What is your website's main purpose? Chances are your answer has something to do with "attracting visitors" or "growing my business." While these functions—primarily aimed at potential customers—are undoubtedly crucial to your business model and success, they should not be your website's only purpose.
Particularly in the B2B industry, a website has to be more than just a marketing tool. More likely than not, your existing customers or clients will enter into a long-term relationship with you that requires you to build a close communication loop with them, and your website can aid in that process.
So without further ado, here are 4 ways to use your B2B website as a customer service tool.
First and foremost, your website has to be transparent in showcasing what your business is all about, and what processes it supports. If you are a company sitting in the middle of a supply chain (such as a wholesaler), your website should outline exactly to both your suppliers and your buyers what services your company provides and what needs to be provided by your customers.
In the majority of B2B industries, customer relationships are built on long-term goals and mutual trust much more than they would be in their B2C equivalent. Your customer service should support that goal, and your website can help you accomplish just that by being transparent about your services and expectations between you and your customers.
2. Open Communications
Of course, customers in all industries will have questions. That's why customer service is needed in the first place! So on your website, you should include plenty of opportunities for your current customers to contact a relevant agent within your company.
That contact can occur in a variety of ways. You should always provide email addresses and phone numbers of your customer service contacts, which allows your clients to choose their preferred method. But you may even consider more unconventional methods of communication, such as a live chat option (check out ours at the bottom of our site), that allows customers to get in touch with you swiftly.
3. Customer Content
In addition, it's time to stop thinking about content marketing as a pre-sale opportunity only. Content can be just as valuable for your current customers, be it industry news or valuable tutorials on how to make the best use of your product or service.
As is the case in any type of content marketing, that content can take a variety of forms. Blog posts and white papers remain among the most popular types, but more direct alternatives like podcasts or webinars are gaining in popularity. You can also begin to build a knowledge base about your product on your website, as companies like HubSpot have done successfully.
(Side note: Although it involves content not on the website itself, email marketing has proven to be an amazing tool for customer service and retention, especially in the SaaS industry.)
4. Enable Sign Ups
Finally, you should make it easy for your current customers to enter your marketing automation workflows. If a user is not yet a customer, getting them to hand over their contact information can take quite a bit of convincing. If they are already customers, on the other hand, they will be much more likely to sign up for additional content offers and materials because they’re already familiar with the great content you provide.
Sign-up forms to subscribe to your email newsletter or gated content can be immensely valuable in the context of customer service. First, they give your customers the opportunity to get your helpful content (see above) delivered directly to them. But in addition, you can see on the backend of your website how your customers have interacted with your site in the past, so if they approach you with a problem, you can make a more educated attempt at helping them find a solution.
Customer retention is crucial, in B2B industries and elsewhere. If your customer happiness drops even a little, your retention rates—and ultimately your revenue—will suffer significantly. That means your website should be more than a pre-sale marketing tool. It should also be a valuable resource for your existing clients that reinforces their trust in you.