In the marketing textbooks, the B2B customers are often characterized as logical and efficient in dealings. However, a new research has contrasting findings, with Gen Z as the most deviating force from the old normal. Ron Friedman and his team conducted a research in the US with 2,128 participants who were aged between 21 to 70, working individuals who deal with B2B sellers on a regular basis as part of their job. Here’s what they found!
1. Money matters less than service
By a margin of more than 2 to 1 (69% vs. 32%), customers prefer “excellent customer service” over “excellent pricing.”
2. People value their own time less than service
Customers prefer communicating with a human because they believe it produces quicker, more accurate responses and makes it easier for them to explain their unique situation.
Customers prefer waiting twice as long to solve a problem with a human over using a chatbot to solve it in half the time (by a wide margin of 74% to 26%).
This is especially true of older customers. Baby boomers overwhelmingly prefer waiting
to connect with a human 88% to 12%.
3.1 How do customers prefer to communicate?
3.2 Least frequently used channels in a good relationship
4. Six Ways to improve how customers rate your service
- Acknowledge receiving your customer’s message after it’s been received
- Offer your direct contact information
- Use your customer’s first name in interaction
- Send a summary email after your interaction
- Repeat back the problem to ensure you understand their needs
- Occasionally offer advice and recommendations
Business leaders often assume that customers are strictly focused on saving time and money. The findings of this study suggest that’s not the case. Decades of research tell us that people are naturally drawn to experiences that fuel their psychological needs— including their experience as customers.
This research indicates that fueling customers’ psychological needs is an overlooked and cost-effective strategy for building customer satisfaction, loyalty, and retention.
Ron Friedman, Ph.D.