A superior Customer Experience (CX) has long been talked about as something which all of the best organisations do well. Indeed, McKinsey's research "found that organizations able to skillfully manage the entire experience reap enormous rewards: enhanced customer satisfaction, reduced churn, increased revenue, and greater employee satisfaction." Moreover, as Tom Brown (Global Head of Asset Management for KPMG) sets out in the video below, the UK's top 100 leaders in customer excellence have experienced revenue growth two times greater than the FTSE 100 companies combined. A rather compelling statistic.
Part of the reason for the ever-increasing focus on CX is because of our daily experiences as a B2C customer (grocery shopping online/ordering a taxi/buying a new phone etc.) We receive attentive & timely care along with personalised information, excellent end product and service then ongoing updates as soon as we need them.
This is now the level of service which we demand from our banks, insurance or telecomms companies. This has been coined the "consumerisation" of B2B and indeed, my colleague David Kirk has written about it before, found here.
McKinsey Partner, Nicholas Maechler, said that firms like Uber, Apple & Amazon have "set new standards in terms of what you can expect from an interaction with a company." These are standards to which all organisations, regardless of industry, will have to adhere to ensure long-term success, especially in the crowded marketplace.
However, what does this actually mean for large B2B organisations, such as the "Big Four"?
With the knowledge that the typical B2B sales cycle is much longer, more complex and involves many more stakeholders than a typical B2C process, organisations are learning to provide that same level of individual, tailored attention to each client or prospect throughout the sales process.
Tom Brown, at Fund Forum Berlin spoke about KPMG's own research on CX for Asset Management, "I think the critical moments which we have found through this research are that the areas around developing the relationship before the sale and ongoing (sic), creating that level of trust is absolutely critical."
When your competitors are all trying to nab that same piece of business and you all have a relatively similar set of resources, the organisation which can instill the highest levels of business confidence will inevitably deliver not only the greatest value for the customer, but for their shareholders as well.
The most successful firms are doing this in new and innovative ways, one of which is engaging with the customer with the right information at the right time with relevant content. The top individuals and organisations realise that they cannot be at every networking event or conference and cannot always be on the phone or in contact via email. They have to find new ways to add value to the customer relationship to cement their position as the go-to experts and to gain that competitive advantage.
The consumerisation of B2B means that we, the customer, have huge choice. B2B firms that don't renew their focus on the customer will be left behind.