Everybody is a customer, as most of us may have bought something or the other, either for ourselves or for someone else in our lifetime. Depending on what we purchased, for whom we purchased and how we purchased can define us as a B2C or a B2B customer.
B2B customers are usually quite different from B2C customers in a number of ways. With the core differentiator being B2B customers have greater demands than B2C customers, and meeting these demands to acquire or retain B2B customers can be a major challenge for many organisations. According to a survey by Econsultancy, only 16% of B2B organisations believe to have customer experience as good as B2C companies.
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B2B customer experience is becoming a key differentiator and a competitive advantage for many enterprises. More competition, revenue generation opportunities, technological advancements are just some of the many factors that are leading organisations to focus more and more on their B2B customers’ experience.
B2B Customer Experience Challenges
Technological advancements are becoming complex and are creating new standards for seamless customer service. Due to this, catering to B2B customers is becoming much more challenging as compared to B2C customers. B2B customers tend to subscribe to multiple services and are demanding. But they are treated differently by each line of business as the enterprise’s IT systems operate in silos and do not have a consolidated view. This leads to disjoint experiences as many users from different departments; locations need to access and analyse usage information. In order to improve customer satisfaction, the challenge lies in gathering complete knowledge of the customer and delivering a unified, consistent customer experience to B2B customers across all channels.
Secondly, B2B customers tend to demand greater control, transparency, customisation and faster service delivery. Apart from this, each B2B customer would have varying requirements based on their own unique needs. The challenge lies in giving B2B customers greater control and the flexibility to define their own rules based on their requirements.
All these factors along with increased competition and reduced revenue generating opportunities contribute towards the growing importance of B2B customer experience. The challenge most organisations now face lies in implementing a good B2B customer experience strategy that can help them gain customer loyalty and retention while keeping costs low and generating revenue. Learn more about the various challenges B2B Customer Experience enterprises face and methods to overcome them.
B2B Customer Experience Best Practices
“Digitizing the customer experience is a lever often left unused by B2B companies. There is great potential in the B2B realm in using concepts such as self-service, online interfaces, and automated decision rules.”--McKinsey & Company, Improving the Business to Business Customer Experience, March 2016
As seen in the above research study quote by McKinsey & Company, the most important step in overcoming the challenges, gaining competitive advantage and improving B2B customer experience involves digitalising the customer experience lifecycle
Apart from this, a digital platform would help in bridging information silos by connecting to multiple disjoint systems and streamlining operations that help in addressing business challenges in multiple domains. Also, a digital platform can help create a unified portal that allows enterprises to expand the scope of their self-service portal to include activities like order management, inventory control, tracking trouble tickets, and contract management across lines of business.
Moreover, with the help of a digital platform, enterprise customers would be able to customise and modulate their services based on their own unique needs. They can define their organisation’s hierarchies and access controls for every role. They can also assign budgets and configure alerts on spend limits, define address books that demarcate personal and official contacts, and much more.
Lastly, as customer analytics continues to gain precedence,
Here is a B2B customer experience case study of an enterprise that implemented a digital platform solution to digitalise and improve their customer experience.
A leading global telecom service provider (TSP) wanted to transform their enterprise customer experience in the UK. The existing IT systems did not address the challenges of operational inefficiencies and customer dissatisfaction. A comprehensive analytics portal was implemented for greater visibility and control for enterprise customers. With this TSP was able to enhance customer experience, reduce costs and improve revenue.
In conclusion, B2B customer experience is important as it helps retain customers, build brand image, increase revenue, and gain competitive advantage. However as mentioned above there can be a number of challenges associated with providing a consistent and unified customer experience. These challenges can be addressed by bridging information silos and analysis of customer data to avoid disputes but most importantly by digitalising the customer experience lifecycle.
Intense Technologies’ B2B Customer Experience Management solution built on UniServe™ NXT platform, enables enterprises to differentiate their services and save millions because of reduced customer service costs and faster revenue realisation, while providing superior, multi-channel customer experience. Know more about B2B Customer Experience Management0