Temkin Group has found that it is critical for business-to-business (B2B) firms to focus on the customer experience (CX) in its report, "Best Practices in B2B Customer Experience," which identifies leading practices companies can use to establish client-centric relationships.
"Consumer companies may get the mass of media coverage when it comes to customer experience, but there's enormous opportunity in the B2B sector, with customer experience as the foundation of stronger B2B enterprise relationships," said Aimee Lucas, CX analyst of Temkin Group and lead author.
Temkin Group found that B2B lags behind B2C in all four customer experience core competencies: Purposeful Leadership, Compelling Brand Values, Employee Engagement and Customer Connectedness. The gap is largest in Compelling Brand Values where 37% of large B2C firms are rated as good or better, compared with only 24% of large B2B firms.
The research identifies B2B best practices in seven broad areas:
Develop Closed-Loop Voice of the Client (VoC) Programs. Having a reliable flow of customer insights across the organization is critical to driving customer-centric actions.
Use Journey Maps to Better Understand Clients' Needs. To better understand how clients see their experiences, B2B organizations can use a tool known as customer journey mapping.
Tap Into Virtual Client Advisory Boards. Client advisory boards (CAB) and councils provide the opportunity to acquire more insight into customer needs and expectations.
Account-Level Experience Reporting. To acquire, retain, and grow B2B relationships, account managers need to understand what's working and not working for each of their clients.
Insightful Business Development. B2B organizations that gather and use the right customer insights during this early stage will create a differentiated experience from the start of the relationship
Collaborative Account Planning. By taking a structured and collaborative approach to developing in-depth account plans, companies can tap into their enterprise knowledge.
Proactive Intervention and Support. B2B organizations need to use customer insights and feedback from account managers to intervene in service experiences gone wrong as quickly as possible with well-defined, robust recovery procedures.
The report provides specific practices from companies such as: CDW, Cisco, Citrix, Dell, Enterasys, Genworth Financial, Philadelphia Insurance Companies, Oracle, Salesforce.com, SanDisk, Stream Global, and VMware.
The research report Best Practices in B2B Customer Experience can be downloaded from the Customer Experience Matters® blog, atExperienceMatters.wordpress.com as well as from the Temkin Group website, www.TemkinGroup.com.
About Temkin Group: Temkin Group is widely recognized as a leading customer experience research and consulting firm. Many of the world's largest brands rely on its insights and advice to steer their transformational journeys. Temkin Group combines customer experience thought leadership with a deep understanding of the dynamics of organizations to help accelerate results. Rather than layering on cosmetic changes, Temkin Group helps companies embed practices within their culture by building four critical competencies: Purposeful Leadership, Employee Engagement, Compelling Brand Values, and Customer Connectedness. The firm's ongoing research identifies leading and emerging best practices across a wide range of activities for engaging the hearts and minds of customers, employees, and partners. For more information, contact Bruce Temkin at 617-916-2075 or send an email.
About Aimee Lucas: Aimee Lucas is Customer Experience Analyst at Temkin Group. She has over 15 years of experience improving service delivery and transforming the customer experience through people development and process improvement initiatives. Prior to joining The Temkin Group, Aimee was responsible for implementing the client experience strategy and managing the Voice of the Customer (VoC) program for one of the top 10 public accounting and consulting firms in the U.S. Her work included planning and managing strategic initiatives, collaborating with cross-functional teams to introduce new-to-company functions and improvements. She is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame with a bachelor's degree in marketing management.