The advantages of customer-centric digitization efforts are well known: reduction of the cost of each interaction, fewer errors, freeing of resources that can be moved from repetitive tasks to added business value, all leading to the overall goal: improving customer satisfaction, margins, and broadening the sales channels.
In the last weeks, for many people (both on the sales and supply sides) digital interaction has become the only available choice. All companies that delayed or underestimated digitalization are now facing additional challenges and are quickly losing the competitive edge.
Many tech-savvy companies have already implemented a long list of digital self-services:
● They allow customers to exchange electronic documentation and sign contracts digitally.
● They provide online configurators that can give an idea of price and options for complicated machines in just a few minutes and speed up the offer cycle.
● They provide smart personalized spare parts catalogs so that customers can identify the exact part that they need to replace.
● In most complex scenarios, customers can remotely monitor their machines spread on several factories or working sites, quickly identifying failures or need to reorder consumables.
While each one of these stand-alone interactions can be very efficient, the overall experience will be very unpleasant. There’s even more if the sales organization has boundaries and limits that don’t have meaning for the customer! Think about unique touchpoints for different countries, product segments or business units!
There is, fortunately, a good solution for this: a Customer Portal. It is one of the biggest opportunities, and therefore one of the biggest trends in B2B commerce. A customer portal completely overturns this described perspective, creating "outside-in" processes. All interactions are designed starting from the customer needs, and the internal organization is adapting to them.
Read more here.