When it comes to building an online presence, most B2B organizations start with a company website with plans to launch a full ecommerce store when they’re ready to sell direct to business buyers. Along the way, these companies hire sales and customer service staff to help grow their business and facilitate activities that the company website can’t do. Whether it’s closing new B2B sales, managing existing accounts’ invoice payments or solving client issues, these customer interactions are typically handled by a company representative over the phone or email.
For customers, friction arises when it requires a call or email to resolve straight-forward account management activities. Simple questions such as “where’s my order?” and, “can I pay an invoice?” snowball into bigger questions, like “did they get my message?” and “when are they going to get back to me?” Ultimately, their frustrations can be summed up with a simple question: “why can’t I do this myself?”
For NetSuite customers, there’s a quick way to deal with these issues without having to build a whole new ecommerce site — SuiteCommerce MyAccount.
Serving Busy Customers 24/7
There’s no doubt that phone and email are valuable touchpoints for you and your customers. But there are many customer interactions that simply don’t require the immediate attention of someone in your organization. While your reps might be happy to chat with customers, these sorts of activities are not a great use of their time, and — perhaps more importantly — busy customers can’t be kept waiting for someone else to do something that they could have done for themselves.
But customer interactions aren’t entirely administrative things like checking account balances or updating personal records. Your sales team is likely dealing with questions like:
- Can I pay an invoice?
- Can I convert the quote you sent me to a sales order?
- What is the status of my order?
- Can I quickly re-order some items I previously purchased?
If you find yourself identifying with these scenarios, then it sounds like you not only want to empower your customers but also free up your staff for more important things. You probably recognize that you’re getting the same kinds of requests over and over from your customers — and if you’re getting frustrated, they probably are too. And if you are answering these questions over phone and email, you may be realizing that they are often not the best tools for a lot of common customer tasks.
Email can be great, but there’s usually a wait time associated with them. As for phone calls, your team probably have better things to do than fielding “where’s my stuff?” questions from customers. If reps are busy (and they usually are), they may struggle to log phone call notes in your CRM system, which may lead to unrecorded interactions and customer service issues down the road.
If you’re a services company (that is, you sell non-inventory items with recurring billing, such as support contracts or software licenses) you likely have additional needs. If a customer hires a new employee, for example, and needs to pay for an additional license, they certainly don’t want to be waiting around for an email response. Why not just let them add an additional license to their existing subscription themselves?
Or perhaps you allow a bit of flexibility in your subscription plans. Perhaps you want a customer to call you before they’re thinking about cancelling a contract, but maybe they just want to suspend a line item for a month. Or even better, what if they want to upgrade to a better subscription tier or add optional features? Why should any of these actions also require a phone call to a rep?
Online Self-Service Account Portal
Through automation and self-service, many B2B sales activities that typically require manual, rep-centered involvement can be eliminated. B2B companies are turning to self-service features like online account portals to cut down on routine tasks that plague business buyers, such as contacting their sales representative to reorder and check order statuses.
By empowering your customers with an account portal that provides access to billing, order and subscription data and letting them channel any requests directly to your sales and service teams, B2B organizations can reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction.
NetSuite SuiteCommerce MyAccount
NetSuite SuiteCommerce MyAccount provides your business buyers with a 24/7, self-service online account management portal without having to build a whole new ecommerce site. Business accounts can maximize their buying efforts and minimize manual work, with capabilities such as converting online quotes to sales orders, paying invoices, managing subscriptions, as well as repeat purchasing. Consumers can quickly and easily perform common tasks such as updating their address book, managing their credit cards on file and viewing order history. When an account portal is able to use customer, order and inventory data from your business management system, you can display information to customers in the portal which allows them to accomplish things like pay invoices, edit subscriptions and open support cases.Register for the Suite Fundamentals product demo webinar to learn more about