Customer Experience News & Trends

How the best B2Bs create award-winning customer experiences

Even big retail giants can learn something from some scrappy B2Bs who are winning at the customer experience game. Here are the secrets of those B2Bs.

About 25% of B2Bs see strong results from their customer experience initiatives, an Accenture study found. Nearly 60% said their efforts to improve experiences and relationships with customers didn’t give them overwhelming positive or negative results. The rest said they got low or even negative returns.

So let’s focus on the mighty few B2Bs who’ve achieved great results and what they can teach colleagues in the B2B and B2C markets.

Researchers found that the best companies shined in these five key categories:

1. They start from ‘the back’

Customer experience leaders believe after-sale service is the most important element in an optimal customer experience. They focus on the attention customers continue to get after they’ve signed on or taken home their products.

Perhaps more importantly. They’re already working on ideas and initiatives that will reinvent service and support to meet the changing needs of customers.

For instance, Michelin offers sensors to collect data with customers’ permission that allows them to track how much fuel trucks that use its product use. Then service and technical pros analyze the results and talk to customers with recommendations on how they can run more efficiently and use less fuel. Those are and will continue to be pressing issues for Michelin customers.

2. They stand out and get ahead

The best B2B customer experience companies don’t wait for new competitors to disrupt their market. They make defending themselves against competition a priority, researchers found. Not only that, they use their outstanding customer experience as a tool to keep competitors at bay and enter into new markets.

Bottom line: The best companies know their experience is better than others, and they capitalize on it. They talk about it, and they get their customers to talk about it — in social media, on advertising platforms, at industry events and throughout their marketing collateral.

3. They walk the talk

Top companies consider the customer experience a priority top-down. The C-suite members keep customers in their vision and backs it with resources. They make sure employees have the training, time and tools to give customers experiences that are better than anywhere else.

While it all might sound like a dollar investment, it’s not. The key is that top leaders believe in doing what’s right for customers, and they back up their employees who are doing just that. The emphasis on customers helps the company maintain loyalty and increase sales.

4. They look beyond themselves

Many of the top B2B companies often don’t believe they can give the best customer experience alone. They tend to collaborate with other organizations to build better experiences across sales and service, researchers found.

Most partner with their vendors who help build a fluent experience, whether it’s through technology that allows them to maintain a seamless service experience between channels, or partnerships that make it easy for customers to get the maintenance they need for products.

5. They tie it together internally

Researchers found that the top companies have their customer experience initiatives centralized. Some are centered out of Marketing. Others out of Customer Service. Some have Chief Customer Experience Officers (or the like).

But when it comes to the customer experience, they had this in common: Top leaders were closely involved in the planning, execution and monitoring of initiatives.

Then, they keep it together and successful by training existing employees to take on different or bigger roles and hiring new people with different sets of skills to expand their initiatives.

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