It’s becoming harder and harder to differentiate your business based on products alone.
Therefore brands need to focus on the customer experience, both today and going forward.
And if you own a B2B business, it appears that satisfying Gen X (those born between 1965 and 1981) customers may very well be crucial for your bottom line.
Because these are your key decision makers.
Gen X accounts for more than half of leadership roles globally, according to Global Leadership Forecast.
In other words, if you want a company’s leader to like your B2B product or service, you need to optimize your client experience for Gen X.
Why Does Client Experience Matter?
All generations of Internet users are becoming more and more aware of the vast buying possibilities the Internet provides, so they will leave your site if they feel lost or overwhelmed.
In the B2B sector, where buying journeys are longer and more complicated, often consisting of several touch points and proactive follow-ups, providing a smooth client experience (both on- and off-site) is even more crucial.
How Are Gen X Customers Different?
All generations have different browsing habits, and Gen X is no exception. In fact, this is probably the most interesting generation because it combines the savviest traits of the preceding (baby boomers) and following (millennials) generations.
This generation was growing up alongside the internet. They are as comfortable online as they are offline. Unlike baby boomers, they adopt multiple devices easily and tend to embrace new technology quickly. Unlike millennials, they understand web privacy and security. They are a perfect generation to bridge the gap between the two before-after-internet generations.
There are multiple studies that have identified key browsing behaviors that are unique for Gen X:
- They take cybersecurity and privacy very seriously. They wouldn’t open a suspicious email, they never use corporate emails for social media and they always make sure their passwords are secure.
- According to Appgate, Gen Xers like to learn how to fix a problem instead of being taught how to do it.
- They easily switch between devices. They spend more time on all devices than millennials do: 9 hours per week on PCs, 21 hours per week on smartphones, and 4 hours weekly on tablets, on average.
How to Create a Better B2B Client Experience For Gen X Customers
Build knowledge bases
As this generation prefers autonomy and self-reliance when fixing a problem or finding a solution, you need to build detailed wikis, FAQs or knowledge bases for them to interact with independently. Make sure you answer every possible question your clients may have and structure your Help section the way those answers are easy to find.
Don’t follow up immediately after a demo trying to convert them. Instead, email your deck and a link to that section for them to research. Gen Xers are great at digital research, so let them browse your site and play with your product first.
Keep your Help always fresh and updated. Make sure you audit it quarterly to update screenshots, remove mentions of discontinued features and fix broken links. Repurpose your most popular articles into videos and downloadable assets.
This effort will also speed up your internal processes too as it will allow your teams to quickly locate and link to answers whenever your potential customers have them.
Customer-driven content marketing has many other benefits, including:
- More long-tail rankings (and hence better client experience for voice search users)
- Better control of your brand-driven search (as you will have a URL optimized for any possible question people may be asking about your product or company)
- More retargeting possibilities (as you can retarget all those readers through ads on Google and Facebook)
- More return users as people will keep finding your content whenever you search (this builds brand recognizability and ultimately increases your conversions).
It’s also a time-consuming effort as your team will keep discovering new questions (and writing articles to answer them) and auditing existing content to ensure it is up-to-date. So make sure everyone knows that it’s an ongoing task.
Let them know your platform is secure
Include security in all of your sales materials and demos. Explain how you protect the data and privacy of your users.
Obviously, make sure your site has a secure connection and all your sales materials and downloads are hosted on secure URLs as well. Site speed is also important, so spend some time diagnosing and optimizing your page load time.
Personalize your emails well as this generation ignores or flags emails they don’t recognize. Don’t add them to your email lists without consent: They treat their privacy seriously, so they may never deal with your company if you don’t. By all means, adjust your email marketing strategy to avoid privacy scandals.
Gen X customers are notably keen on using mobile devices. Understandably, optimizing your mobile site and/or app is important for pleasing this generation of decision makers.
Increasing numbers of Gen X consumers interact with businesses primarily only on mobile devices. That means your mobile site experience needs to be just as simple and intuitive as it would be on a desktop computer.
Make sure your mobile site and/or app is tested on multiple mobile devices, and there is a QA process in place for every major device software update.
Monitor and measure your customers’ satisfaction
Use technology to see where customers are coming from and what they’re doing. This includes using Web analytics tools to show you what drives customers to your site, where they come from, which ones are coming back and what they’re doing on your site.
Most web analytics platforms include detailed demographics information allowing you to see which devices your site users prefer and which countries and cities they access your site from.
Measure how satisfied customers are with your customer experience. There are many ways to do this. Customer surveys are the number-one method. Make sure to diversify your customer satisfaction survey questions to get a deeper understanding of your current and future customers.
Additionally, start measuring customer loyalty, average purchase amount, conversion rates and the number of returned purchases will give you a clearer picture of what’s working and what’s not.
Finally, there are powerful b2b tools for internet marketing tools that can connect all those data points (web analytics, customer satisfaction surveys, heatmaps) into one helpful dashboard for you to monitor everything effectively.
Most importantly, stay forward-thinking!
Don’t assume that today’s client experience will work tomorrow. Keep your eyes on the future and keep up with retail and technology trends so your business is poised to change along with customers’ shopping behaviors.