Business-to-Business Customer Experience Strategy

By Lynn Hunsaker

b2b customer journey

Before you get carried away with patterning your business-to-business customer experience strategy on the latest shiny objects, here’s a way to help you invest wisely. It’s simple: Step 1 is to sketch out the phases of “What are our customers’ processes for selecting, getting, and using the type of solution that we sell?” Step 2 is to list your answers to “What is required by us to fulfill these processes of our customers?”

Don’t get me wrong — shiny objects may be fine — as long as they efficiently serve your overall strategy with sustained benefits. And that’s key! Manage customer experience more like you do any other business investment:

  1. What is really needed by the stakeholders?
  2. What is the most efficient way to provide those needs?
  3. What is the best way to make the benefits an annuity?

The convergence of answers to those three questions is typically what executives will select for any kind of business investment. But the shiny object syndrome, following the crowd, impatience, greed, self-centered thinking, and lack of due diligence in business case development have too often obscured the wisest business-to-business customer experience strategy (B2B CX) decisions.

What Stakeholders Need
Step 1 — What are our customers’ processes for selecting, getting, and using the type of solution that we sell? — should ultimately be understood intimately. And for separate customer segments, preferably segmented by expectation sets rather than demographics. And of course your deep and holistic understanding of these things should be gained through unbiased research with customers directly. But for the purpose of creating your B2B CX strategy, this simple outline will do:

  1. We need something
  2. What are our choices
  3. We decide and buy
  4. We receive our order
  5. We install and use
  6. We have questions
  7. We integrate what we bought with what we have . . . in order to achieve a specific capability.

Efficient Way to Provide Those Needs
Step 2 — What is required of us to fulfill these processes of our customers? — should ultimately be understood in direct relation to the expectation-set segmentation research from Step 1. And by doing proper root cause analysis, i.e. asking why five times to get beyond symptoms to true root causes. But for the purpose of creating your B2B CX strategy, you can answer Step 2 within an hour or two. Keep it simple, with two sub-steps:

  1. What do we need to do daily to support a customer at each phase of their processes outlined in Step 1?
  2. What capabilities enable us to provide that daily support of customers’ processes to select, get and use the solutions they buy from us?

When you keep the questions simple like this, a profound truth emerges. No one is exempt from playing a critical role in customer experience excellence.

Some may balk at that assertion, saying surely some of these things are minor and so far removed from customer interactions that they can be excused from the need to apply customer-centered thinking to them. Yet that is certainly false! Take the example shared by a friend of mine Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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