How Are B2B Customers Different from Their B2C Counterparts?

Four Key Characteristics That Differentiate B2B Customers from Their B2C Peers

How Are B2B Customers Different from Their B2C Counterparts?

Businesses are as unique as people are diverse. Because all businesses are distinct, each one meets the different needs of specific customer bases. Therefore, businesses serve an array of clientele. For example, B2B businesses (business-to-business) serve other businesses, and those businesses being served are the actual customers (although they are entities comprised of multiple individuals). B2C businesses (business-to-consumer) deal directly with consumers and their customer bases are more expansive. It’s important to know who your customer base is in order to market to them and serve them effectively.

Four distinct ways that B2B customers are different from their B2C counterparts are:

  1. With B2B, relationships with customers are more personalized and interactive.
  2. With B2B, you may have fewer customers, but they are larger in size because they are comprised of whole organizations and businesses.
  3. Impact on revenue by a single B2B customer is more than that of a B2C customer.
  4. B2B companies will need to purchase and integrate more customer-centric technology into their organization than their B2C counterparts.

B2B Business/Customer Relationships are More Personalized

The relationships between B2B businesses and their customers are more personalized and interactive than their B2C counterparts because B2B models will typically have fewer customers than B2C businesses.

Since B2C deals directly with so many consumers, they are not able to establish a rapport with each one the way a B2B connects to the businesses they serve. According to one article in HubSpot, “With increased competition, B2B companies run the risk of simply becoming commodities. The best way to fight against this is to add value with personalized service.”  A B2B business can spend a long time establishing a working relationship with its client.

B2B Customers are Fewer, but Larger because They are Comprised of Whole Businesses

As a result of the business model serving whole businesses instead of individual consumers, each B2B client is comprised of multiple stakeholders. This means that there is more than one individual in the organization who might be associated with the product or service offering. The same product might result in creating different challenges for these stakeholders, causing multiple levels of intervention and duplication of effort from customer support. To avoid this the customer service provided needs to be more proactive in nature. B2B clients require a more complex and extensive range of customer support than B2C customers.

The Impact on Revenue by a Single B2B Customer is More Than that of a B2C Customer

With both the B2B and B2C business models, the end goal is always to close a sale. That being said, the impact of the customer service experience with each type of business will be different. The products in B2B are mostly complex and are of high value. Thus each B2B customer represents more revenue than a B2C customer.

An article published on phrases it this way: “In a B2C scenario if one customer gets upset and returns your product, the company may be out a few hundred dollars. In a B2B environment, the deal sizes are often in the 10s of thousands of dollars and even into the multi millions. Clearly, if a customer support incident goes wrong in a B2B environment, it could have a very serious impact on revenue.”

B2B Businesses Incorporate More Customer-Centric Technology

While both B2B and B2C companies need technology to run smoothly, B2B businesses incorporate more customer-centric technology than their B2C counterparts.  B2Bs need technology that is specifically tailored to meet the customer service and support needs of the businesses they serve. For example, a good CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system allows B2B businesses to effectively provide their clients with excellent customer care while being able to communicate with other team members so everyone is on the same page.

Who Are Your Customers?

What kind of business model do you employ? Who is your target customer base? Do you serve individuals or whole organizations/businesses? Determining your business model is crucial to the success of your marketing strategy, and ultimately, your business. To recap, four key ways that B2B customers are different from their B2C counterparts are:

  • Customer interactions are more personal and dynamic
  • They have fewer, but larger clients
  • Impact on revenue by a B2B customer is often higher than that of a B2C customer
  • They integrate complex, customer-centric technology that meets the multi-faceted customer service needs of their clients

Whether you are a B2B or B2C business owner, if you’re finding it difficult to drill down on exactly who your customer base is and what their corresponding needs are, consider seeking the help of a business consultancy. Aepiphanni Business Consulting is comprised of experienced business-minded individuals committed to helping struggling businesses succeed. You can reach out to us at any time for an initial consultation.


About Aepiphanni

Aepiphanni is a business consultancy that works with values-driven entrepreneurs seeking to organize, optimize or expand their business models. Your company’s excellence is our end goal, and we achieve this through our vision and messaging and the implementation of proven, holistic business strategies, thereby enhancing your business’s performance so you can win. Our entrepreneurial, multidisciplinary team works with clients to develop differentiating solutions and provide direction focused on lasting, strategic results. We exist to help our clients CREATE | DESIGN | BUILD extraordinary businesses.

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