This is the last of 20 daily ‘thoughts’ examining the trends in marketing in 2018 and beyond.Customer experience is receiving increasing attention in B2C marketing. A great deal has been written about it and more and more attention is being paid to it as online sales cut into bricks and mortar sales.
By contrast, the importance of the customer experience in B2B marketing receives much less attention. However, this environment is also impacted by e-commerce and many of the other challenges facing business in general.
A recent survey found that only 50% of B2B businesses in the US give priority to the experiences of their customers with a view to optimising customer experience. I would be surprised if this many B2B marketers in Australia pay adequate attention to the creation of an optimal customer experience.
It is, however, becoming increasingly apparent that addressing the customer experience in the B2B environment is growing and will continue to grow in importance. It is becoming a very real trend.
Of course, customer experience is a very complex thing. Addressing it comprehensively involves examining every aspect of the customer journey – every point at which the customer ‘touches’ the organisation. This must involve:
- Telephone engagement
- Social media
- Sales contacts
- Service contracts – and much more
It is complex and it is important as more and more B2B customers are becoming concerned about their interactions with their suppliers.
So, what are some of the ways B2B businesses are improving the customer experience? Here are some examples:
- Customer identification and personal engagement
- Place the highest priority on personal relationships
- Customisation of the sales process
- Map the customer journey and customer needs at each point
- Directly address customer needs along the journey
- Communicate and demonstrate values that customers relate to
- Facilitate and demonstrate efficiency using technology
- High quality customer intelligence
- High quality customer data
- Comprehensive leveraging of data
- A culture that puts the customer at the centre
- A commitment to personalised communication
In all B2B place a high priority on the customer experience and address every touch point in the customer experience.Put in place the culture and systems to gather the data and deliver the experience that customers enjoy.
Create a customer experience that customers enjoy, or even crave, making the customer experience a differentiator.
SOURCES OF CORE DATA
Smart Insights, The Drum, Social Media Week, CSR matters, Louder Milk, Forbes, Quicksprout, Wider Funnel, Trends and Insights, Core DNA, Digital Current