By Tish Whitcraft, Chief Customer Officer, OpenX
Excellent customer service is no longer just associated with B2C business models. Business clients are increasingly comparing their professional customer service interactions with their personal consumer experiences and expectations and want a similar experience. One industry that illustrates the issues and opportunities for B2B client experiences is programmatic advertising.
Thanks to the ever-increasing sophistication and accuracy of programmatic technology, online ads can reach individual viewers with unprecedented relevancy and context. As a result, the process by which ads are bought and sold online has been hugely transformed creating an industry that depends on the technological prowess of a few platforms to power billions of precisely delivered ads daily.
Because programmatic technology is less than a decade old, there is a wide range of technological capabilities among digital publishers and advertisers and an inconsistency around optimal ad exchange integrations. The confusion has created an opportunity for sophisticated programmatic technology partners to build consumer grade experiences for publishers and advertisers alike—especially considering that programmatic technology is a $27.5 billion industry.
As more people consume content across a variety of devices, there has never been a greater need for programmatic solution providers to define and deliver an exceptional, consumer grade experience so that their clients can do the same.
Implementation is only the beginning
A great customer experience (CX) does not end when the deal is signed. Strong CX begins with understanding the client’s business needs, framework, and objectives to set achievable expectations and ensure the product is a perfect match. Speed is paramount in the ad tech industry, which means every detail of an implementation must be meticulously planned and project managed.
This includes technical sales consultation and project management from experienced teams to mitigate any potential issues and ensure a streamlined process. Launch teams on site are a vital part of building confidence and trust with the client. Not only does on-site expertise help clients master new technology faster, but it also ensures implementation plans are carried out flawlessly.
Solutions must scale along with business operations
Business clients are consumers too. They know many online consumer services to be intuitive and elegant and expect the same of B2B solutions. Technology providers must build a framework that is simple and consistent— an enterprise grade infrastructure that reflects the same level of reliability and experience as a consumer site.
Skilled technical support teams should be present at every touch point, keeping quality standards high and disruption levels low, regardless of the size of the business. Establishing a system of regular real-time feedback, enables access to ongoing valuable insights allowing platform providers to constantly improve their operations and service.
Convenience and choice are paramount in an always-on environment
Customer communication must be as flexible, tailored, and convenient as the technology itself. In the digital space, clients often require answers 24/7, particularly when you’re managing their revenue. Online platforms should enable clients to find instant answers to questions when it is convenient for them, provide feedback that fuels product development and interact with other customers to share best practices.
And when clients require more in-depth support, such as strategy advice or advanced product insight, tech suppliers need to offer one-on-one support. A system can never replace personal services.
The next generation of support
In the age of immediate access to information, consumers often turn to social channels when looking for customer support. For a niche market like programmatic advertising, one useful and crucial differentiator for platform providers is to create an equally familiar and low friction experience for our clients. The best dedicated, curated B2B communities are 24/7 online hubs that provide people in ad-tech with the opportunity to troubleshoot issues, collaborate with each other and interact with their platform more fluidly than ever before.
Online B2B communities are ecosystems that provide an extensive knowledge base with subject matter experts equipped to understand and solve user issues around the clock. Superior online B2B resources today go far beyond generating generic and/or prescriptive answers; active participation in those communities perpetuates ideation, drives collaboration and fosters deeper technology education and the result is empowered end-users.
As more technology-first companies enter the B2B landscape it’s increasingly important to offer a consumer-grade customer experience: an intuitive UI, updated and relevant content, and access to live support. By providing flexibility, convenience, a community resource and robust account management for publishers and advertisers, platform providers remain competitive as well as valued as a trusted advisor and partner.
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