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 of the 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 customer’s persona. A persona is the part of someone’s character that 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 purchasing your product or service. They’re not just demographics or assumptions you make 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 piece of information 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/Patient Problems and Your Website:
- A medical practice’s patients wanted a fast way to make appointments or pay their bills. They hated the 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 their facility could handle the workload as well as, based on their location, that 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 to provide customer reviews, social proof and photos. When implemented at the appropriate customer endpoints, social proof can be invaluable in building your client’s product credibility.
If your users observe confidence in your service and product as evidenced by 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 such as staff and warehousing. If you are a healthcare facility, consider showing the front-office staff, waiting room interior, etc.
- Patient reviews are important to help prospective patients gauge the type of healthcare they will receive.
- Vendor logos can show the level of experience you have 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 once they arrive at your website. Assume they’ll be confused.
It is best to communicate to your website users very clearly what their next steps should be.
I don’t recommend comparing your website to your competitor’s and focusing your attention on your customers’ personas and what they want to see. Rather, 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, such as a 10-step downloadable list to accomplish something easy, an estimate request, a brief instructional video, or quick link to buy your product.
Examples of Next Steps: [Are these things you want the customer to do next?]
- Download a 5-minute 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 are a great source for website content. Every time you answer the phone or reply to an email after a customer’s question is an opportunity to gather new material. Collect each question and elaborate on the answers and use them to 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 types 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 24/7 access for your customers to get information about your company. Can you imagine what it would be like if you tried to visit your bank’s website to make a transaction and found 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 helpful websites, videos.
- A template or worksheet to help customers do their job better.
- An online tool that helps 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 with your website design. 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 to the customer. Keep the ‘coolness’ factor in check by designing for what is needed.
- Slideshows. This design features a home page that includes images that rotate. 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. Unlike bunches of oats, which can be healthy, a variety of fonts is not so healthy — it makes it difficult 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 then propel them to the next step?
8. Use Photos That Reflect Your Customers, Not Your Company Office
Photos should reflect your customers, not your building. The front of your building may be important to you but it’s not to your customers. They really couldn’t care less about the front door or the cool truck you bought and wrapped.
Your customers are looking for answers. Their 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 desired feeling of relaxation. Interior images of the reception area or the treatment rooms might be better.
- Wrapped Cars and Vehicles. Pretty cool truck, dude! I’m 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. While the Frequently Asked Questions help with some content and defining the persona establishes problems and solutions, you still need to position your site as 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 and more efficiently.
Consider, also, how establishing your website as a guide 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 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: