A widespread misconception with business–to–business (B2B) sites is that they are immune to rules and usability standards that apply to电子商务on business–to–consumer (B2C) sites. In fact, B2B design teams should account for their users’ needs and follow usability principles to address customer concerns and build trust. The business professionals who use B2B sites also shop on plenty of B2C sites, andJAKOB互联网用户体验的法律states that people will form their expectations from the majority of sites they visit. Common ecommerce UX recommendations help B2B web-design teams to build trust with their users.

Unique B2B Constraints

许多相同的UX原则,组织在B2C站点中建立客户信任的组织也可以应用于B2B。然而,与他们的B2C对应物相比,B2B消费者通常具有额外的限制:

  • 高开关成本:Often, companies must get out of another contract with a competitor in order to purchase a B2B product. The relative “cost” of switching to a new organization for a service or product can be high due to:
    • 终止成本,which impose a termination fee or some other financial penalty for terminating a contract
    • Data costs,in the form of lost access or privileges, if the customer switches to a new service provider
    • 转移成本of moving legacy items (data, files, materials, cases, people, etc.) to the “new” provide
  • 购买复杂性:即使一个网站使采购过程非常容易,买家往往是不仅仅是一种产品 - 它们正在获得额外的价值,如服务,维护和支持。这些方面使得决定复杂,即使在最佳情况下也是如此。决定的复杂性意味着它需要很多工作记忆和知识 - 换句话说,高cognitive load

In this article, we will discuss how to build lasting customer relationships with B2B consumers by effectively addressing unique considerations in three categories:

  1. Organizational budgets and pricing
  2. 联系销售代表
  3. 在内部销售决定

B2B预算和定价

Much like their B2C counterparts, B2B customers are usually price-conscious. However, B2B budgets can be more difficult to deal with than personal budgets because they are:

  • often set by a manager or by other senior colleagues rather than by the person who is researching or purchasing the product
  • approved and not revisited for a year or more
  • 复杂,因为它们包括长期支持或维护服务等元素以及购买

想象一下,一个B2B消费者,他们研究了她的研究并获得预算批准,但在与销售交谈后,确定不同,更昂贵的解决方案比最初确定的解决方案更好。她可能没有权力来增加预算,或者可能需要一个财政年度。由于这些有挑战性的预算限制,B2B消费者需要知道他们的购买决定不会导致在线的某处不可预见的费用。

An organization must be clear about prices in B2B environments in order to reassure users that the company acts transparently. In fact, the first site to show a price canusers’ expectations.

On the other hand, many B2B sites strive to avoid setting the wrong expectations and, instead, attempt to drive leads by keeping all prices hidden and encouraging users to “request a quote” or “contact sales” to get a starting price. However, this strategy of hiding prices deters users because it:

  • Adds an extra step,thereby increasing the overall interaction cost of finding the price. This extra effort may cause users to leave the site to research prices.
  • Makes it seem unaffordable(无论该人的预算是什么)。随着旧格道的,“如果你必须问......这可能太贵了。”隐藏价格可以给人留下的印象是要显示它是“太可怕”。即使可能是这种情况,用户也必须在某个时候学习价格,所以隐藏它只会恶化最终的贴纸冲击(特别是如果它们被锚定为不同的起始价格 - 从竞争对手那里说。
  • Makes the organization seem dubious出于它隐藏用户的简单原因。

Recommendations

展示价格;如果价格变化,提供常见的定价方案
Perhaps the price is variable due to reasons such as complex solution options or even contract negotiations. To give an idea of price without setting unrealistic expectations, show common pricing scenarios. For example, display a starting price (which can be upgraded based on requirements) or a range of prices.

Clearly explain the pricing model (i.e., plans, packages, or tiers of service).
利用原则损失厌恶by showing users what extra features the more-expensive packages include. This approach encourages people to purchase a slightly more expensive package if they have wiggle room in their budgets.

Screenshot of the Pricing page on crowdcast.io
Crowdcast.io, a browser-based webinar platform, describes three tiers of service, listed in acomparison table。For easy evaluation, the features are listed in the same order in each column, so users can easily see which plan has the most and the least features and which features are present in a plan.

The site also offers an
企业选项,在页面的左下角。此选项使得具有特定的组织可以获得自定义解决方案的组织。各种定价计划展示了Crowdcast.IO的灵活性

如果可以进行定制,请清除。解释什么是可定制的前期内容。
Clearly indicate what kind of customization is available when you list your prices. Call out features that can be customized in order to manage expectations early in the research phase. The “perfect custom solution” probably means different things to different customers. Failing to manage expectations risks overpromising and underdelivering, thus ruining the customer’s trust in the organization.

寻找的FAQ页面屏幕截图.IO
Lookback.io’s pricing page lists frequently asked questions about pricing models for specific features. The page also reassures users by providing specific email addresses to contact with additional concerns.

Make it easy for people to compare plans.
Use tools like比较表显示每个计划或产品的服务。使用数值和图标造影(例如复选标记或“x”)可以指示计划是否缺少某些选项。通过清楚地解释每个层或计划中的内容,本公司是透明和前期的,建立在组织中的信任。

Screenshot of GoToMeeting's plan comparison page for their GoToTraining platform
gotoTraining.com:Most Popularplan suggestion helps users who may struggle with deciding which is the best option. The page also isolates the essential difference among plans — the number of attendees that can participate in a meeting (25, 50, and 200 Attendees). However, using低对比度文本for features not available with theStarterplan, risks legibility and discoverability. A better alternative would be high-contrast text with distinguishable iconography (rather than using faded checkmarks on features which are not available).

Address concerns about costs of switching from a competing product or service.
As mentioned above, B2B consumers often have switching costs to consider in addition to the product’s price. While these costs are inevitable, B2B teams can ease that concern by promoting services or offers that directly reduce the financial andinteraction costs切换(例如,涵盖终止费用或提供迁移援助)。包括关于常见问题决定或定价页面的此信息可以减轻公司的压力和支持者信任。

与销售代表联系

即使您的网站提供了大量信息,一些B2B消费者也需要联系销售以获取有关用例的信息,请询问特定的支持问题,发送要求清单,或者在最佳情况下,与本组织的合同向前举行。然而,销售代表将常常有一种固有和合理的恐惧:

  • 咄咄逼人
  • 试图upsell.
  • promise something that cannot be delivered

这些问题增加了联系销售代表的压力。购买者必须在该公司在该过程中信任,以便遵守并联系公司舒适。

Similarly, sales representatives often need to gather information about each user’s needs in order to answer these open questions, tailor the order, initiate a contract, or offer a better deal. To do this, a B2B firm usually needs to ask for personal information (like contact information) or company information (as broad as industry information and as specific as company address or department) before providing an appropriate response.

然而,提出这些问题可以增加焦虑为了购买决定,如果他们不明白为什么要问过问题,可以减少公司的信任,如果他们过于个人,或者他们太多了。鼓励客户如实地应对,而不不信任,建立基线的信任水平第一的。

Recommendations

Offer as much information about the product or service as you can upfront, without requiring contact with sales rep.
接使用rs’ most basic questions first: why the product is relevant, how the product or service works at a high level (for example, on a How It Works page). List responses to frequently asked questions about pricing, features, or ongoing post-purchase support. Offering something of value (in this case, detailed information about a product or service and its implementation) builds trust via the principle of reciprocation. Failing to present this information early (or hiding it behind a login wall) and funneling all users through sales representatives gives the impression that the organization either has not figured out how the product works or does not want users’ to know this information, further eroding trust.

If you do have to request information from users, provide a reason why you are making the request.
A 1978 study by Langer and Chanowitz found that, when people are provided a reason (e.g., “because” or “in order to”), they are more likely to comply with requests and trust that those requests are legitimate. Describe why your organization must gather that specific information. While it might be obvious to you (the seller), it may not be obvious to customers. Some examples include:

  • “We ask for your postal code to determine service availability in your area.”
  • “为了让我们推荐正确的解决方案,我们需要向您询问一些关于您的问题和您的需求。”
  • “对于更准确的定价,请告诉我们这些功能对您最重要的功能,我们将汇集一个满足您需求的计划。”

Offer multiple ways to联系本组织
In our studies, some users preferred to call the company, while others favored using a digital medium like an online form, an email, social media, or chat. In order to cater to different user needs, have multiple avenues for users to reach out to the company (and yes, that also means staffing people to monitor these channels).

At a minimum,include an email address and phone numberto reach the company. Then, consider having the following additional communication methods:

  • 基于网络的形式
  • 社交媒体链接
  • 聊天

要确定支持哪种通信方法,请查看分析数据或指标,如:

  • 销售 - 销售调用卷(和持续时间)
  • 报价 - 请求表单完成
  • 在联系我们页面上的反弹率
  • 社交媒体页面访问
  • 搜索queries

Then, couple those metrics with usability studies to understand (and then prioritize) your audience’s preferred communication methods.

These techniques help bolster user trust by making it clear that the organization is not skirting the responsibility of resolving customer issues, and, in fact, it wants to resolve those issues by whatever means is most comfortable to the user.

Screenshot of TechSmith Contact Us Page
TechSmith offers a range of ways to get in touch with the company, including chat, telephone, email (via contact forms), and offers high-contrast buttons for particular user needs (Contact Sales, Contact Support, etc.). The company goes a step further by showcasing specific topics and concerns from its customer-support forums.

在内部销售给多个利益攸关方

由于B2B采购决策通常影响组织内的许多个人,并且通常多人必须批准购买,买方必须:

  • Understand the product well and be able to教育其他人
  • 捍卫决定并回答有关假设情况的问题,以避免风险
  • 跟踪并沟通其他人的批准
  • Include others in any change-related conversations (about topics such as budget, solutions, contracts, etc.)

Recommendations

Clearly communicate what the product or service does, avoiding jargon (or defining it in place).
首先写简单并显示高级信息。然后,作为用户进行了进展(通过滚动或移动到新页面),提供更多详细信息。考虑在高级概览页面上需要提供多少信息,并使用户可以通过提供另一个级别的导航或使用清晰的链接来研究详细信息。

If you must use jargon, consider defining specialized terms wherever they appear. Keep in mind that people may land on low-level pages by search, so defining these only once on earlier high- level pages may not be sufficient.即使您的观众受过良好受过良好受过良好教育,也不要担心使用简单语言侮辱任何人的智力。从来没有人抱怨过的页面easy to read. (But do useprecise terms that are recognized by your target audience, even if they are complicated for others and may need an explanation.)

明确的复制构建信任,因为它往往被视为诚实和透明,而复苏写作通常以怀疑主义接受。可以被认为是书面的复杂或妄语的写作:

  • by someone who wants to sound intelligent but may not actually be intelligent, or
  • 意图误导客户或隐藏关键信息。

回答“如果是什么”问题。
可以轻松访问常见问题解答,支持页面和论坛。换句话说,不要将此信息隐藏在登录墙后面,并可以为预期和当前客户提供可用的。此外,通过提供允许附件的形式,可以轻松地向销售代表发送要求。

通过回答这些问题,该网站可以向不确定的用户安抚公司(和旨在)能够解决任何潜在问题,进一步建立信任和赋予用户的努力,以努力说服他们的同事或老板。

Prove that the product or service works.
给出一些关于产品服务的背景,并通过提供以下信息来证明其对令人担忧的受众的价值:

  • 案例研究和用例:如果您的客户来自不同的行业,这些都特别有用。在您的案例研究中,您在案例研究中的种类越多,您就可以解决对您的产品或服务的广泛问题。案例研究还可以说明如何以客户尚未想到的方式使用产品或服务。
  • 推荐书:在我们的许多可用性研究中,推荐通常指出在购买决定中有用,因为从客户听到意见provides a sense that the product is right. Our research participants were especially sensitive to testimonials that started out with some sort of reservation then turned to confidence in the product (e.g., “I didn’t think this would work for me, but when I tried it I was glad I made the switch”). Oureyetracking studies另外告诉我们人们关心谁写了推荐:作者的职位和隶属关系。如果您有全球受众,则一个相关的证词可以建立相关性,并证明该公司实际上可以在巴西或意大利等地方工作。
  • 产品演示(屏幕截图,视频或实时演示):Showing the product in action is useful for many users, particularly for those who can’t download a demo because they have a device on which new software cannot be easily installed without approval (common for enterprise customers). Videos, screenshots, and demos (live or recorded) shed light on how the product works and illustrate specific use cases which are not easily explained in website copy.
  • Free trials (without asking for a credit card):用户对“免费”这个词感到兴奋,经常会feel obligated to maintain their relationship with a companyif they received some sort of benefit (such as a free trial) from the company. However, no user has ever been excited to provide their credit card information for a free trial. Most see right through this tactic and know that the company is depending on the users forgetting to unsubscribe or cancel the trial after it concludes. Instead, use an identifiable piece of information like email address to restrict account access.

Clearly convey the company’s values and any market differentiation.
这是一个错误的认知,人们“不读”the关于orCompany Valuespages because they think those pages are just filler. In fact, when users are interested in establishing a long-term relationship with a company, they often want to ensure that it aligns with their own long-term needs and concerns, so they refer to pages with information about the organization and its values.

我们的学习参与者说看到了一个physical locationand humans behind the product or service bolsters their trust that the business is a legitimate one. These pages are a great opportunity to showcase images of the company employees and of its premises (if applicable), and also specific differentiators (like company values or technological innovations). If a company is clear about who it is and what it stands for, and users align with that, the company will strike a chord that will resonate with those users long past a single digital interaction.

结论

经过incorporating these guidelines, you can help users eliminate doubt and bolster trust. A great B2B site must be as simple, clear, and understandable as any great B2C site. Keeping a human-centered and empathetic approach is the key to building long-term trust with any customer.

References

Langer, E., Blank, A., Chanowitz, B. (1978). The mindlessness of ostensibly thoughtful action: The role of “placebic” information in interpersonal interaction.人格与社会心理学杂志,36., 635-642.