Which Factors Negatively Influence Customer Satisfaction in B2B Sales?
B2B operations offer numerous long-term benefits to both the buyer and the seller of a product or service. However, there can be great frustrations experienced by the buyer, many of which have a huge impact on business operation, and can ultimately endanger the longer-term working relationship.
It is important to note that, particularly in the case of larger businesses, there are often issues on the client side that means that service delivery issues are not addressed correctly.
We looked at some of the most common factors that negatively influence customer satisfaction.
Lack of Communication
This is probably the single biggest frustration, and is a classic example of an issue from both sides of the fence. Whether it is the lack of a phone call to say that a delivery will be late or the service window has changed slightly, or a change to the way in which a product or service is delivered, there are often nasty surprises waiting for clients when a call or e-mail would have done the trick.
For clients, their failure to communicate, both with each other and the selling business, often leads to a poor experience, which is ultimately unnecessary. Retail is a great example of this.
Go into any retail store and you could bet a lot of money that there will be some level of frustration with “direct from supplier” deliveries, and hear that is has “always been that way.” The reason? Simply because people believe that is the norm, and never pick up the phone to find out if anyone else is experiencing the same issue, or to query what is going on.
Lack of communication on both sides is the biggest barrier to successful B2B operations.
If you took away all of the time wasted by managers or people in accounts departments chasing up incomplete or non-compliant invoices, you would have enough to hire dozens of full-time employees or make a great manpower saving.
A lot of non-compliance issues come down to laziness as well as a complete lack of team ethic. Many B2B queries at ground level are met with a “it is not my problem or yours, so let us not worry about it.” This is of course short sighted, as someone somewhere ultimately has to deal with the issue, which will then directly or indirectly have some impact on you.
Along with lack of communication, inconsistency can be a massive issue and frustration. The biggest problem comes when a service is immaculate one day, poor the next, immaculate again the day after, and so on. Similar problems arise when you call into central offices for assistance or to give feedback.
Although most B2B service providers now have dedicated account managers, so you will speak to the same person each time, with many you are still a hostage to fortune, and the outcome of your call can often depend on who picks up the phone at a given time.
Even by dealing with these three relatively simple issues, B2B would become a lot more fluid and efficient for all parties involved.