A new Temkin Group study of large business-to-business (B2B) organizations shows that many of these firms are actively trying to improve their customer experience (CX).
In the report, Business-to-Business Customer Experience Best Practices, Temkin Group found that 57% of large B2B firms want to be their industry leaders in CX within three years. But B2B's have a long way to go. Of the 148 large B2B organizations that completed Temkin Group's CX Competency & Maturity Assessment, only 12% of these B2B firms have reached the two highest levels CX maturity (out of six levels of maturity).
"B2B organizations have high ambitions for customer experience," states Aimee Lucas, Vice President of Temkin Group. "While there's still a long way to go, we found many great B2B customer experience practices."
Temkin Group's research has shown that companies with a sustainable advantage in customer experience learn to master four CX core competencies:
*Purposeful Leadership: Executive team and other leaders across the organization operate consistently with a clear, well-articulated set of values.
*Compelling Brand Values: The organization's brand attributes drive decisions about how the company treats customers.
*Employee Engagement: Employees are fully committed to the goals of the company.
*Customer Connectedness: Customer feedback and insight is integrated throughout the organization.
In this new research, Temkin Group has identified 20 ways that B2B organizations are applying these competencies across five critical B2B processes:
*Sales and account management. To acquire, retain, and grow B2B relationships, sales teams and account managers need to develop a deeper, more coordinated, and more ongoing understanding of what is and is not working for each of their clients. For example, Johnson Controls executives reinforce the importance of CX by capturing feedback from key account senior executives through its Top 2 Top program.
*Implementation/project execution. Because many B2B clients don't realize the full value of their purchases until after long or complex projects, B2Bs can't wait until this work is completed to gauge how well they are delivering their customer experience. For example, NetApp uses customer journey maps to create clarity around which internal team 'owns' the customer in key interactions.
*Support and issue resolution. To keep B2B client relationships on track, organizations need to be ready to address "make or break" service issues with strong support channels and proactive recovery efforts at individual customer and company levels. For example, Vertex uses insights-based personas to identify segment-specific improvements in product education and support.
*Partner alignment. Sustainable B2B customer experience success requires that partners both understand what is important to the organization and align their behaviors around the organization's values and goals. For example, VMware engages its partners when redesigning its product roadmap information – a problem area the company and partners shared.
*Product management and innovation. When a company balances a strong technical expertise with a customer-centric mindset, its product management and innovation are more likely to yield successful new products, services, and solutions. For example, Innography's online community allows customers to submit and vote on product improvement ideas.
Published: Monday, November 23, 2015
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