We are all consumers, so it is not surprising that B2B customers expect the same high levels of service that they experience as B2C customers. As a result, Customer Experience (CX) has grown in importance and is now a vital source of competitive advantage when done well.
The benefits of an effective CX program in B2B are vast; they include improved efficiency and effectiveness across essential functions (sales, marketing, service, and product).
CX can also drive business growth through increased acquisition, conversion, and retention. More B2B organisations recognise that their future success rests on delivering an excellent customer experience. However, often B2B CX programs don’t measure up to their potential.
Many B2B organisations use Net Promoter Score (NPS) as part of their insights gathering. NPS is an excellent way to gauge on-going customer sentiment, loyalty and advocacy. However, to make feedback actionable, organisations must dig deeper and combine it with contextual data including what a customer purchased, how much and who manages the relationship.
A Voice of the Customer (VoC) program can ensure B2B organisations understand individual customers better. Developing a valuable customer insight program for your business underpins the delivery of a great customer experience. The deeper and more informed your customer insights, the more relevant your conversations, the stronger your relationships and the smarter your business decisions.
Besides growing the top-line, a B2B VoC program has key benefits, including:
1. Accelerating a Customer-Centric Culture (not just Sales Focus)
For B2B businesses, becoming customer-centric is often challenging because of a default sales-oriented heritage. Most B2B businesses have disproportionally invested in sales to drive all top-line growth.
Often CX is viewed as the sole domain of marketing or a ‘nice to have’ and disconnected with revenue growth strategy. However, CX can be a powerful driver of revenue growth and complement sales investments in acquisition, especially with the organisation looking to move to a customer-centric culture. The culture within the silos of a B2B organisation and employees’ day-to-day experiences considerably influences the kind of experience delivered to the customer.
Voice of the Customer can ensure B2B organisations understand individual customers better. It can help drive customer empathy at all levels of the organisation as those in the back offices become exposed to customer verbatim. Furthermore, a B2B organisation can better understand potential customer segments within their portfolio by understanding customer feedback for delivered products and services.
The key is to educate and communicate with your people to move the organisation in a customer-centric direction. Hire for customer orientation, democratise customer insights and link employee metrics and culture to customer outcomes.
2. Growing share of wallet by connecting with dormant clients
Closing the feedback loop means that your organisation has a process in place for circling back with customers who provide feedback (positive or negative!). It is crucial to have a systematic approach for closing the feedback loop to transform insights into action.
A Gartner study pointed out, 95% of companies collect feedback, but just 10% use the feedback to improve, and only 5% tell customers what they are doing in response to what they have heard. Responding to customer feedback makes the customer feel heard and validated. It also allows internal teams to take ownership of the customer sentiment, not just a siloed product or service.
Closing the loop also has the added benefit of driving customer retention and a greater lifetime value. When people feel heard, they feel appreciated, driving loyalty, advocacy and greater revenue.
3. Providing More Accurate Segmentation
Many factors contribute to providing a competitive and high-quality customer experience, including:
- Knowing your customers and;
- Understanding how to reach your customers.
This is where customer segmentation comes in. Different customer types have differing needs, priorities, and value perceptions.
As we all know, not all customers are created equal.
Consequently, customer segmentation creates customer groups that share similar characteristics and needs. With the right segmentation strategy in place, you understand:
- Your target groups better;
- Cater to your target groups’ specific requirements in an effective manner and;
- Identify unmet customer needs.
B2B customers can be challenging to please and getting to know their needs and priorities can be complex. However, when done correctly, B2B customer experience can give you a definitive competitive advantage, improve retention and build your internal customer-focused culture. All organisations should recognise that their future success rests on delivering excellent B2B customer experiences.
With Resonate, you can start by listening to your customers, immediately followed by acting on their feedback. These insights have helped our B2B customers systematically improve customer experience.
To understand more about creating a winning CX program for B2B, contact Resonate to request a demo.