6 Must Have Features of UX & Customer Support for B2B Platform

For B2B companies, individual customer relationships are very crucial and valuable. 

In the words of Brian Halligan, HubSpot’s Co-Founder and CEO, “If B2B companies want to get ahead of the game, they are going to have to get rid of all the friction in their business to better attract, engage, and delight customer… [In the past] your product needed to be 10 times better than the competition’s. Now, your customer experience must be 10 times lighter than the competition’s”. 

Therefore, B2B eCommerce companies need to provide not just better online order processing but also customer support and experience to nurture long-term relationships. 

In order to get ahead of the game, B2B eCommerce companies need to equip their websites with important features that will help them address their customers’ needs effectively. In this blog, we are going to discuss some key features related to User Experience & Customer Support, based on our experience of building B2B platforms: 

1) Sub accounts for customers with different permission and limits -

To streamline the purchasing process, creating a ‘company sub-accounts’ is one of the most sought-after features for any B2B website. Company accounts provide organizations the option of distributing their purchasing activities across various teams/members, rather than burdening a single person with placing orders, editing company information, completing purchases, etc.

By adding more than one authorized user to the account, and setting permissions for them to take action, the buying process can be made much simpler, faster and productive. This also has a positive impact on your B2B conversions.

2) Reorder functionality -

The customers must be able to reorder from previous transactions within their account quickly. Customers should be able to see their order history when logged into their account on the website. It is recommended to provide a one-click re-ordering feature in order to save time and fasten the purchase process. This feature also improves the likelihood of retaining customers, and in turn, them returning for even larger orders.

3) Sample product ordering -

For bulk orders, customers like to check the quality of the products prior to purchase. Hence, providing product samples is a good-to-have feature on your B2B website. It leads to higher buyer confidence, generates reviews, and helps to determine the product’s effectiveness. However, this feature should be included only if sampling is required for products in your category, and if it’s feasible to the business. 

In case your niche doesn’t allow selling product samples, then you can try sending out samples along with the customer orders. This will not only fulfill the purpose of sampling, but will also act as a great cross-selling strategy.

4) Various chat options -

To speed-up conversions and help buyers with their purchasing decisions, effective chat support platforms such as video chat, chatbots, etc. are very essential for any B2B eCommerce website. 

  • Chatbots: Chatbots leverage artificial intelligence to deliver answers to customer queries and have the potential to resolve customer requests quickly, cheaply and consistently. They are a great feature to enhance customer experience as they can provide customer service 24 X 7, in an efficient manner, and can be used for both pre and post purchase service.

Simple chatbots can be used in the start to deliver pre designed answers to FAQs; and later on, sophisticated chatbots can be created to have conversations and responses based on buyers’ questions. Additionally, chatbots can also be used to display product recommendations to the customers based on their journey so far. 

  • Video chat: Video chat facility enables the companies to provide face-to-face support to the customers. This becomes crucial to add in an element of human touch, more so during unexpected situations like that of COVID. Through video chats, B2B companies can demonstrate how to use the products and how to assemble them. In the case of bulk orders, the buyers can also directly speak to the sales agent before making the final decision. 

Therefore, employing chatbots, live chat and video chat options on your B2B website can prove to be highly effective in positively shaping your customer service. 

5) Feedback functionality -

To address the issue of consumer satisfaction in B2B eCommerce, customer feedback loop is a crucial feature that can be included in any B2B website. Compared to B2C, B2B does not need product level rating and review, instead they need feedback on the website and company level. 

Customers should be prompted to give feedback based on predefined rules such as after every order/transaction completion/delivery etc. They should also be able to provide this feedback smoothly.

Customer feedback is a feature that not only helps in addressing the buyer’s complaints and needs, but also helps in constant product improvements based on users’ suggestions. The feedback loop can be divided into three parts:

  • Gathering feedback from the customers
  • Analyzing the data received 
  • Applying the solution and informing the customer

And finally, this entire process is repeated again, like in a loop. Hence, customer queries and suggestions are addressed in the most efficient manner. 

6) Return Management system -

In B2B eCommerce, the returns are much more complicated than in B2C. For instance: A product may have remained unsold for a long period, it could belong to a damaged lot/ batch. In such cases, the return might require a complicated verification and approval system. The quantity of return can also be huge and might require different shipping options for pickup.

For a seamless return experience, an effective return management system is very essential on any B2B website. The customers should be able to easily request for a return and it should also be less cumbersome for the company to handle return requests following the company terms and policies. 

Features like single-click return, tracking of the refund process, tracking of the item status, rules on return time window, other terms and conditions for return, etc. should be clearly included in the return management system. 

All in all, the aforementioned functionalities are crucial to cater to the needs of your customers and provide them with a seamless & hassle-free user experience online. 

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