The B2B-B2C Companion: Consumer Experiences Sway Business Purchases

No-nonsense B2B marketers should wake up: their consumer counterparts may be outpacing them on some fronts, judging by What B2B Organizations Can Learn From Consumers’ Service Experiences, a study released Monday by Oracle Service and Ascend2. 

Of the individuals polled, 96% of those who interact with customer-service departments on the job say their experiences as a consumer influence what they expect.  

On the upside, 98% say a positive interaction results in a greater likelihood of purchase and continuing sales.  

On the downside, 53% stopped doing business after a negative encounter.

Purchasers at all levels are impressed by these factors: 

  • Speed of getting connected to an agent — 64%
  • Limited effort required to achieve resolution — 46% 
  • Hours of availability — 43%
  • Friendliness of agent — 40%
  • Speed of receiving on-site/in-person service — 25%
  • Tools for self-service — 24% 
  • Variety of communication methods — 22% 



Moreover, they say that these factors contribute most to a positive experience when they contact a business or government office:

  • Helpful customer service agents/technicians — 65% 
  • Having the ability to easily find information I need — 62%
  • Receiving proactive service to address potential issues that might impact me — 42%
  • Never having to contact customer service — 29% 
  • Knowing who I am when I contact for assistance — 21%
  • Personalized messaging and experiences from the business or office — 17%

But buyers are easily turned off by the following:

  • Having to repeat myself to multiple agents) — 56% 
  • Having to contact customer service multiple times — 52% 
  • Being unable to reach a live agent — 47% 
  • The customer service agent/technician is unable to solve my issue — 46%
  • Can’t find the information I’m looking for — 32%
  • The customer service experience was not customized to my needs — 17% 
  • Having to contact customer service — 15%

Moreover, people who have had a bad time with a business have: 

  • Told others about the experience — 62% 
  • Left a bad review/rating online — 40%
  • Described the incident on social media — 21%
  • Nothing (continued doing business with the organization) — 15%

Respondents noted these increases in use in the last two years: 

  • Webchat with live agent — 35%
  • Website — 33% 
  • Email — 31%
  • Mobile apps — 31%

Gen Z consumers are 3X more likely to engage with automated chatbots when researching a purchase than Baby Boomers. They also tend more to prefer text and social media. 

Older generations are twice as likely to prefer in-store or in-person interactions. 

In general, 61% prefer email as a means of contacting a business, and 36% in particular say this when making a purchase.  

In contrast, 33% like to contact businesses via their websites, jumping to 70% when planning to buy.  

Phone calls are in between — 64% prefer them for service calls, and 37% for purchasing. 

Ascend2 surveyed 5,053 consumers with an annual household income of $40,000 or more across the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Europe and Asia-Pacific regions in August 2022. 

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