What exactly defines customer friction online? Well, it’s pop-ups interrupting a reader’s flow, website features that frustrate, and confusing or misleading text. This friction prevents your customers from doing what they need to do to convert on your site.
But one thing that doesn’t get much attention is the customer friction points that appear when optimizing your offers.
Which isn’t a surprise.
Companies struggle with identifying and clearly stating their value propositions to customers. Even though 64% of businesses have value propositions, only a few resonate with prospective customers. For industrial companies, this number is even less.
However, those companies that get it right consistently draw a straight line between their products and customer satisfaction. And, as those needs changed, so did their value propositions and offers.
So let’s dig into the friction buyers face now and what you can learn from them to optimize your offers.
A friction-filled experience for manufacturing customers
Right now, giving customers a frictionless experience is a major concern for manufacturers—and rightfully so. B2B buyers report high levels of dissatisfaction throughout their customer journey.
There are many things cited as customer friction points.
Inaccurate or conflicting pricing information was high on the list of frustrations. These obstacles forced buyers to reach out to a sales representative to double-check what they saw online, wasting time and money.
The offers prospective customers see online or hear from sales teams aren’t matching up. This disjointed communication creates problems in the buying process that shouldn’t be there, affecting how well companies can provide a great customer experience.
And for many manufacturing marketers, measuring the performance of content and sales across multiple channels to avoid this conflict has become more challenging.
Here’s the bad news. You can’t force people to talk to your sales reps. But the good news is that if your messaging and offers are on point, they will build those customer relationships for you.
Manufacturers who want to reach the peak of digital maturity will have to focus on creating optimized offers. Listening to your buyers will give you the information needed to tailor your offer to where they are in their buying journey.
Customers will tell you about their wants
According to a 2022 Content Marketing Institute report, 44% of manufacturing marketers admitted to not giving customers a consistent experience. And it’s creating significant gaps in understanding how customers think about businesses and their products.
This knowledge gap makes it problematic to isolate where customer friction points are in your offers.
However, there’s a way to fill the hole. Ask your customers.
Voice of Customer (VoC) data gathers insights based on your buyer’s experiences, wants, and preferences. But it’s more than a research tool. VoC reveals precious insights that help you optimize everything from pricing solutions to value-added products.
And helps you meet customer expectations.
When you listen to what’s on your audience’s minds, they’ll reveal things like:
- They prefer buying products from third-party sites instead of yours because the ordering process is easier. Or;
- People purchase from your competitor because they offered to buy them out of their current contract. Or;
- When they looked at various products, they wanted to know if a dedicated account manager was on call should any issues occur with a high-dollar service or product they were considering buying.
Collecting this information puts you in a better position to reduce friction points, overcoming objections that cause customers to hesitate or abandon your products outright.
Optimize your sales offers to remove risk
Customers who see the immediate benefits they’ll get before purchase are more satisfied post-purchase. However, the more barriers between them and your offer, the harder it is to get a “yes.”
One of the most powerful ways to steamroll through these walls is by mitigating any risk associated with your offer.
And here’s how to do it.
Addressing changing costs
There’s another conversation going on in your customer’s heads that you know nothing about as they decide whether to buy. Giving potential customers the information they need to move past the whatabouts, maybes, and overall discomfort that comes with switching to a new brand helps them move past it—and feel more comfortable with the change.
Look for ways to optimize offers based on what you’ve learned about your audience.
Are they sensitive to price? A discount may be in order.
Did the research reveal that your customers complain about a piece of equipment being hard to use? You can include a 60-minute live, onsite demonstration.
Always focus on the value you can build into your offers that reflect what prospects told you they needed to get their business. Countering their objections within the offer enables you to deliver a frictionless customer experience.
Bundling items to improve the offer
If the VoC research about your target market shows how the lack of add-ons turns off buyers, your company can bundle complementary products into the offer. Researchers found that when businesses included add-ons with the initial product, people overcame their initial price sensitivity, which increased their willingness to buy.
So for your business, are there add-on services that would sweeten the deal for customers?
You can get ideas for this by looking at what you’re selling now. Break them out into a list of different pricing tiers based on price and the number of sales for each. From there, you can pair the higher-cost products with less expensive ones to create bundles that increase customer value.
Along with your revenue.
Take the guesswork out of your offer
Not leading with a straightforward message about your offer creates more work for prospective buyers. And they don’t have the patience to do it. Your copy should be crystal clear as to what customers can expect once they hit ‘buy.’
Let them know what they get.
Sometimes this means listing the features of the product itself. But a more compelling way to do it is to paint a picture of what buyers get for themselves, their team, and their business.
Do they save more time on a task? Then tell them how much. Can they streamline their internal processes? Explain exactly how.
Confusion and guesswork are some of the most significant friction points for buyers. But leading with specific, customer-centric messaging helps them envision a new path with your products.
Give customers what they want
The road is still bumpy for manufacturers to position their offers, so they’re friction-free and communicate value online. Part of buyers’ frustration stems from being inundated with irrelevant offers.
But you can overcome this by incorporating your value proposition within the offer. Doing this creates the relevancy customers want to see as they evaluate and, later, buy.
With more companies focused on improving customer experience throughout the buying journey, offer optimization will become even more crucial.