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
- 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:
- Organizational budgets and pricing
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
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 can锚users’ 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。
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.
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.
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。
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。
- promise something that cannot be delivered
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.
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.”
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:
- 销售 - 销售调用卷（和持续时间）
- 报价 - 请求表单完成
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.
- Understand the product well and be able to教育其他人
- Include others in any change-related conversations (about topics such as budget, solutions, contracts, etc.)
Clearly communicate what the product or service does, avoiding jargon (or defining it in place).
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.)
- by someone who wants to sound intelligent but may not actually be intelligent, or
Prove that the product or service works.
- 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.
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.
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.