Business Insights

Business Insights

Why B2B Customer Experience Is So Important

We should start by defining what we mean and why B2B Customer Experience is so important and should be at the centre of all we do. At its core the science of Customer Experience (often abbreviated to CX) management is the practice of first designing and then reacting to customer interactions for the purpose of meeting or ideally exceeding customer expectations. In this way we optimise customer satisfaction, their loyalty and ultimately increase advocacy.

In a world where the balance has flipped from brand to customer, a positive customer experience is vital for business success. Never before have customers had so much power brought about by the access to information that the web brings. With customers becoming increasingly savvy, they now have the ability choose between competing companies that offer varying levels of customer service.

With that in mind, here are the top six reasons why customer experience is so important to any business:

1. Increased customer satisfaction

A report by McKinsey in 2014 found that companies focused on maximising satisfaction, with regard to the end to end customer journey, have the potential to increase customer satisfaction by 20%. More recent reports have supported if not increased this figure as customer expectations raise.

Essentially, in order to improve customer satisfaction, focus should be on the whole, end to end, customer experience. The report suggests that it is no longer good enough to focus on individual interactions with customers. These must now be seen in a context or in broader terms.

One of the benefit of this approach is that in addition to being able to optimise the individual customer ‘moments’, the experience becomes more consistent across all interaction points and channels.

The goal then is to create a consistent customer experience across all touch points that meets or exceeds the expected standards. At each and every touch point, you’ll ensure that the promise of a positive experience is delivered and that the customer can experience a certain level of superior service: whether it is from sales, customer service, accounts or support.

2. Repeat custom

We have often heard that loyalty is dead. Research for BT suggested that 44% of customers think so. Scratch the surface and what you find is that loyalty has to be earned and can never be taken for granted!

As we’ve already said Customers believe there are plenty of available alternatives, given the competitive environment, and they perceive the switching costs to be too small to affect them.

Focusing on the customer experience can help alleviate these issues. When executed properly, customer experience will be a point of differentiation from competitors. Creating an experience that truly impresses customers and exceeds expectations ensures that they will want to continue doing business with you.

A superior customer experience becomes a unique and valued offering for the consumer, who recognises they may not have the same experience with a competitor and does not want to take that risk by switching.

Investing in increasing customer loyalty will still yield positive results. Genuine customer loyalty is built through great customer experiences that exceed expectations, not through bribery.

3. Increased advocacy and referrals

Customer advocacy is a key stage of inbound marketing. Referral customer delivered a s result, cost less to acquire and have a higher potential for retention and loyalty than a non-referral? In fact, research by Wharton School of Business found that a referred customer also has a 16% higher lifetime value.

So referees are often quicker to purchase and less complicated or demanding customers as they already understand and trust your business.

People love talking about when they have a great experience. Firstly, because it makes them feel good and secondly it re-enforces their own purchase decisions. So exceeding on the expectations you set for customer experience because the team went above and beyond average customer service in some way has the potential to pay dividends. That interaction created an experience customers will remember and continue to share for years to come.

By focusing on creating amazing customer experiences and embodying the desire for your team to go ”above and beyond,” you have the opportunity to create an enthusiastic advocate out of every customer.

There are some who have made a business out of referrals. Just look at Uber and Dropbox for examples where Viral Marketing, as it has come to be known, is at the core of the business model.

So exceed expectations and then make it easy (and possibly rewarding) for customers to their friends.

4. Reduced customer churn

Multiple reports have found that price is not actually the main reasons customers churn. Invariably it is actually due to customer experience expectations or promises not being met.

Focusing on the customer experience will help eliminate the areas in your business where poor service has been identified. When you develop your customer experience strategy, you will identify areas that do not meet the standards of other areas of your business.

Find ways to improve poor customer service in those areas and focus on bringing a more consistent approach to the overall experience you are delivering. Set high expectations and keep an eye out for any areas in the future that dip below these standards.

5. Competitive advantage over competitors

Forrester and others suggest that in the future “customer experience is your only source of sustainable competitive advantage.”

A competitive advantage is huge for all businesses operating in today’s environment. We all have a large number of competitors that offer very similar products and services. There is a risk that we are moving toward a world where every service-based industry will be a commodity.

The customer experience therefore offers the perfect platform for differentiation. Instead of a customer comparing and basing purchase decisions solely on price, they will also factor their experience. Business will find it increasing difficult to compete purely on price alone.

6. Increased sales and revenue

There is ample evidence that customers will buy more and spend more with businesses that provide them with a great customer experience. BT Research found that 82% of consumers were spending more with these companies, clearly indicating a continuing upward trend in importance over the years.

When it comes to measuring return on investment and seeing monetary results from investing in the customer experience, these statistics provide evidence of the value.

Customers are asking and expect better experience. They show you they care with their wallet sas well as their mouths. Customer Experience is no longer a fad, it’s the norm

There is already significant evidence that organisations that can execute the best customer experience, will yield the biggest rewards. Those who can leverage technology to engage customers and create experiences that impress and exceed expectations will be the ones who win new business and see their market share grow.

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