The relevance of Customer Experience (CX) in B2B


Competitive advantage of companies that have recently invested in digital

In today’s business environment, companies are adapting their customer strategies to stay competitive. The evolution of digital transformation has triggered companies to change. This change can be defined by a higher receptiveness to adopt new technologies, methodologies, and approaches. Businesses are placing greater emphasis on improving the B2B customer experience (CX) to meet their customers’ increasing expectations.

Recent trends show that B2B customers now expect seamless, personalized interactions like those found in B2C settings, contrasting to the former belief of the B2B Industry. Companies that have proactively invested in digital technologies are now in a better position to provide exceptional CX, giving them a competitive advantage. The competitive advantage can translate to higher conversion rates, brand differentiation/notoriety, and very importantly, data-driven insights.

As technology continues to advance, the bar for customer experience has been raised significantly. The concept of exceeding expectations needs to be grasped by all players of the market, if not it can result in a negative unsustainable outcome for the company. Modern B2B clients not only expect but demand efficient and personalized services across all touchpoints of their buying journey. Companies that understand and anticipate these needs are benefiting, offering solutions that enhance customer satisfaction and retention.

Businesses that equip advanced digital tools can provide features such as one-click ordering, real-time order tracking, and personalized recommendations. These capabilities and add-ons enhance the B2B customer experience and drive significant sales growth. For example, companies that have prioritized digital customer experience are experiencing higher engagement and satisfaction rates.

The Customer Experience (CX) in B2B

The statement that B2B customers are also people may seem like an overly obvious one; however, there are few B2B websites where we find a CX at the level of those available to consumers – simplifying transactions, deepening the relationship with customers, and exploring the potential to generate more sales, via cross or up-sell, or that offer one-click ordering, order tracking, recommendations or promotions based on previous purchasing behaviors.

It has been observed that B2B companies rarely show a comprehensive and transversal approach to services that enables them to understand the customer’s imperatives and goals.

Many companies, despite doing very well in certain specific interactions with customers, fail, however, the interpretation and attention devoted to evaluating the entire journey in a CX extended beyond the closing moment of the transaction. In other words, since they do not observe the integrated CX of the different points of contact and channels that may serve the customer over time, they also neglect that providing more points of contact adds complexity to the integrated management of the experience.

A framework for CX development

framework customer centricity

The image illustrates the CX development process in five stages – the end-to-end design of the CX and customer journeys, the measurement of customer satisfaction throughout the different journeys and contact points, the alignment of the structures under the same CX vision, the voice of customer and real-time response to complaints, the generation of insights on customer needs that induce the improvement of the value proposition, the evaluation of the return on investment in CX improvement and the commitment to its continuous development.

To succeed, B2B businesses must approach CX in a holistic way. They need to personalize the digital journey and online sales process by adopting more customer-centric technology solutions and business models.

B2B companies that deliver better customer service understand how the alignment of marketing, sales, product development, IT, and other functions shapes and is critical to the construction of a differentiating and value-creating CX.

CX – Competitive advantage to take advantage of now!

According to Gandhi et al (2019, “Why Customer Experience Matters for B2B”, MIT Sloan Management Review), it is highlighted that although better omnichannel experiences translate into more sales, this logic has been neglected in B2B businesses.

For its part, FORRESTER estimates that by 2023, about 17% of B2B sales in the USA will be made through digital channels and that these will continue to grow significantly in the coming years. Digital platforms are replacing traditional ways of selling, face-to-face or by phone, with the potential to capitalize on advantages derived from omnichannel strategies and capture greater market share.

In the most competitive markets, companies that offer customers a simple and optimized digital CX will be able to capitalize on that investment in sales growth. B2B customers have seen the result of these possibilities in consumer markets and now expect a similar transformation in the B2B business journey.

In the long-term, the superior capabilities of a digital, self-service CX will transform the dynamics of B2B markets and allow you to beneficially serve low-volume or less frequent customers. By making it easier for customers to communicate their needs and place orders, digitalization transforms the model from seller push to customer pull, creating new opportunities to create value.

The advantage will go to companies that can deliver a CX that matches their customers’ expectations – personalized, seamless, and with a people-centric digital service. From boosting customer loyalty to reducing inefficiencies and improving alignment, there are many factors that show the return on investment in differentiated CX.

#retail #marketing and sales

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