McKinsey & Company reports that B2B companies score substantially lower on customer satisfaction than consumer companies. One reason B2B companies underperform on customer satisfaction is they are more complicated — with more moving parts — than retailers. But another reason is that without knowing it, many B2B’ers may rely on a consumer approach to CX when, in fact, B2B CX is different in five key ways.
Kaitlyn on my team made an explainer video about this and it is well worth clicking on above. The main points are summarized here!
B2B CX Differences:
- B2B customers spend more per sale and over time. For example, a runner might spend a few hundred per year on sneakers, but companies like Nordstrom or Big 5 Sporting Goods spend millions per year on pallets of sneakers. Sure, some consumer purchases like a new house are spendy, but these purchases are rare, happening at most every few years.
- With B2B CX, there are multiple decision-makers, often including IT Managers, the COO, Procurement personnel, and more.
- It’s a true partnership. B2B customers often develop new ideas for product upgrades. And sometimes, they even produce new strategies and ways to approach your business! B2B customers are so deeply involved in the relationship that an ongoing dialogue can affect both parties.
Dennis Fitzgerald, with Yaskawa America, says, “Many of our OEMs work so closely with their end-users that they develop unique solutions. Our OEMs help us reimagine what the next generation of our products could be. ”Intel’s Barbara Roos backs this up by saying, “B2B customers are “intrinsically involved in the development of our products, giving us feedback, telling us what their end customers want and need.”
- B2B CX spans multiple touchpoints, and customers often interact with their providers weekly, daily, or even hourly.
- Finally, with so much at stake, B2B customers have high expectations. As consumers themselves, B2B customers are accustomed to the sleek experiences of consumer giants like Amazon and Apple. And since going back to point one, B2B’ers spend more than consumers, naturally, they expect their experiences to be easy and delightful.
To discuss the unique nature of B2B CX and its impact on your surveys and the customer journey, get in touch.