What Now for the B2B Customer Experience?

November 17, 2020

Customer Experience (CX) is no longer exclusive to the B2C market, nor should it have ever been. Now the B2B market is standing to attention and realising that in a digital world the experience of every customer, be them an individual consumer or multinational organisation, is crucial to success.  

Why Now?

With the rapid pressure of advancement in digital solutions, channels and products; many being forced through the product pipeline at speed as a result of Covid-19, there is more pressure on organisations to; deliver scalable solutions at pace, stress test execution and be easy to deal with. Doing this well involves understanding the user's job and problems and providing rapid execution.

In a research conducted by PWC, CX was set to overtake price and product as a key brand differentiator by the end of 2020. In a world where the answer to every question is at our finger tips, defining and refining the customer experience is how organisations can set themselves apart. At present the B2B market place hasn’t advanced to the level of digital capability enjoyed by the B2C audience. More so, in long-standing large-scale organisations the drive to digitise operations, including those experienced by the customer has fallen behind the advancement of profit generating activities. While organisations, of course, recognise commercial success isn't derived purely from sales figures, longevity of the customer relationship and, even loyalty, can be awarded through a positive customer experience. However, with a positive experience now an expectation, (rightfully so) how do organisations in the B2B space take the jump to providing an exceptional, and more personalised, experience for their customers?  

gravity9 Experience Practice Director Andy Newman believes it is down to design thinking. “Essentially B2B organisations just want to get on with their job without fuss or delay. Their experiences are formed by a series of interactions with your organisation which impact positively or negatively. Their positive or negative responses won't just be based on whether the experience is positive but also on their personal comparison of similar experiences or expectations; meaning the journey and the experience needs to be considered and built around a first-time customer and a long-standing player.”

The Digital Journey

Covid-19 has indeed, meant a step-change in how consumers and organisations buy, sell and interact with one another. With the B2C digital offering advancing so quickly engaging customers and building loyalty, the expectation has shifted onto the B2B market to keep up.

Many young tech start-ups are seizing the opportunity and crafting the customer experience into their B2B offering from creation and their business clients are prepared, now more than ever, to work with smaller, ambitious businesses that offer a more customer focused solution.  

So, what can organisations in the B2B space do?  

Leverage Technology

Leverage the developments in technology to evolve the customer experience. The AI advancements have been embraced by the B2C market place with product filtering, chat bots, and customer profiling. For B2B the unity of human and machine working together holds the key to success. Integrate the technology with customer data to personalise the experience. In a recent gravity9 podcast with Deeper Insights CEO Jack Hampson, we discussed the advances in AI across Natural Language Processing and that the balance of human and machine enables a personal, high performance experience. From an operational perspective the utilisation of digital is cost-effective and enables greater insight into consumer behaviour.  

Make it Happen

To ensure long term success in an ever more customer focused market B2B organisations should be leveraging technology and humanising digital interaction, creating a personalised customer experience that drives engagement, loyalty and a truly exceptional experience. Put the customers mindset at the heart of your business solution, lock in on the who, what, why behaviours of their jobs and tasks to completely understand where the UX and CX is under delivering, this is key to success.  

Whether the customer be an individual consumer or a multi-national organisation if you build a relationship, you build trust and you build loyalty. Yes, business is business but in the digital age the human emotions that come from a positive customer experience are impossible to ignore and become invaluable to your organisation and your brand.

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