Magazine article CRM Magazine

Customer Experience Blueprint Drives B2B: Determine the Needs of Customers and Their Value to the Organization

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Customer Experience Blueprint Drives B2B: Determine the Needs of Customers and Their Value to the Organization

Article excerpt

IN B2C industries, a positive service experience helps you keep and acquire customers, providing a competitive edge. But customer experience management (CXM) is critical in B2B industries as well. CXM is just emerging as a formal program in most B2B companies, and many of those organizations are just getting acquainted with the concept.

With customer service expectations rising, a differentiated experience not only can enhance a company's brand, but it also can lead to premium service for top-tier customers. Research shows that companies can boost customer retention, reduce support costs, and expand their customer base by providing such differentiated treatment.

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Most B2B companies provide a disparate and disaggregated experience across the customer life cycle of marketing, sales, and service. For example, a company may fail to integrate the service organization into a product introduction, resulting in service professionals' not knowing of a launch until they receive customer calls asking about it.

Often companies try to spread service across all customers equally, in a one-size-fits-all model, in which servicing a $5,000 order costs the same as servicing a $5 million order. Top-tier customers receive the same experience as those who generate only a fraction of that revenue. And, when service is spread too thinly, the entire customer experience suffers.

While tailoring and optimizing service may be desirable, actually doing so can be challenging. It is difficult to know, for example, who should get what service treatment, because many companies cannot determine the value of different customers now as compared with in the future.

Even when companies know the current and future value of specific customers, it is expensive to create tailored service. Often, companies can't tailor services because they don't have a customer experience design and haven't done the research and analysis to tailor the experience.

Despite those challenges, some B2B enterprises are moving aggressively toward a tailored customer experience. Through an experience blueprint, they are customizing and optimizing the experience to mirror both the needs of customers and their value to organizations. These companies have used a well-established, customercentric approach to customer experience design and implementation, typically incorporating three steps:

1. Global Operating Model Review. …

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