowledge looking to make a buyer decision.
According to Harvard Business Review, B2B Customers prefer interactions that fulfill their psychological needs, to have a human connection even if it means sacrificing time.
B2C customers are individuals undergoing a transaction process with the company taking a short amount of time. The focus is on driving conversions quickly, often made online.
B2C companies usually have a larger clientele base and for a short time while a B2B company has a smaller clientele base but retains for a longer period. So the buyer journey of the latter sticks for a long time, building staying relations.
The customer journey is mapped from the above-mentioned stages, customer touchpoints, and channels of contact.
B2B Customer Journey
It is important to know what path customers take before making a purchasing decision. A typical customer journey for a B2B can be constructed. One of the main works of a B2B that distinguishes them is to help customers make an informed decision.
This means giving access to information and helping move through the stages: awareness, consideration, intent, evaluation, and decision.
Following the needs of the organization, a problem comes to awareness. Then, B2B companies are sought out by the customer.
A company stumbled upon our solution to time-consuming tasks like survey forms and decided to buy our services. From a satisfactory purchase, they ensured word-of-mouth recommendations.
Now, it involved important nuanced communication steps such as follow-up emails and efforts to reach this stage.
At GoZen, we have, firstly, inbound touchpoints and sales calls, email marketing, and customer support. We thrive on the relationship we build with our customers by providing top-notch service, with help at every corner right away.
We do this by understanding our customers.
“GoZen’s customer service is so fast and solves my questions and problems with great care, Which’s also the plus point”
B2C Customer Journey
While working on the premise of three primary phases of the customer journey, we also find additional stages involved. It begins with the needs of customers, product discovery through advertisement, product presentation with multiple choices, selection or purchase, and transaction. The post-purchase process includes delivery and customer feedback which is crucial for the company’s reputation.
The touchpoints vary as per the company. An e-commerce like Amazon uses both inbound and outbound touchpoints (primarily sales calls) to connect with its customers and offer its many services.
They also build customer personas to target various demographics, the kind of customers who’d buy your product or service.
Enhancing communication channels and observing flaws in the touchpoints is one of the main acts of customer journey mapping.
B2C marketers suggest talking to customers to find stressors in their services and to make it a point to relieve them.
1. Cycle Length and Targets: The B2B Customer Journey is a long cycle with complex strategies aiming for a long-term relationship with the customer. Unlike B2C which has shorter cycles, they target organizations and smaller markets over individual general customers.
2. Stages: The elaborate process of B2B marketing has many stages in its journey: problem recognition, need description, product specification, supplier search, proposal solicitation, supplier selection, order-routine specification, and performance review (according to researchers). B2C customer journey, in addition to the three primary phases, has a post-purchase stage where customer share their reviews on social platforms and forums.
3. Touchpoints: B2B touchpoints focus on mass marketing through social media platforms, online advertising, and websites. B2B touchpoints mostly include direct communication channels like sales meetings, conferences, and webinars.
4. Length of Customer Retention: B2C companies receive one-time feedback over their customer experience mostly in the form of reviews and complaints. Their target turns to new customers. B2B marketers follow up to maintain contact for future purchase possibilities with existing customers.
5. Goals: Sales and Conversion are the bull’s eye for B2C while sales, conversion, and retention are the bull’s eye for B2B. Some products in B2C also have retention.
6. Buyer Persona: B2B buyers are expected to be educated and informed before an objective decision to purchase. B2C customers go through a simpler process by buying a product, being influenced by an emotional factor. The work of customers is easy and convenient here which decides their capacity.
Despite the differences, B2B and B2C companies function on an almost similar basis; the three indispensable stages of the customer journey. Becoming familiar with the three phases and consistently updating new touchpoints helps in tailoring customer-friendly, success-driven marketing strategies and campaigns.
Does this help? Always leave a room open for more conversation. Comment your feedback! Check out what our customers say about GoZen experience - https://gozen.io/blog/jason-durocher-content-ai-case-study-story/