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Business Tips

The Difference Between B2B and B2C Customer Support

January 29, 2021
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According to statistics, the global market share of retail eCommerce reached $3.879 billion in 2020. Industry experts claim that in 2021, it will amount to $4.479 billion.

If we categorize the major models of eCommerce, there are B2B and B2C commercial providers. In each niche, there are specific common issues that clients usually solve through tech support. But let’s dive deeper into the specifics of B2B vs B2C customer support.

Terms Definition

For starters, let’s clearly define B2B and B2C business leading formats.

B2B: what is it?

The B2B or business to business format is when a company offers enterprise-grade services or products to other companies. As a result, services or goods are sold, with the help of which other companies do their business in the B2C market.

B2C: what is it?

B2C or business to customer is the distribution of services or goods by companies for individual buyers. B2C companies are in direct contact with the end consumer, unlike B2B providers that must always focus on the needs of other businesses.

Most B2B companies would prefer to have an in-house B2B customer service team. Turning to outsourcing services, though, is a very cost-efficient alternative if you can clearly articulate your expectations and requirements.

With Simply Contact, for instance, you can hire a dedicated team of experienced professionals ready to take on any tasks and responsibilities.

Specifics of B2B and B2C Customer Support

Basically, the principles of customer support are the same for both business to customer and business to business customer services - you need to solve customer problems and answer their questions quickly and efficiently. However, there are a few differences between B2B and B2C support philosophies. Let’s take a look.

Source

Complex questions

Usually, in the B2B area, customer problems are more complex and narrowly focused. Accordingly, they need more participation from the B2B business management than B2C problems. In particular, you should ensure that your customer support agents are knowledgeable enough to provide professional assistance.

First Call Resolution (or Customer Question) Rate (FCR) is generally lower for B2B customers than for B2C customers. This is due to the complicated issues that arise in the B2B environment.

For B2B sites, FCR is less critical than for B2C, since the former's customers are usually tech-savvy and turn to suppliers with problems that are not that easy to solve.

Number of clients

B2B companies generally have fewer customers than B2C companies. But at the same time, B2B providers sell large, complex, and often quite expensive products to their target audience. Therefore, customer interactions have more serious revenue implications.

In the event that a customer of a B2C company decides to return the product, the business will lose a small amount of money. As for B2B deals, the financial turnover is several times larger. In the event of any failure in the B2B customer support service, a really negative impact on the company's income may be experienced.

That’s why companies need to improve their customer interaction practices. Making a single mistake can undermine your business relationships and reputation. Contact us at Simply Contact for more guidelines on how to avoid mistakes in customer relations. Our experienced specialists will take care of each of your clients.

Knowledge of customers

As you already know, the customer base for B2B and B2C is quite different. B2C companies don't often know their customers, painting a summarizing TA portrait. The thing is, there is no personal relationship between the seller and the buyer. Most often, contacts between customers and B2C companies are made through call centers, as their products are sold through retail channels.

When it comes to B2B companies, the opposite is true. Usually, a lot is already known about B2B clients and, most likely, there is established cooperation or partnership. When such clients require help or support, call center agents should have all the information available about the particular client so that they don't have to ask again. It so happens that cooperation between B2B companies and their clients develops into sort of “professional friendships”, which is unlikely to occur in the case of B2C companies.

Multiple contacts

B2C companies typically have one customer contact. A person has bought your product or service and will call you in case if any problems or questions arise.

In B2B, a product is most often used by several employees on the client side. Based on this, there is a possibility that many different people can call on different issues, being part of the staff of the same client.

That’s why there is a high probability that in the case of B2B, calls from different people will be made on the same issues. This means that B2B customer service must avoid duplicate requests and customer misunderstandings in general. Support agents should be kept informed of all issues raised by the client company and should not allow problems to recur.

Self-service

Self-service has become a completely new way of communicating with customers. B2C companies, giving their customers more control and the ability to find their own answers, have found that it simplifies the buying process and saves money. Losing a small number of customers due to self-service portals is not as critical for B2C companies, as they are focused on serving millions of customers.

In the case of B2B companies, a self-service solution is impractical, since the relationship with customers is in the first place for them. But against all odds, B2B companies are beginning to realize the benefits of self-service and are slowly incorporating it into their software.

Mobile optimization

Mobile search and shopping dominates the eCommerce market these days. If the customer experience of companies doesn’t translate well through mobile devices, a business risks losing a huge chunk of customers.

For B2B companies, mobile devices are not as important in terms of interacting with support. Clients in this niche usually work on computers, which makes a Skype or Zoom call-up a more logical means of communication for business.

Whether you lead a B2B or B2C business, you need to keep up with the times and stay at the top of your customer engagement structure. This way, you will be able to understand what will be more profitable for you before making important decisions about the software you choose and the functions provided to your customers.

Turning to Simply Contact for services, you can count on our experienced specialists to provide professional support for your customers and clients any time of the day.

B2B vs B2C Customer Support: Summary

These are the main differences between B2B vs B2C customer service. We hope you get the gist. And if you are looking for competent and experienced professionals to provide customer support on behalf of your company, feel free to contact us at Simply Contact! We have top-notch specialists to help optimize your business flow.

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