Do what gives you the most bang for the buck, and creates most value for your customers.Read more about our digital services here
In a post-pandemic world, it is necessary to be present in the digital channels where customers expect to meet and trade with their suppliers. But customers still want to be able to ask for advice from a person if necessary. This means that we need to tailor to both personal and digital touchpoints. The customer journey needs to be coherent and allow the customer to switch between modes of interaction without losing any information along the way. Fast-growing companies succeed in creating value for customers by combining in-person contacts with digital interactions. Make sure you understand that journey, and build the customer portal based on your customer’s needs.
The B2B companies we meet often start by offering their customers what is most necessary. And that is not entirely wrong. Launching the first version of your portal to get quickly on track is a very clever idea. Once established, you need to learn fast about what would improve your customers' journey and develop the right functionality and experience based on your findings. Internal digital maturity often needs to evolve simultaneously, building competence and capacity within the selling company to drive digital development forward at the necessary speed.
We find that a natural development curve with B2B sellers can be described by the following steps:
Indeed, there are companies that "skip" steps and directly aim higher already from the start. Formulating a long-term vision for what you want to achieve with your digital commerce is an excellent idea. However, our experience is that you do not have to do everything at once. Instead, choosing a point of departure where you create real impact is important. What do your customers need? And what improves your business? Identify what you need to build and what needs to be included in the solution, but no more than that. Prioritize away everything that is not necessary. We call it an MVP (Minimum Viable Product).
Technology is an enabler, and there are several possible paths to explore, but be sure to build in a way that makes you flexible and allow you to adapt solution over time. No matter where you stand in your development curve, you must make constant choices, depart from the current situation, and create and maintain a great roadmap. We propose a structured approach, where we work with continuous improvements based on data. Never settle down; ensure that there is a continued will and drive to develop your digital value along with your customers to create continued competitiveness.
In the next part, I will write about how customer portals can improve your sales efficiency.
Read part 1/5 in my blog series: Why customer portal is hotter than ever.
Read part 2/5 in my blog series: The right functionality for value creation.