The internet has transformed how B2B buyers research and purchase products or services. With a few clicks, buyers can compare suppliers, read reviews, and make informed decisions, giving buyers unprecedented control in the buying process and tipping the balance of power from sellers to customers. Businesses that once controlled the market are now competing to earn their customers’ trust and spend.
In response to this shift, many companies are prioritizing customer empowerment. It’s a concept that may sound fuzzy and unattainable, but it can make a huge difference to customer satisfaction, loyalty, and your bottom line.
Fortunately, software solutions can do the bulk of the work for you when it comes to empowering customers. This is where CPQ comes in! This article explores the meaning of customer empowerment, why it’s more crucial now than ever, and why the CPQ customer experience is so empowering.
Epicor CPQ Brochure
The way that companies quote, sell, design and manufacture products has fundamentally changed.
Epicor CPQ is different too, and this brochure distinguishes it from other CPQ solutions.
Why Customer Empowerment Is Vital (Now More than Ever!)
In the past, suppliers could rule over their local dominion, leaving customers with few options and little choice. Today, however, customers can access nearly unlimited global suppliers through search engines and have products customized and delivered faster than ever.
As a result, B2B sellers must listen closely to their customers and respond accordingly. The customer is king once more, and it’s up to the seller to create a customer-centric approach that makes the customer feel like royalty. This concept is called customer empowerment.
Customer empowerment is all about giving buyers the tools and information they need to make well-informed purchases independently. This approach eliminates the need for them to seek assistance, creating a seamless and positive experience that fosters transparency, trust, and, ultimately, advocacy.
By leveraging CPQ, companies can empower their customers across the buyer’s journey, providing autonomy, flexibility, and responsiveness. Buyers can choose their sales channel, decide whether they want support, and customize products to their heart’s content.
4 Reasons You Should Strive for Customer Empowerment
Increased customer loyalty
Empowering customers and helping them achieve their goals builds trust. It fosters stronger long-term relationships and a level of dependency that leads to brand advocacy.
Improved customer satisfaction
Providing customers with the necessary information and tools to make confident and informed purchase decisions can significantly increase their satisfaction, retention, and overall value of your brand.
Empowering customers helps you stand out in crowded and fiercely competitive markets.
Increased market share
Customer empowerment results in increased revenue, profit, and growth.
How the CPQ Customer Experience Empower Customers
Before we zero in on customer empowerment, let’s quickly remind ourselves how basic CPQ and more advanced visual CPQ solutions work.
How Top CPQ Software Works
Configure price quote (CPQ) software automates the process of customizing product configurations, calculating prices, and generating quotes for customers. Doing so helps businesses save time and money, accelerate the sales cycle, and improve the accuracy of their pricing and quoting processes.
Visual CPQ software allows sales reps and end customers to configure products effortlessly through 3D, AR, or VR product images. It has a user-friendly interface with drag-and-drop functionality that makes the configuration experience a breeze for business users and buyers alike.
The best CPQ software seamlessly integrates with other systems, such as CRM, ERP, and CAD. Integrating with CRM allows the configuration experience to be personalized for each customer; integration with ERP ensures that the configurator is constantly updated with the latest pricing and inventory information; and CAD integration enables the auto-generation of CAD files, a huge time-saver for engineering teams.
6 Ways CPQ Software Empowers Customers
Customer empowerment enables customers with the tools, resources, and support they need to make informed decisions and take control of the buyer’s journey. It puts customers in the driver’s seat, making them feel more confident and satisfied.
Here are six ways the CPQ customer experience can make a significant difference in helping customers feel empowered:
1. Freedom of product choice
CPQ simplifies the configuration process, empowering customers to configure products according to their precise needs without a sales rep’s help.
Sellers can offer an extensive array of options in stunningly realistic 3D, granting customers a clear and complete view of their choices. An intuitive drag-and-drop interface makes the process seamless and hassle-free.
2. Geographic independence
By embedding their visual product configurator into their website, sellers can offer customers the convenience of configuring products anytime, anywhere, using any device. This flexibility eliminates the need for customers to travel to showrooms or attend unnecessary face-to-face meetings and spares them from tedious Zoom calls.
3. Omnichannel versatility
By providing your visual product configurator to salespeople, distributors, retailers, and other channel partners, you can empower customers to engage with your brand through their channels of choice.
4. Independent Learning and CPQ Resources
A visual product configurator empowers potential customers to discover your products and brand at their own pace (without a sales rep looking over their shoulder.) They can immerse themselves in a realistic environment, experiment with various options, and instantly receive pricing feedback–all from the comfort of their home or office.
5. Personalized Customer Experiences
By integrating CPQ and CRM, sellers can offer a personalized buying experience that simplifies the often overwhelming maze of products and options. They can support customers by providing access to their purchase history, negotiated price lists, and personalized recommendations that help customers make decisions (while driving upsells and cross-sells.)
6. Exceptional customer support
Many customers prefer to self-serve, but when they reach out to sales or customer support, they expect a flawless interaction. Visual CPQ provides salespeople and customer support staff with a deep understanding of products, including how they can be assembled and how they work. This knowledge makes them trusted advisors to buyers.
Meanwhile, on CPQ’s back end, sales and support staff can view how individual customers have interacted with the configurator, which products they are interested in, and when they might have needed assistance during the configuration process. This insight enables sales and support staff to be responsive and provide frictionless, personalized assistance.
Getting a CPQ Demo? Look for Signs of Customer Empowerment
The digital age has shifted the power in the buying process from sellers to customers. As a result, many companies are prioritizing customer empowerment, which is all about giving buyers the tools and information they need to make well-informed, seamless, independent purchases.
CPQ software is a powerful tool that can help companies empower their customers throughout the buyer’s journey, providing autonomy, flexibility, and responsiveness. By leveraging CPQ, companies can deliver personalized customer experiences and exceptional customer service, increasing their market share, customer satisfaction, and loyalty.