Customer experience has quickly shifted from a business buzzword to a major initiative that companies of all types and sizes are focusing on to differentiate their business from the competition. Time, focus, and budget are now mainstay dedications when it comes to creating a memorable, distinguishing experience that customers will rave about. In fact, many businesses are allocating extensive resources to setting up processes and systems that support the driving goal of the ultimate customer experience.
During the holidays, many industries in the B2C realm experience a massive influx of sales, which means a surge in customer questions and needs that runs parallel to those booming sales. However, in B2B industries, the same time of year that is marked with frenzy for B2C, is instead typically a time of focusing on strategy and growth plans for the upcoming year.
This guide will explain how both B2C and B2B businesses use the holiday season to expand their sales and drive high levels of customer service. We’ll also cover how customer experience endeavors differ in these industries, and explore whether holiday customer experience efforts are more vital in B2B or B2C businesses.
Holiday Customer Experience Showdown: B2B Vs. B2C
The holiday season is an important time for most all businesses (in both B2C and B2B), and presents an enormous opportunity for companies to bolster their customer experience and make an impression that will drive satisfaction and profits year-round.
The approaches taken in each industry though, while they may have the overarching goal of improving customer experience as a sales tactic, look very different in practice.
Creating the B2C Holiday Customer Experience
In B2C industries that service customers by providing products or goods, the holiday season is typically one of (if not the) most important time of year. During the holiday season, consumers tend to shop more heavily as they find those perfect gifts for all the people in their lives. This burst of sales activity often accounts for a large portion (and sometimes even a majority) of the revenue a B2C business will bring in all year long
As sales rise, so do customer inquiries and needs. Creating an optimal customer experience during the holiday season means that companies need to ensure they have strong contact center systems, procedures, and staff in place to make the hectic shopping season as seamless as possible for customers.
Building the B2B Holiday Customer Experience
The holiday season in B2B however, is typically marked by a slow in business deals, new client onboarding, and launches of new services or initiatives. People take time off to spend the holidays with their family, and perhaps, even support B2C companies with holiday shopping as a customer.
In the last quarter of the year, important work is often accomplished in B2B companies though. The quieter period allows businesses to take stock of all their successes and areas of improvement that have surfaced over the year. They spend time strategizing and planning carefully for the upcoming new year, and find creative ways they can better serve their clients and industry.
The Results: Is Customer Experience More Important in One Industry Over Another?
The simple answer is that customer experience is equally important in both B2C and B2B industries, but the methods each type of company uses and what time of year they’re focused on certain initiatives is what differs most substantially.
Both B2B and B2C businesses must have a strong base of customers who are loyal to their brands and choose them time and again over the competition. B2C companies have to be able to excel under fire during the holiday season by managing large sales growth while maintaining a high level of service that customers will remember and gain their loyalty. They need customer systems, including a robust contact center solution, that allows for high volume service with tools for top quality at the same time.
B2B companies experience their busy period at the start of a new year, when all the planning and strategizing that took place in Q4 of the previous year will begin to come to fruition through new clients, service launches, or pursuit of new goals.
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