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WABAN, Mass. -- Customer experience has
become a common topic for companies that sell to consumers (B2C), but
Temkin Group has found that it is also critical for business-to-business
(B2B) firms.**In its new report *Best Practices in B2B Customer
Experience*, Temkin Group identifies leading practices that companies
can use to build a client-oriented mindset across their organization and
to establish client-centric relationships.

"Consumer companies may get most of the press when it comes to customer
experience, but there's enormous opportunity in the B2B sector. We found
that customer experience can be the foundation to building stronger B2B
enterprise relationships," states Aimee Lucas, CX analyst of Temkin
Group and lead author of the research.

Temkin Group found that B2B lags behind B2C in all four of what it calls
the customer experience core competencies—/Purposeful Leadership/,
/Compelling Brand Values, Employee Engagement/ and /Customer
Conne/ctedness. The gap is largest in the area of Compelling Brand
Values where 37% of large B2C firms are rated as good or better,
compared with only 24% of large B2B firms.

The research identifies B2B best practices in seven broad areas:

  * *Develop Closed-Loop Voice of the Client (VoC) Programs. *Having a
    reliable flow of customer insights across the organization is
    critical to driving customer-centric actions.
  * *Use Journey Maps to Better Understand Clients' Needs*. To better
    understand how clients see their experiences, B2B organizations can
    use a tool known as customer journey mapping.
  * *Tap Into Virtual Client Advisory Boards.* Client advisory boards
    (CAB) and councils provide the opportunity to acquire more insight
    into customer needs and expectations.
  * *Account-Level Experience Reporting*. To acquire, retain, and grow
    B2B relationships, account managers need to understand what's
    working and not working for each of their clients.
  * *Insightful Business Development*. B2B organizations that gather and
    use the right customer insights during this early stage will create
    a differentiated experience from the start of the relationship
  * *Collaborative Account Planning.* By taking a structured and
    collaborative approach to developing in-depth account plans,
    companies can tap into their enterprise knowledge.
  * *Proactive Intervention and Support*. B2B organizations need to use
    customer insights and feedback from account managers to intervene in
    service experiences gone wrong as quickly as possible with
    well-defined, robust recovery procedures.

The report provides a many specific practices from companies such as
CDW, Cisco, Citrix, Dell, Enterasys, Genworth Financial, Philadelphia
Insurance Companies, Oracle, Salesforce.com, SanDisk, Stream Global, and

The research report *Best Practices in B2B Customer Experience* can be
downloaded from the /Customer Experience Matters^® /blog, at
<http://experiencematters.wordpress.com/> as well as from the Temkin
Group website, www.TemkinGroup.com <http://www.temkingroup.com/>.