Part One: B2B customers are a unique group of consumers. They are often “shopping” with purpose, feel more pressure to make the “correct”/best decision than a B2C customer feels, and tend to be incredibly busy. When making considering a purchase, the vendor’s website is one of the most significant factors in their decision. But what website elements can help your B2B rise above the rest?
A fancy design alone isn’t going to cut it- it’s important to take a peek into the minds of your customers to see what is most important to them when evaluating a possible vendor’s site.
I read the incredible study done by KoMarketing on B2B Customers, and I’m here to fill you in on the secrets of what B2B customers want most from a vendor’s website. The most important aspects of a B2B website are: contact info, thorough service or product listing, pricing, services (such as shipping policy), and your content (blog, resources, or white papers). This blog will cover the importance of your B2B Contact Page
The Contact Page
According to B2B customers themselves, the most important aspect of a B2B’s website is their contact page (and the options to contact them). Not only does it contact the information your B2B customers are looking for, but it also builds trust with your potential new customers.
55% of respondents of the B2B report said that “No Contact Information/Phone Number” reduces a vendor’s credibility, and 52% of respondents explained that “Thorough Contact or About Information” is key to establishing a vendor’s credibility. Contact info was more important to B2B customers than research-rich marketing collateral, such as case studies or reports.
Your company’s contact info is also specifically what they’re looking for: 37% said a lack of contact information wastes their time. 44% of the B2B Customers surveyed said that they would leave your site if they cannot easily find your contact info
51% say that in their recent experience, thorough or adequate contact info was the element most lacking on vendor websites.
64% of B2B customers want to see contact info right on the home page
What Should You Have on The Contact Page?
Whats most important about your B2B contact page design? Making as much information available to your customers as possible. You should go beyond the contact form, and offer different means of getting in touch.
81% of respondents prefer to be able to contact a B2B via email.
57% of respondents prefer to contact the B2B over the phone. Again, as mobile viewing is so prevalent, ensure that your phone number is text (that can be clicked) or provide a button option like “tap to call”.
Note: Fewer than 25% respondents were under the age of 35, with the majority being between the ages of 36 and 64. It’s possible, and likely, that younger B2B customers have different communication preferences (such as preferring chat to phone calls).
Chat is also an increasingly popular method of getting in touch- consider adding live chat services to your website. It’s highly advisable to get in on this trend early- just make sure your chat box isn’t too obnoxious– 32% of survey respondents said an obtrusive chat feature would cause them to leave the B2B site.
B2B customers strongly dislike being only presented with a “Contact Us” form.
Make sure you cover all possible aspects of your company’s possible contact opportunities, include your actual address. 68% of those B2B customers said that “Company Address and Contact Information” was critically important to their purchasing decision. Here’s a little logic behind the madness…many B2B customers are looking at B2B sites to source their RFQ, and need the appropriate information in order to complete such a request.
The Ko Marketing survey asked B2B customers “How important are the following items with regard to moving forward with a Request for Proposal/Quote?: Company Address/Contact Information, Product Pricing, Lead or Ship Times, and Product Name?” 68 percent of survey respondents indicated that they consider “Company Address and Contact Information” is crucial to to moving forward with a vendor.
Another argument for listing your company’s physical address is that it’s been shown to affect your perceived credibility in the eyes of the B2B buyer.
Beyond The Contact Page
Given that the contact information was the most important thing to B2B customers, you should also consider having contact info available all throughout your site. Include your phone number in your top page header (or footer) or an email form consistently located on a sidebar.
Include your contact information in all email signatures, whether yours, your sales people, or even the automated messages sent out by your company.
Whether you use contact forms or emails for your contact page, provide options for different scenarios like technical issues, customer support, or sales questions. This way you can route the question to the right person and provide support as quickly as possible.
Include a link to your FAQ section on your website for customers who prefer a DIY approach. This also might help to lessen the volume of incoming requests to your team. It is also helpful to include business policy information on your contact page: such as informing customers right off the bat that you do not ship to Hawaii, or that your company does not use recruiters.