“By 2020 customer experience will be more important than product or price” - Microsoft
According to Microsoft by 2020 customer experience will be more important than product or price as brand differentiator. This is because your B2B customers are increasingly expecting the same service levels they experience with online B2C sales at home.
They no longer need time consuming sales visits after the first order, are prepared to pay more for seamless customer service and 65% are leaving after a bad customer experience. Over 72% are searching for new suppliers using social media.
B2B companies are beginning to implement digital solutions. But those efforts have tended to focus on internal cost and process efficiencies and less on innovating around sales and the customer experience — and that’s where the real growth is.
Digitization has made providing consistent, high-quality customer experience a competitive priority, no matter what the channel. However, selling models remain the same in the offline world. Most Company websites, sell what they do and not what they can do for the customer. Often rich in product descriptions, they are little more than digital brochures that fail to provide an easy way for customers to buy. This approach is incorrect and companies doing this should look again at how they define their product or service.
Therefore, B2B companies need to create consumer-like experiences, with personalized service and easy purchasing across platforms and devices.
Research by McKinsey is clear ‘by investing in a targeted set of digital capabilities and approaches, B2B companies can improve their financial performance—and not just by a percentage point or two. Rather, the B2B companies that master these areas are generating 8 percent more shareholder returns and a revenue compound annual growth rate (CAGR) that is five times greater than the rest of the field’.
Steps in automated marketing and customer experience: