CX Awakening for B2B

In this post, guest blogger Blake Morgan, consumer futurist and author (“The Customer of the Future”), discusses the three key components of Informatica’s customer-centric approach.

In recent years, brands in the B2C space have grown to see the value of customer experience. In fact, more than product or price, companies now compete on experience. But in the B2B space, which has been notorious for a lack of customer focus, brands have continued to compete primarily on product and price—until recently. B2B companies are slowly starting to see the value of investing in customer experience and the advantage it can give them over the competition.

On average, B2B companies have a customer experience score of less than 50%, compared to averages of 65%-85% for B2C. Most B2B companies say that customer experience is a priority, but they often don’t follow through to actually make improvements. Many established B2B companies are large and not prepared or willing to adapt. However, B2B customers want an improved experience. They participate in the convenient omnichannel experiences as consumers in the B2C world and want the same for B2B.

In recent years, many B2B companies have started investing in customer experience. This awakening shows just how hungry customers are for an improved experience and the impact it can have on companies. The B2B CX awakening falls into three main categories:

Omnichannel Experience

Customers crave a consistent experience across all channels, no matter how they interact with the brand. A true omnichannel experience not only makes things convenient but also consistent for customers, by uniting data for a strong understanding of what each customer needs.

FedEx updated its experience strategy, and in the process became the second-most trusted B2B company in the U.S. Before the update, each department had been contacting customers directly, which led to multiple messages, often containing conflicting information. By streamlining customer communication to a single newsletter, FedEx created more simplicity and consistency for customers, and greatly improved how their B2B audience interacted with and viewed the brand.

Employee Experience

Employees are the first customers of any company. Creating a great work experience for them drives a customer-centric culture and makes employees more willing and able to serve customers.

One example is a Fortune 500 B2B software company that’s regularly ranked a top place to work and also boasts a staggering 98% customer satisfaction rating. That’s because the company has a culture that cares about its people. This company gathers employee feedback weekly that it uses to better understand employees and adjust the experience to meet their needs. It also offers personalized training and career development for employees at all levels. Creating an environment where employees feel engaged and valued drives a strong customer experience, especially in the B2B world. Many companies also invest in a Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) to listen to employees. Updating performance metrics and incentivizing employees to do their best work creates a strong culture and working environment.

Personalized Relationships

B2B customers don’t want to be treated like everyone else. They want a personalized experience with employees who understand the needs of their business and who can act as advisors to help their company reach its goals.

Informatica’s Chief Customer Officer drives the data management software company’s emphasis on building relationships with customers. Instead of simply using the same approach on every customer, the company provides tools for employees to build personalized relationships and customize their communications and interactions to the needs of each client. Informatica keeps its employees up to date with the newest technology and trends so that they can best serve each customer. Customers are invited to create a community to share best practices while also working with their assigned Informatica teams to learn how to get the most value from their Informatica products.

Investing in customer experience leads to big rewards in B2B. The companies that don’t prioritize customer experience will get disrupted as customers turn to companies that know them and offer personalized and convenient solutions. Although there has been huge progress made in B2B CX, there is still plenty of room for improvement and a continued CX awakening.

To hear more from Blake and Informatica’s CCO, Ansa Sekharan, check out their podcast.