Why CX and Marketing Go Together—Now

Too often, marketing and CX improvement efforts happen as different activities in B-to-B companies. However, CX and marketing should go hand-in-hand for success.
While there are differences between the CX and marketing efforts, now, more than ever, providing better experiences for your customers is essential to making your marketing work successful. There are three big reasons:

Happy Customers Refer More

You know the value of a good lead. Priceless is what you might say. This is true! A customer that refers your business to someone else does much of the qualification for you. Your salespeople start the conversation with the prospective customer with a far higher level of trust.

Do happy customers refer more? Yes!CX and Marketing: Happy Customers make referrals

Our firm has conducted well over a million surveys with customers in various markets over the years. In many markets, we asked customers if they have actively referred a provider in the recent past. Between 30% and 40% of the time, they said: “yes” (depending on the market). The amount of referral activity surprised us. What also surprised us was that over 90% of referrals came from customers who gave a 9 or 10 on the likelihood to recommend. Think about the potential positive impact that more referrals could have on your marketing and sales efforts!

Happy Customers Stay Around

The typical B-to-B marketing person faces markets where the number of customers grows slowly, if at all. Keep customers in your fold is critical. If you lose one, it is often hard to find a replacement. Supposedly, better experiences lead to more loyalty and better retention. Where are the facts?

A few weeks ago, a client provided some compelling facts. A sizeable midwestern dealer for trucks, construction equipment, and other industrial lines started tracking customer retention in 2018. They found that customer retention grew from 63% to 74% in 2020—an 11 point increase in the percentage of customers returning to do more business. Not surprisingly, the total customer count increased as well.

Measures of customer satisfaction increased with the improvements in retention.

What does better retention mean for this client? Salespeople have more time to find new accounts and spend less time “reselling” existing accounts. Marketing can focus more resources on targeting new accounts. The fundamental improvement in customer experience freed sales and marketing resources, explaining the increase in customer count. An honest relationship!

Happy Customers Say Nice Things About You

We get a lot of feedback from customers.

We are currently completing around 7,000 interviews per month and a large number of email surveys. Customers have many opportunities to tell us what is on their minds and what they think about a provider. While you might think that customers only focus on the negative news, this is not true. For example, below are two separate, unsolicited comments from two different customers.

“Communication, parts availability, delivery. It all seems to be improved. We’re really thankful for that. I know some people have put some effort into improving our experience, parts availability, and things like that. That I appreciate. It’s going really well.”

In another situation, a client purchased another dealer. One customer had the following observation, again unsolicited (disguised names).

“Ajax Service is 110% better than when the former company owned it. Now I feel welcome when I come in, instead of feeling like I was a bother as a customer. Ajax Service does a great job. I highly recommend them. I tell others to go back and give it a chance, now that Ajax Service is the owner.”

While we did not ask if they have referred, there is an excellent chance these customers have done so. Even if there is no referral, these customers are talking to others and telling their positive stories. Consider how such comments can boost the effectiveness of your marketing efforts!


Differentiating your products by features alone is not enough. There are too many great alternative products from which customers can choose. Customers are increasingly considering the service that goes with the product. Do you have the service experiences that are what your customers want? If not, 2021 is a great time to get started. Better CX is a great way to accelerate your marketing efforts. Get them together.

To learn more about CX, signup for our Success Strategies Newsletter. It is a great way to look at how different companies are using methods and strategies to make customer experiences alive and vital. Signing up is easy.

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