We don't often consider other businesses to be customers, but businesses buy things as surely as regular consumers. That's got some businesses looking to improve the customer experience for customers who are other businesses.
Accenture (News - Alert) Strategy's latest release of the 2015 B2B Customer Experience Report noted that 86 percent of B2B executives now consider customer experience to be a strategic priority. That means bigger budgets and more focus, yet this enhanced flow of resources isn't always turning around a return on investment. That makes it harder to stick with such investing.
Some, however, are taking a longer-term view that seems to help. A hefty majority—75 percent—think changes in customer behavior and in attitudes have a big impact on sales efforts as a whole. That's driving most, 74 percent, to think that in two years customer experience considerations will be even more important to a corporate strategy. Yet there's clearly value already perceived, even if the return isn't immediately there; 78 percent noted that a standout in customer experience has a clear tie to results, while 77 percent believe it's a competitive advantage.
Several roadblocks are in place when it comes to delivering the best in customer experience, like the lack of understanding as to just what the best customer experience is. Almost half—48 percent—say that directors and managers don't have the time to build better customer experience initiatives, and 46 percent note the C-suite's priorities are elsewhere, cutting visibility and resources accordingly.
That's a problem that could come back to haunt those companies. Companies increasingly believe, with 68 percent reporting in, that customers are more open to dealing with newcomer firms, and almost as many—67 percent—believe that those newcomers are using a better customer experience as the way into customers' hearts.
With newcomer firms turning to a better customer experience, it makes tools like those offered by TeamSupport all the more valuable. TeamSupport's line of customer relationship management (CRM) tools and similar systems make customers that much more likely to have a good experience and thus come back later.
We forget that customers aren't just those who walk into the business, but rather all those who buy from businesses. Making sure everyone has a positive experience improves the chances of return business, and whether the customer is a single person or an entire corporate structure, improving that experience has value. It improves the chances of word-of-mouth advertising, of positive appearance on social media, and the overall likelihood that others will buy.
Even when it can't be directly tracked and measured, that customer experience keeps a business going. So it's always worthwhile to improve the customer experience; it may not mean dollars toward the bottom line today, but it likely will at some point.
Edited by Maurice Nagle