Why B2B Marketeers Need To Drive Customer Experience
It’s the buzzword setting meeting rooms alight, but what exactly is CX and why is it so important for B2B Marketing planning? Associate Director Julie Tickell demystifies the whole process and explains why B2B Marketeers should be making it their number one priority.
We’re all familiar with the phrase ‘the customer is king’. While customers aren’t always right, they do wield the ultimate power to take their business elsewhere if you don’t deliver on your promises. Their customer experience (CX) of your brand is key to the health, wealth and growth of your business. Seems obvious doesn’t it? Yet the current buzz around CX indicates businesses are not giving customers the experience they need to retain brand loyalty. So what role do B2B Marketeers have in ensuring CX is a top priority?
Making CX number one
We all know that the customers’ experience of your brand has to be managed at every ‘touch point’ to succeed in today’s market. Organisations are now extremely complex, often trading over numerous geographical regions. The way in which B2B customers interact has also multiplied in the digital era.
If they don’t get a good experience of your brand they simply ‘Google’ and go elsewhere. And their opinion of your business travels ever faster and wider in our social media savvy world, meaning you have to prioritise CX now if you haven’t already done so, and make sure your customer continues to feel like a king.
CX is the life blood of your brand
The good news is that with CX high on your agenda, your business will live and breathe its brand and you’ll reap benefits both financially and in customer retention. After all, we know from our own experience as consumers that when we buy into what a brand stands for, the experience and how it makes us feel, we remain loyal for longer.
In the B2B world it is easy to see that with multi-channel interactions, and the importance of customer retention and customer advocacy for growth we have to see CX as the life blood running through the brand. CX helps you steer conversations away from price as your customer is valuing the brand experience and this makes it easier to deliver high quality products and services at a margin which allows you to grow.
And by focusing on CX we drive brand values throughout the organisation because it only works with a motivated and engaged workforce.
The game before the prize!
Harvard Business Review defines Customer Experience as “…the sum totality of how customers engage with your company and brand, not just in a snapshot in time, but throughout the entire arc of being a customer"
Transformational change on this scale requires sufficient and dedicated investment with a clear definition of the objectives, clear plans and collaboration. There is certainly hard work involved in creating an effective and dynamic CX programme, but don’t be deterred, as putting CX at the core of your brand will pay huge dividends to marketeers. It is, after all what you need to ensure your customers’ experience of your brand makes your competitors want to turn off the lights and go home.
Make sure you have backing from the very top of your organisation because customer experience straddles the whole of your business and underpins your brand promise. Successful CX requires a level of collaboration and buy-in across your organisation which also gives you the opportunity to break down any remaining silos.
Marketing is fundamental to CX and vice versa
Marketing is the obvious home for driving the customer experience programme because CX is about bringing the brand promise to life and ensuring that brand promise is realistic. The ‘expectation gap’ between promises made by organisations and the product and services delivered is often the main reason why relationships are not renewed. As marketeers we know that living up to your brand promise is vital, as is listening to the Voice of the Customer.
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