Faced with an increasingly turbulent world, it is more important than ever for companies to pay attention to what their consumers are saying about them and use the insights acquired to continually improve and maintain a competitive advantage.
B2B organizations recognize that valuable customer feedback can be sourced beyond focus groups, questionnaires and surveys. Today, companies are gathering and making use of consumer commentary across blogs, forums, news feeds and social media channels. This data is analyzed to present a clear picture of what customers think about a brand, product, service and the company as a whole. Furthermore, the collected dialog can reveal warning signals which can be addressed before they become brand threats – thus boosting customer satisfaction and loyalty.
According to a recent Forbes article, B2B companies have an average customer experience score of less than 50%, far lower than the 65%-85% for B2C companies. B2B companies are starting to see the value of investing in customer experience and the advantage it can give them over the competition.
B2B markets are fundamentally different from consumer markets. Decisions are made on value, not impulse. Buying cycles are complex, often with many stakeholders involved. When supplier-customer relationships are purely transactional it is easier for customers to try something new and head towards a competitor.
B2B customers want personalized experiences with companies that understand their unique circumstances and can act as advisors. It is important they feel recognized and heard throughout the business relationship, not just during the sales process. This personalized treatment can help strengthen long-term relationships as companies pivot and adapt to changing market situations.
In increasingly competitive markets, B2B companies need to think of those buying products and services more as ‘partners’ and less as ‘customers’. Customers come and go, but partners are long-term buyers who cannot afford the time and risk of trying someone else.
Bring the voice-of-the-customer into the heart of your B2B organization. Align the consumer’s needs with your commercial objectives. Recognize that your buyer’s journey IS personal. Armed with this intelligence, you’ll be ready to achieve customer experience excellence.