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How to better ROI for B2B Companies?

How to better ROI for B2B Companies?

CEO & CPO of a B2B companies are customers of B2C companies at a personal level. They deal with banking, insurance, healthcare and retail companies known as B2C companies. Customer Experience (CX) they are exposed to while dealing with these companies influence their thinking. While dealing with their suppliers they would want to have better customer experience and if they think bilaterally they know their customers also would need better customer experience.

A research by Avande suggests;

Customer experience now tops price as the most important factor in a buying decision by an enterprise decision-maker. Notably, business buyers are willing to pay up to 30 percent more for a product or service that offers an improved customer experience. 

Most readers won’t believe this, as experience of fighting in red ocean blocks our capacity to think beyond competing on price. Retail world examples of CCD, Starbucks and Burger King are proving this right.

CPO while shortlisting their suppliers would shortlist companies offering better customer experience. Price negotiation comes later. First, we need to know whom to deal with then we ask for the price. As a customer, anyone would like to deal with decent and organised companies. Lower pricing does not justify influencing buying decisions. When a company wants a reference from other customers, better-experienced customers will give better reference and not so experienced customers won’t. No need of any research here.

Better customer experience means hassle-free, organised, easy to deal with, less complicated, concerned about customer discomforts and convenience.

However, in spite of this advantage, and companies are accepting the new realities, as per the Accenture report;

B2B Companies Spending More to Improve their Customers’ Experience But Large Majority are Likely Wasting Up to Half of Their Investments.

This report divides companies

in three categories based on their CX efforts:

Masters: Prioritise CX and excels in defining and executing CX. Generate 13% growth. Only 24% of the companies surveyed qualified here.

Strivers: Moderate level of CX activities. Generate 6% growth. 48% companies fall in this category.

Laggards: 28% of companies generate negative growth with their gap in CX strategies and execution capabilities.

This survey was of companies which have stated CX as their priority from 20 industries in 13 countries. This survey also suggested proximity to P & L is one of the predictors of CX performance.

One of the key take always of Forrester report, how B2B companies make the case for customer experience, is;

The need for CX leaders to systematically approach how they manage, collect, and analyze CX data to model customer experience and financial outcomes. B2B CX leaders must integrate data from a broad range of sources, rigorously test and evaluate, and identify the right mix of CX measures for each channel, product, region or business unit. 

As per Clear Action’s 4th Annual Business-to-Business Customer Experience Management Best Practices Study – 2013, companies are achieving the following benefits with better CX;

  • Revenue increase
  • Better growth
  • Better NPS
  • Better profit
  • Higher customer budget
  • Better service recovery

Bottom-line is CX is equally applicable to all companies and business enterprises. The moot question is HOW and what it takes:

First and foremost have executive ownership. Without top man and company culture attuned to defining and execution of better CX it will fail & frustrate people. This is the biggest barrier in bettering CX.

Have matrix with a linkage to better CX. Learn from the data what is working and what is not, create pilot to learn and get employees buy into, have CX centered process audit, have a customer feedback system in place. Knowing customer’s omnichannel journey can give lots of insight.

  • Executive Buy-in
  • Walk the present journey maps
  • Learn from journeys and define CX strategy & statement
  • Realign Journeys – people, process, expectations, communication ++ gaps
  • Regular Customer Feedback
  • Matrix, Monitor, relearn and realign

It is an ongoing process. Continuous improvement, segment wise journeys, real-time feedback.

Here comes Digital Media or Social Media. Yes, CX in times of social media does not only give competitive advantage but also it has become now critical for every business entity.

Social media is a medium which can offer live real-time customer feedback, companies can use social platforms to solve customer issues, help them when in need, create all relevant content to become known for their expertise. Social platforms and activities on these platforms can be a huge CX booster.

Social media for B2B companies is a tool for real-time online marketing. But the danger is, unless CX part is first taken care Social platforms can’t be used effectively for online real-time marketing. Therefore, even for digital, online and real-time marketing CX betterment is a must.

B2B Companies can’t escape better CX efforts under the pretext of B2C arguments. Today, every business is B2C as far as CX is concerned.

When acquiring a new customer is 6 to 7 times costlier than to retain a one there is no need or convincing require for emphasis on better CX.

  • Quick Turnaround
  • Better retention
  • Real time customer service
  • More referrals
  • Social branding
  • Charged up employees

Better ROI is an obvious outcome of better CX. What Mr. Olivier Mourrieras, VP, Customer Experience Center of Competence at Eon says is worth noticing:

Hard and soft benefits of better CX:

Hard:

  • Churn reduction
  • Cost to serve decrease
  • Increase in referrals
  • Quantifiable impact of the above on ROI

Soft:

  • Common language and converging culture
  • Greater staff engagement
  • Vehicle for internal and external communication for better culture
  • Sharing of best practices

The economy is not bad but changing. Better CX offering companies are taking the market share of CX indifferent companies. It is not only a matter of better ROI but also of long term survival.

Sunil Gandhi
Sunil Gandhi

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