Adopting B2B UX best practices will help your company deliver an exceptional experience for all users. You will forge strong business relationships that will support profitable growth. B2B UX research should be a part of your product launch checklist to ensure smooth transactions. Pinterest and others have revolutionized their B2B UX research approaches with best practices such as custom recruiting.
B2B user experiences differ from B2C user experiences in depth, length and scope
B2B UX research best practices are grounded on an understanding of the differences between a B2B user experience and a B2C user experience. These differences affect every aspect of the UX research process.
- B2B users have concrete business goals and expectations for interactions with your company. Early in their interactions, they may seek information from one of your landing pages. After a purchase in a mature relationship, they may expect customer service and consultative support that is ongoing.
- Sales cycles, particularly for high-ticket items, can take many months. B2B relationships can last for years. Your products and services may become deeply integrated into their businesses and processes. It all adds up to a long timeline.
- More people are involved in B2B decision-making; thus, the UX has to flex to articulate value to varied audiences. The most important is the hands-on user who will directly interact with the product. Their user experience tends to be primarily a product experience that addresses their specific pain points and needs. The user experience of a purchasing agent or contracting officer may center more around the buying experience and ongoing financial interactions. To them, the product experience is more about the value it provides than its particular features and functions. Thinking about a user experience broadly helps you rise above the head-to-head competition on products to a more comprehensive and differentiated multi-level brand experience as the user experience.
Focus on the UX metrics that matter
The ideal B2B UX is smooth, seamless, consistent, and flawlessly meets user expectations and needs every time. That’s a tall order, and it requires an in-depth understanding of your users, as our CEO Sascha Eder shared in a new product framework webinar hosted by Greenbook. To achieve this level of understanding, you will want to research details such as:
- UX pain points
- Evolving expectations
- Unmet needs
- Competitive experiences
- Interactions, perceptions, and habits
You should already have built out buyer personas describing who your potential customer or customers are. By understanding the specific needs, pain points, and goals of these buyer personas, you can tailor your user experience to better meet the needs of your target audience.
Successful companies include these 5 elements in their UX design research process
1. Talk to the right people.
You need to get to the right specialists in your industry and role; one who has the direct experience and specialized knowledge necessary to provide useful insights.
2. Involve the team.
Rather than a project of a market research department, everyone involved with delivering the UX web design and customer experience has a role in developing questions, diving into the findings, sharing in the analysis and participating in discussing implications.
3. Generate actionable insights.
Findings are more than interesting bits and pieces of data. Pinterest found that trustworthy research informs decisions and drives investments of resources. Are you noticing drops in your customer health score metrics? It could be your UX design and usability.
4. Move with speed.
Cumbersome research projects that take months to complete simply are not fast enough to keep pace with the speed of business today. Information that comes too late is just as bad as wrong information. Timely research is vital for seizing the moment in the market.
5. Provide ongoing tracking.
The world of business is not static. Market research cannot provide a snapshot into a single moment on the calendar. As part of your product launch strategy, companies need to track results and trends over time.
New trends in B2B UX/UI research
UX research is evolving to make better use of technology and allows for increased collaboration and understanding of the B2B customer journey. Trends B2B businesses should watch include:
- Using AI in recruiting to find the needle in the knowledge haystack. Approaches like the NewtonX Graph use AI to custom recruit from the world’s largest addressable audience of professionals to precisely match the niche expertise needed in any industry, role, function, or location.
- Mixed method research, like the NewtonX Q3 approach that integrates quantitative and qualitative methodologies, can deliver statistically valid, yet nuanced insights. Microsoft used a qual-quant-qual approach for competitive intelligence ahead of the successful launch of Azure Cloud Services.
- Deploying tracking. One-off questionnaires cannot provide the longitudinal depth and context that your B2B company needs. Recruiting engaged communities provides you with ongoing feedback, allows for in-depth conversations, and creates the opportunity for hands-on problem-solving and what-iffing sessions.
Recruiting UX research participants
Custom recruiting and custom product research has become a cornerstone of UX research best practices. Everything hinges on your ability to find and connect to specific people with the background and experiences to give you the insights you need. And it will take more than a $25 Amazon gift card to get them to engage, and fairly compensate them for extended and in-depth consultations. Getting to scale and talking to enough niche experts to be confident you are getting an accurate read only adds to the challenge.
NewtonX goes to every corner of the world to connect you with the right sources, always finding 100% verified professionals to capture real expertise that gives your thinking a flawless foundation. Our proprietary AI search is constantly learning – the more custom searches we make, the better it gets at finding the most relevant professionals. The result is 100% fraud-free samples, guaranteed for decision-quality data.
Improving the UX research process
Will your UX support a growing and profitable brand for the long term? Knowing how to achieve that, ultimately, is the goal of all UX research best practices. Best practices are evolving, so it is key to work with a research partner that is innovating new methodologies like custom recruiting, hybrid approaches, and near real-time tracking. Work with research partners who can support you end-to-end with professional services and business consulting that turns insight analysis into practical recommendations for taking action.
NewtonX leads the way in building UX best practices that transform what is possible with B2B market research. You can depend on us for trustworthy and timely answers to your critical product & UX questions. It’s why we provide B2B market research services to leading brands like Microsoft, Figma, Pinterest, Fortune, McKinsey, and Salesforce/Tableau. We provide the data you need to make confident product decisions, deliver better business impact, and ensure research has a voice at the executive leadership table.