Imagine a new client is searching for price information on your website or a returning client is searching for support. You’ve achieved your first goal—they have a specific need, and they’ve chosen your business to address it.

At this point, your client has two choices—they can continue on their buying journey with your services or cut it short. Their choice depends on your ability to provide a customer experience both tailored to their particular needs and consistent with your core message.

The Importance of Customer Experience

Customer experience is more than just a buzzword. Companies are becoming increasingly aware of the value and effect that customer experience has on the B2B lifecycle.

How do we know? Between December 2018 and January 2019, we commissioned a report from Aberdeen Group on customer experience strategy and results. The findings from the report revealed that “managing customer experience is a key strategic business objective for 86% of B2B firms.”

Either it’s difficult for a prospect to find the information they need to make a decision or you’ve minimized customer effort across the entire customer lifecycle. It’s up to you.

Let’s say a prospect has trouble finding the information they need to make a decision. Or, equally troubling, perhaps they’ve found what they need—and then some. Since interacting with you, they’ve been inundated with inconsistent, overwhelming amounts of content, not all of which is relevant. What happens next? They get stalled in their journey and may abandon ship for another company suddenly starts to look more attractive. Poor customer experience has broken the customer lifecycle.

Content and the B2B Cycle

Although providing a seamless customer experience is crucial for most businesses, it’s also one of the most challenging aspects of a business strategy.

How are businesses tackling the challenge?

Aberdeen found that one of the most effective strategies for improving the B2B lifecycle through CX is to build an effective content strategy.

The report concludes that “firms optimizing content enjoy 48% greater annual improvement in customer lifetime value.” In other words, relevant, useful, and consistent content seriously pays off.

“The favorable results enjoyed by firms optimizing content mean content optimization not only helps maximize the likelihood of potential buyers to purchase a product, but it also helps firms retain clients and grow their spend over time.”

How to Create a Seamless Customer Experience Through Content

1. Advanced Customer Segmentation

Detailed segmentation creates visibility into the way your customers interact with content at different stages in their buying lifecycle. As a result, you can help satisfy information needs without requiring too much effort on the customer’s part. Segmentation allows you to deliver the right content at the right time to the right customer.

The companies analyzed in this report segment their customers into various groups, dividing them by demographics, customer duration, total spend, etc. Detailed segmentation makes it 74% more likely that these companies can deliver tailored content in the right context while maintaining a consistent customer experience throughout the journey.

2. Root-Cause Analysis

Root-cause analysis is a method that savvy CX leaders use to discover how different content strategies deliver different results. You can conduct a root-cause analysis with business intelligence tools that integrate within your content platform and reveal hidden insights into which strategies produce desired results and which do not.

For example, if your goal is to help your customers adopt a new product or service you’re offering, you can use root-cause analysis to predict the kind of content that’s most likely to maximize the adoption rate of a technology product. Companies optimizing their content are 71% more likely to have these predictive capabilities.

3. AI Capabilities and Analytics

Using current data to predict present customer needs and behaviors won’t guarantee future success. Customer desires are constantly changing. To become a leader in your industry and stay ahead of the game, you must produce content that satisfies a customer need before they know they have it.

Luckily, AI and machine learning technologies are available to help you serve customers the right content at the right time. By understanding both buyer behavior and the way in which your content inventory aligns along key messaging, you can automate recommendations and serve content that moves prospects through the funnel.

Final Thoughts

Customer experience is no longer a nice-to-have, and content sits at the heart of ensuring we guide customers through their journey’s with the tools they need to convert. Aberdeen’s study reveals that providing customers with highly personalized and timely content seamlessly across multiple channels is not only necessary for outstanding CX, but also effective for retaining existing customers and growing their lifetime value.

Building the infrastructure and governance required to build seamless buying cycles with content won’t happen overnight. Start by reading the Aberdeen’s report, Content-Driven Customer Experiences to learn more about the key strategies CX leaders are using to delight customers and drive revenue.

Jen Hogsett

About Jen Hogsett

Jen Hogsett serves as Kapost's Senior Director of Demand Gen. A 15-year veteran of high-tech software marketing and sales; she thrives on working closely with sales and content teams to create exceptional customer experiences that drive growth. When she's not firing-up the revenue engine, you can find her out enjoying the Colorado sunshine.