(Last Updated On: December 7, 2018)

How Live Chat Helps Businesses Engage with B2B Buyers

by | Best Practices, Sales Solutions

Business-to-business and business-to-consumer clients are different in many ways. With B2B, you are dealing with a well-informed and busy audience. These are professionals on a tight schedule who must justify all of their purchases based on demonstrated value and ROI. Finding effective ways to engage with B2B buyers can be challenging. One of the best tools for this purpose is live chat. Let’s look at how this technology can help you generate sales and improve your image with these unique clients.

How B2B clients are different

B2B clients are unique in a number of ways.

  • They are always concerned about the bottom line. Business owners and managers need to calculate the best ROI for every purchase. You can be sure they’ll be comparing your offer with others and analyze which is the better business decision.
  • They want details and specifics. Consumers often buy based on emotional decisions and on what’s trending. While B2B buyers aren’t immune to trends and emotions, they focus more on specs and details before they make decisions. You need to provide them with practical information that relates to their needs.
  • They are busy and time-challenged. B2B clients don’t want to waste time searching for information or sorting through fluff and filler. They want easy access to relevant information as quickly as possible. They also appreciate an omnichannel approach which lets them receive responses on whatever device or platform they’re using. As it stands, they don’t often receive the kind of support they desire. According to a survey by TimeTrade, a whopping 84% of B2B buyers frequently do not receive answers to their questions regarding a purchase.
  • They are more knowledgeable than the average consumer. With B2C marketing, it’s usually best to use everyday language and avoid industry jargon. With B2B clients, however, you can assume your audience is well-versed in the type of products or services you’re peddling. You can (and should) get more technical. In fact, you need to show that you respect their knowledge.
  • You may need to convince multiple decision-makers. With B2C, you’re typically selling to one person or, in some cases, a couple. With B2B, however, there are often several layers to penetrate. That’s why it’s so important to present a strong case with plenty of evidence.

Why live chat is the ideal way to reach B2B buyers

Engaging with B2B buyers requires a complete strategy that includes tactics such as content marketing, hiring knowledgeable sales and customer service reps, and maintaining a strong presence on social media, especially LinkedIn. One factor that can make a big difference is introducing live chat on your website. This single feature actually goes a long way in addressing many of the unique needs of B2B clients.

Provides efficient answers

As we noted, B2B buyers are busy and seek relevant information and answers to their questions. Live chat makes it possible for someone to get a prompt reply to any question. The chat agent can either answer questions directly, refer the visitor to the appropriate page, or forward the inquiry to someone who can answer it. This can save the prospect lots of time he or she might have otherwise spend searching your site (or, as the case may be, simply giving up and checking out your competitors).

Generates leads and sales

Every investment you make in your business must ultimately be justified by a positive ROI. There’s evidence that live chat helps you improve B2B sales. According to the American Marketing Association, live chat increases conversions by 20%. Just as impressively, adding this feature improves overall ROI by a whopping 305%. 

Helps you understand your customers

One of the most valuable aspects of live chat is that it provides you with a format that’s easy to study. By looking at chat histories, you can identify your customers’ needs and most pressing problems. You can also get a good sense of how effectively chat agents are addressing these concerns. It’s much harder to go back and listen to phone conversations. With chat logs, you can scan sessions and gather information you can use to improve all aspects of your business. The best chat providers also provide you with custom reports that let you perform analytics to help you track your results.

A powerful branding tool

One of the best reasons to implement live chat on your website is that it helps to strengthen your brand. This is valuable even if you don’t make an immediate sale. Potential clients who are able to interact with you via chat leave knowing more about your company and products than they did before. Browsing a website is a fairly impersonal process. When visitors actually talk to someone, they’re more likely to remember you as well as have a more positive view of your company. This is a feature that lets you differentiate yourself from the competition right away, the moment someone lands on your website.

Getting the most out of your chat software

Once you recognize how much chat can do to upgrade your engagement with B2B buyers, it’s a question of finding the right solution and learning how to use it to your advantage.

  • Find the right chat provider for your needs. You need to do your research to find the best chat provider. Consider features, customer service, cost, convenience, security requirements, and more.
  • Chat must be easy to use. The whole point of live chat is to allow visitors to get fast answers and solutions. For this to work, the chat window must be visible on every page and it must be easy for website visitors initiate conversations.
  • Make sure your chat agents are helpful and knowledgeable. While getting a quick response is a start, it’s also important that visitors get real value from live chat. In one survey, 94% of respondents said they are more likely to buy from a company when they have live interactions with knowledgeable employees.
  • Emphasize speed. Studies indicate that 60% of customers don’t want to wait more than a minute for a response. You can speed up interactions by providing agents with canned responses, including helpful links, for common questions. Another way to make interactions more efficient is to start by having visitors answer a pre-chat survey.

If you want to engage more effectively with your B2B clients, live chat is one of your best options. It gives you a way to offer fast and personalized service to busy professionals who don’t have time to waste. Quality chat software also lets you track valuable analytics so you can upgrade your customer service and provide even better solutions to your clients.