Customer experience strategies are increasingly important to B2B companies looking to elevate their offerings and solutions beyond the competition. The stakes are high as B2B leaders are vying for significant revenue for every renewal, win or up sale in an intensely competitive global environment. What’s more, most B2B companies have a hyper-concentration of revenue sitting in a very small group of clients, and as a result B2B leaders must consider strategies that put the client at the center of their work and help them to differentiate offerings. In many cases this requires intensive customization to deliver the value clients have come to expect.
The above scenario plays itself out on a daily basis for B2B leaders and when this level of intensive competition occurs, it is human nature to go back to what we know—a product or brand-driven focus. Our experience with clients shows that as tempting as this is, it creates an extremely difficult go-to-market because offerings are inevitably focused on internal rather than external stakeholder interests. When the going gets tough here are a few tips to keep you focused on what matters most:
Nothing will focus your team more on the customer than having customers present to your company on a regular basis. Create a calendar of client presentations and share those with your entire organization. This will help to keep the client front and center for your organization and will bring valuable lessons and sharing to your teams.
Know the Customer
Simple marketing principle, yes, but we are surprised how often this fades into the background when marketing leaders are with their senior executive leaders who decide to make their interests the top priority instead of the customers’. You’ve done the qualitative and quantitative research—point to the facts and do not let hierarchy trump client knowledge.
Focus on Small Wins
The organizational implications of client experience work can be enormous and challenging. Remember that you are moving people to think differently and you are asking them to have a totally different orientation in their work. Build plans and approaches that establish small victories rather than trying to achieve a complete organizational shift overnight. Celebrate those small wins publicly to encourage the culture to continue to change.