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May 2022
6 Min read
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B2B customer experience

Artem Fomin

International Sales Manager a.fomin@4service-group.com +4314120126

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It’s a common myth that customer service and discovering customer experience are only for B2C companies.

B2B clients are much more demanding, require a professional approach and, as a rule, they do not forgive any mistakes.

You might be dealing with the needs of multiple stakeholders across different areas of the business. Their expectations are higher.

But. 

According to research by B2B International (find out the chart), only 14% of large b2b companies are truly customer-centric: That is to say, where the customer experience is deeply ingrained in the company culture. This indicates that b2b organizations have significant work to do to become more customer-focused, but it also highlights an opportunity for b2b firms to differentiate their brands and improve profitability by delivering a superior customer experience.

More positively, 31% of b2b firms are engaged with customer centricity in that the customer experience is a core component of their organization’s strategy. This suggests that almost a third of b2b brands have a structured vision for the execution of a strong customer experience, although it is not yet ingrained in the company culture.

So how can b2b brands improve the customer experience?

B2B customers should be treated as individuals with specific needs and desires. Delivering personalized services to B2B clients adds value for both the client and you. Customers need to recognize that they are valued and their requirements understood. Getting to know B2B client organizations better enables you to tailor offers. Also, their preferences for when and in what format to receive relevant information.

Customer experience starts with employee experience. When employees are engaged and empowered, they naturally want to provide better service for customers and go above and beyond to build great experiences. Companies that prioritize employee experience have strong cultures and established feedback loops to continually listen to employees and apply their suggestions. The goal of employee experience is to provide tools for employees to work in the best way possible. Many companies have shifted to remote work in recent months, a trend that could continue long term as employees and companies realize the benefits and cost-savings of a remote workforce.

The first step in customer experience excellence is to be committed to satisfying – and where feasible, delighting – customers. Employees have to share a common goal of customer centricity for 100% commitment to the customer experience across the organization. Cintas, the facilities management company, refers to its employees as “Partners” as a means of engaging their cooperation towards the shared purpose. Southwest Airlines takes this a step further by capitalizing all those who engage with its brand in some way. Southwest’s purpose includes “Connecting People” and its mission includes “dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service”.

Companies committed to customer experience excellence should be passionate about their customers to the point that customers recognize the brand’s efforts in going the extra mile. These extras drive differentiation yet are usually small actions and have a low cost to implement. The founder of the Ritz-Carlton hotel said recession isn’t an excuse to eliminate distinguishing features such as bouquets of fresh flowers, as this would bleach the customer experience clean of what makes the hotel distinct. Ritz-Carlton guests are not after a bed and four walls for the night; they are seeking an exceptional experience where every touchpoint with the brand makes the customer feel special.

The more sophisticated companies boast customer experience-dedicated teams. These typically comprise a head of customer experience who is supported by someone in a research role (to collect and analyze the voice of the customer), someone in a process implementation role (to ensure the customer experience is ingrained across all processes), and someone in a culture role (typically part of the HR function). The most successful companies are those with cross-functional teams, i.e. various integrated functions across the organization focused not only on improving the customer experience but on reinventing it. McKinsey claims that less than 30% of companies have a highly collaborative culture, indicating that most have work to do in achieving a shared commitment to customer centricity.

According to the Service Profit chain, customer service improvements are linked to employee satisfaction. The more successful companies at delivering an excellent customer experience are those who also understand what satisfies and motivates employees. And they are companies that typically reward employees for exceptional contributions to customer experiences.

sources

b2binternational.com

forbes.com

customerthermometer.com

 

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