Customer experience is key to B2B success: Study
- Accenture’s new B2B Customer Experience Report found 86% of surveyed executives reported sales and customer service experiences are important to their strategic priorities.
- A solid majority at 66% reported new digital market entrants provide better customer experience than incumbent players.
- That said, only 23% of B2B companies believe they are currently providing a truly effective customer experience program.
Accenture surveyed more than 1,350 sales and customer services executives at B2B companies with annual revenue in excess of $1 billion for its B2B Customer Experience Report. The key finding showed that customer experience is important for B2B success. Seventy-eight percent of surveyed execs believe customer expectations specifically tailored for B2B solutions have a substantial impact and 76% reported believing that customers are more knowledgeable, self-directed and continually engaging in evaluating their suppliers.
“B2B companies overwhelmingly recognize the importance of customer experience to their corporate strategy and bottom line, but the majority are wasting their investments on changes that are delivering mediocre results,” Robert Wollan, senior managing director of Accenture Strategy, said in a statement. “With consumer-like expectations and a substantial threat from new entrants, B2B companies must be ready to design and execute a transformed customer experience or not invest in such improvements at all.”
One impediment to success is only 32% of respondents report being equipped with the right skills to deliver strong B2B customer experience, an 8% drop from last year’s report. The reasons cited include: a lack of C-suite attention, customer experience processes, and necessary cross-organizational integration.
Even for business marketers, taking a customer-centric approach makes sense, especially as the modern marketing process continues to evolve and the customer takes more control.