B2B Customer Experience – Here’s Why You Need To Reinvent
I’ve heard, “Your network is your net worth” many times, and it rings true in many different scenarios. But what does that mean from a B2B perspective?
Companies may differ on what exact strategies help them achieve their business objectives, but one common factor that lies at the core of these strategies is providing an exceptional experience for every single customer. Your customer is always at the heart of your business.
Broadly put, an ideal buying journey for a B2B customer could be classified into the following stages:
But the real question is, “Will contextual communication with B2B prospects and customers to understand their experience generate enough ROI?”
According to Temkin Group, 33% of businesses do not focus on customer experience management and do not view CX as their core part of the value proposition.
Here’s why you need a comprehensive CX programme for your B2B business:
CEM solutions are synonymous to active communications these days. What most B2B companies fail to observe is that Measuring CX is only a part of the CEM solution. The average customer base for B2B companies is much smaller than B2C companies and hence a “no value” proposition is placed on the implementation of CEM solutions.
The comprehensiveness of a CEM solution also covers the Action Management capability where you can close the loop on customer feedback and reduce customer churn rate.
“Don’t just Measure experience, Act & Improve”
Say for example you are a software company that provides Procurement automation solutions. Your clients can raise bugs in real-time, request ad-hoc refreshes and suggest conditional reporting which can then be assigned to the product development, client success and R&D teams internally to ensure your customers are heard throughout the organization.
An average sales cycle for a B2B company can range anything from three months to a year. Based on your licencing and contractual clauses it could take at least a year for you to regain your lost market-share. Hence, it becomes crucial to ensure customer retention. For any B2B customer to re-evaluate vendors, post-purchase support is a critical parameter. Hence, an agile Action Management solution can help your business run profitably in the long run by ensuring you act upon the issues highlighted by your customers.
Learning from your clients to drive product enhancements every once a while is a valuable feedback. It is customers like these that push you out of your comfort zone to innovate and think out of the box. This is where your competitive advantage lies.
Having a platform that captures these requests and challenges can open new doors to business excellence.
Only 3% of B2B companies valued customer experience as an integral part of the company culture. – Temkin Group
It’s time to invest in building key capabilities for collecting and acting on feedback
Here are 3 areas where you can do better on your current B2B CX initiative and make it part of your company culture
- Connect with more customers at more key moments
Most B2B companies only collect feedback once a year to assess account health. This hardly ever coincides with the key make-or-break moments. You need to capture feedback extensively across channels of engagement for your existing as well as prospective customers. One mistake and you could lose millions!
Once a year surveys do not have the power to capture emotions of a business relationship. It is important to have a continuous approach of taking feedback from every stakeholder involved in the decision-making process.
- Build processes for effective action management
Your CEM solution can be actively managed through an action management platform for your account managers to assess challenges and route them internally through the right channels.
Through an account-level experience reporting, teams can drive the following
- Insightful business development that will help leverage the relevant insight to approach sales opportunities. This can also help support business generation efforts by identifying the new customers that can be referenced
- Synchronize the CX and account planning effort by aligning the customer feedback across internal functions
- Proactive account interventions can be done by specialists to handle detractors and at-risk customers
The best part about this portal is that your customers know that their queries will not get lost in emails and that there is someone on the other end ready to help. In fact, the visibility of this portal should be shared across the organization to spread awareness on the number of efforts being put by the respective teams to create customer delight!
- Invest in core capabilities to collect and act on feedback
For most services organizations, the power users may be limited but the number of business users is huge. For them to get answers, they will either route their queries through the power users to you and back, or they would go on your website, fill in the contact us form and ask you questions which will then be routed from the marketing team to the concerned account manager and so on. This often takes a lot of time and results in increased cost for your customer. After all, time is money! An agile listening platform on your product itself will connect the business users to the concerned account managers and result in faster closure to issues thereby, reducing the cost to your customers.
Post-purchase support is the biggest and the most excruciating reason why B2B clients switch vendors. Surprisingly, this also happens to be in the middle of the priority list for B2B vendors.
So coming back to the original question – Is CEM really for B2B? The answer is YES! The fitment, however, depends on the importance you place on delighting your customers, every day!
LitmusWorld can help you bridge the gap by bringing you a lot closer to your clients. After all, Your success is our success! Connect with one of our client partners today for a deeper understanding of LitmusWorld.