Did you know that 70% of the buying experience is based on how the customer feels they are treated? Failing to deliver a good customer experience – from the customer’s perspective – has real consequences. The good news is, if a business can provide a better experience to customers, it will set them apart from their competitors and have a substantial impact on the bottom line.
Does your organization provide a customer experience that drives revenue? Download our Customer Experience Benchmark Tool to evaluate nine different metrics for an impactful Customer Experience, across three areas.
According to Forrester, experience-driven businesses grew revenue 1.4x faster and increased customer lifetime value 1.6x more than other companies in the past year. 74% of business buyers say they’ll actually pay more for a better B2B experience. It makes sense. People want to do business with people that outwardly appreciate their business. That doesn’t change simply because a transaction is considered B2B.
So how do businesses become more customer-centric?
Customer delight is an idea that originated in B2C relationships, but transactions are human to human regardless of whether they’re classified as B2C or B2B. At the end of the day, we all want to be delighted.
The act of delighting customers may feel like an insurmountable challenge for B2B businesses, but it can be done. Many in the SaaS space, for instance, are beginning to catch on to the massive impact excellent customer experience has. Businesses don’t have to give away product or create personalized swag for every customer. Delivering a great buying experience simply means finding a way to make customers feel good and empowering every employee to do the same.
An organization must weave customer delight into the fabric of its culture. The most inspiring leaders begin by setting the example internally. Seemingly small acts by executives can make their employees feel great. Any team would be thrilled to find doughnuts in the breakroom one morning. Sales teams love it when a CEO offers to clear their calendar to do deal reviews or executive calls. Employees are a company’s internal customers. An organization’s leaders can inspire them by example. A leader’s behavior infects the whole team… one way or the other.
Salesforce found a focus on customer experience paid huge dividends for them amid the 2009 recession. The CRM giant once struggled to retain customers. By shifting focus to the success of its customers, Salesforce was able to grow revenue to $1 billion at the height of the Great Recession.
Hire for EQ
Profile candidates who are emotionally intelligent. Of course, businesses need employees that possess the technical skills required to do the job. However, the most successful businesses don’t stop there. They seek out people who innately care about serving others.
Restauranteur Danny Meyer once said, “It’s not hard to teach anyone the proper way to set a beautiful table. What is impossible to teach is how to care deeply about setting the table beautifully.”
Translated to B2B, a leader can onboard a hundred people who can sell a complex product. The more challenging, more impactful task is finding talent that also cares about the customer and their needs. Product fit is still important, but a good experience takes it a step further and begins to build a relationship. Hire people that care.
The talent that cares enough to provide next-level customer experiences is a differentiator that is difficult to replicate. Customers for life start their journey with the salesperson who thought to send a bottle of champagne when that customer gets married. Or maybe it was the customer success manager that dug deep into a problem and pulled together a guide showing the customer’s platform admin how to get 5 hours back in their week. These are the experiences that delight.
Track and Measure ROI
Superior customer experience isn’t a single action. Understanding the ROI of a well-designed customer experience is imperative to maintaining a successful program. Success metrics should be clearly stated and defined. Customer-first organizations track measures such as increased net promoter scores, reduced churn, lower customer acquisition costs, and greater expansion revenue. These all significantly impact the bottom line.
Establish a baseline for the selected metrics and create a dashboard that regularly reports the status of the customer experience transformation. Examine the ROI to ensure it’s in line with expectations. If performance is falling short, the business needs to revisit its assumptions.
One of the most common mistakes we see is underestimating the resources needed to achieve the stated goals. Take into consideration people, technology, processes, and budget. Is the right talent in place? Is technology preventing employees from delivering great customer experiences? What level of investment is realistic to achieve success?
The Impact of CX
Businesses that place importance on customer experience benefit internally and externally. Not only do they enjoy higher customer satisfaction ratings and customer retention rates, but they also have increased employee satisfaction scores.
Delivering an excellent customer experience helps top organizations stand out amongst competitors. Widespread commitment to customer experience must start at the top. Do you need help uniting your entire organization – from sales and marketing to product and pricing – around driving maximum customer value?
Get started by downloading our Customer Experience Benchmark Tool to evaluate nine different metrics for an impactful Customer Experience, across three areas: Behavioral, Leading, and Lagging. Then, contact SBI to discuss a visit to our studio in Dallas for an interactive session to determine your path forward.