There is substantial evidence that a positive customer experience is associated with business growth.
According to the survey, most customers spend more because of a positive customer experience, and more than half of customers who recommend a brand do so because of the customer experience (compared to other factors such as price or product).
However, many companies do not offer an excellent customer experience.
However, a poor customer experience leads to branding, usually a major reason for the loss of three-quarters of customers. And most customers who experience a negative customer experience spread negative word of mouth.
A recent survey* conducted by B2B International found that only 14% of leading B2B organizations are truly customer-centric, meaning the customer experience is rooted in the fabric of the business.
The first step to excellence in customer experience is to satisfy customers and make them feel valued. Without this enterprise-wide commitment, it is much more difficult to succeed on the remaining pillars of customer experience excellence.
Only about half of B2B companies are committed and this again underlines the opportunity for B2B companies to differentiate themselves through customer focus.
Many B2B companies are guilty of selling products and services they want to sell, rather than what the customer really wants and likes. It’s no coincidence that the next pillar of customer experience excellence revolves around understanding and needing customers.
Worryingly, only 38% of B2B companies are meeting this important requirement well, indicating that B2B companies need to better tailor their offerings to customer needs and desires.
A company can provide valuable products and services, but how does the customer see the entire process, from registering the need to receiving the final delivery?
For hundreds of B2B brands, the ease of doing business with the supplier is a major factor in overall satisfaction and loyalty. Whether you’re a manufacturing company, retailer, or financial services company, integration is essential to a successful customer experience.
Perfection is therefore one of the top six pillars of excellence in customer experience, but only 4 out of 10 B2B companies perform well in this area.
The core of customer service is to make them feel like they are the most important customer they need to serve and to respond really well to show customers that they are valued.
Responsiveness is a fundamental pillar of customer experience excellence that encompasses points of the entire customer journey such as communication, delivery, and problem-solving.
Failure to meet this important requirement can increase customer variance. That’s why it’s worrying that only 39% of B2B companies are responding well.
The more sophisticated customer-facing companies are those that are proactive in providing a better customer experience. These companies respond to the needs and want of the customers and strive to solve problems before the customer experiences pain. To do this, the supplier must put himself in the customer’s shoes to take into account the customer’s needs and any weaknesses and to be fully prepared. Only a quarter of B2B companies recognize that they perform well in professional activities.
The last pillar, evolution, describes the fully customer-centric company which, he acknowledges, must always improve the customer experience as customer needs, attitudes and behaviors change over time.
Only 27% of B2B companies claim to have good results in this continuous improvement process; almost three-quarters of B2B companies, therefore, recognize their weakness in not constantly focusing on the customer experience.
Interestingly, knowledge-based companies (such as IT, financial and professional services, healthcare, and education) are more likely to rate customer experience performance than commercial and service companies (such as wholesale, telecommunications, and public services) and manufacturing and construction companies.
Knowledge-based companies attract more customerstomer interaction and so there is arguably more opportunity to build strong customer relationships, which is essential in driving customer experience excellence in B2B markets.