9 Attributes for Customer Centric B2B Website Design [Examples]
In this post you’ll learn what makes a good website that puts the customer first.
In fact, these are specific actions we take for every B2B website design we build as well as our own.
So, what is a customer-centric website? Essentially, it is a B2B website design that includes all those elements that contribute to the needs, wants, and pain points of your customers in their day-to-day operations.
1. Understand Your Customer Persona
It’s important to really understand your customers. A persona is that part of someone’s character which the external world sees.
A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customer based on market research and real data about your existing customers. – Hubspot, https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/buyer-persona-definition-under-100-sr
Personas are in-depth profiles of the different types of customers who are considering your product or service. They’re not just demographics or assumptions about your target audience.
- Healthcare patients – What is their primary health concern? How old are they? What challenges are they having?
- Energy customers – Who is the decision-maker? What influences those decisions? What hesitations do they have when making a purchase?
- Restaurant or Convenience store owners – What information are they looking to learn more about? What is motivating them now to buy from you? What are their primary and secondary goals?
2. Be Clear About Your Customer’s Problems
Without knowing your customer’s main issues and goals, you will lack an important item when designing a B2B website; a clear direction on what solutions should be built into the website.
An educated guess does not work.
Before you begin any web design work, listen to your customers and patients.
Examples of Customer Problems and Your Website:
- Patients wanted a fast way to make appointments or pay their bills. They hated long process or inconvenience of setting up regular Ob/Gyn appointments.
- Transportation brokerage customers were concerned about the location of our customer, WM Morris Enterprises. They wanted to make sure that their facility could handle the workload as well as, based on their location, it would be easy to manage customs and freight.
3. Establish Trust
No one doubts the importance of establishing trust with customers. The fastest and most effective way of building trust with website users is customer reviews, social proof, and photos. When implemented at the appropriate customer endpoints, social proof can be invaluable at building your client’s product credibility.
If your users observe your service and product confidence by your shared customer references they are generally much more inclined to do business with you.
Examples of Establishing Trust with Your Website:
- Sharing photos of the inside of your company including staff, warehousing. If you are a healthcare clinic, consider front-office staff photos, inside the waiting room.
- Patient reviews are important to gauge the type of healthcare someone will receive.
- Vendor logos can show the level of experience with your partners.
- Customer videos
- Social media engagement
4. Be Clear About What Happens Next
Presume your customers do not know what to do next when they arrive at your website. Assume they’ll be confused.
It is best to communicate with your website users very clearly what their next steps should be.
I don’t recommend comparing your website to your competitor’s and focus your attention on your customer personas and what they want to see. Consider their problems and issues and how you can help them by giving them the solution.
Solutions could be a quick win for the customer like a 10-step downloadable list to accomplish something easy, an estimate request, watch a video, or buy your product.
Examples of Next Steps:
- Download a 5 min marketing plan.
- Request a website review.
- Subscribe to an email newsletter.
- Call for an estimate.
- Schedule a consultation or appointment.
- Submit a contact form for more questions
5. Tap into Your FAQ’s
The most frequently asked questions area great source for website content. Every time you answer the phone or reply to an email after a customer’s question is an opportunity. Collect each one and elaborate on them can help convert your website into a true resource.
Website Frequently Asked Questions are an insight into the minds of your customers. These are legitimate expressions of concerns and interests.
Examples of Frequently Asked Questions:
- Should I schedule my OB/GYN appointment while I am sick?
- When should I schedule a well woman exam?
- Can I schedule a demonstration or tour?
- What should I bring for my first appointment?
- What type of paperwork will I need for my next freight import? Will you help me complete and submit this paperwork?
- What is the type of proprietary chemicals do you offer?
- How big is your custom blending vat?
- What products do you recommend if I own a construction company?
6. Make the Website A Convenience
Your website is your 24/7 access for your customers. Can you imagine what it would be like if you tried to visit your bank’s website to make a transaction and you find you couldn’t transfer money or check your balance? Make sure your website is a convenience to your customers allowing them to do things without you.
- Set an appointment for a consultation.
- Order equipment using a purchase order.
- A resource page that collects the best websites, videos.
- A template or worksheet to help customers do their job better.
- Calculate space or capacity.
7. Design for Your Customer Not Your CEO
Try not to get carried away trying to impress upper management with a lot of bells and whistles. To be customer-centric, instead design for your customer.
Always think about the customer.
I’ll say it again, design for your customer.
Avoid building a catalog of features that do not provide value and keep the ‘coolness’ factor in check by designing for what is needed.
- Slideshows. Website with the homepage that includes images that rotated. See our list of design trends that are out-dated.
- No menus. With mobile websites, the trend to remove the menus seems cool but consider the customer. Does it make sense to hide this important tool?
- Bunches of fonts. Not quite bunches of oats which can be healthy. A variety of fonts is not so healthy for customers to follow your website’s content.
- Distracting animation. Cool background video is a neat functionality but does it help your customers understand what it is you do and propel them to the next step?
8. Use Photos That Reflect Your Customers, Not Your Company Office
Photos should reflect your customers not your company’s building. The front of your building may be of great importance to you but it’s not to your customers. They really could care less about the front door or the cool truck you bought and wrapped.
Your customers are looking for answers. The first question is… can you do the job or can you solve my problem?
Your imagery needs to reflect this.
- Buildings. Your spa was renovated and it’s gorgeous but the front of your building does not give your customers the right feeling of relaxation. Interior images of reception or the rooms might be better.
- Wrapped Cars and Vehicles. Pretty cool truck, dude! Still not sure what you do though.
- Project Work. If you are going to showcase your work, make sure it best reflects the type of service your customers expect. Does the photo show a clean environment? Does it show high safety protocols?
9. Be A Resource and A Guide
Throughout the web design process, consider how you can best serve your customers. As with the Frequently Asked Questions help with some content, the persona establishes problems and solutions, how can you be a resource.
How can you get your customers to return to your website?
An effective website will help your customers not only make a decision but also help them do their jobs better, faster, more efficiently.
Consider also how it can help your own internal processes.
- B2B Ordering. You may not be able to offer actual ordering with a credit card, but can you allow your customers to order using purchase orders?
- Patient Appointments. Can your patients schedule appointments without calling the office?
- Virtual Tours. Can customers view your spa or facility virtually via video?
- Series of videos or posts. Is there a process or project that you could help your customers understand? Can you create a how-to video?
Now it’s your turn.
I’d like to hear from you.
Which strategy from today’s post can you apply to your website?
Or maybe you have a question?
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below: