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What’s Next In B2B CX?

Video Transcript:

Welcome. I wanted to try something different this month. So rather than writing a blog, I am recording a video of a blog. So I hope you like it. Let me know what you think. At the end of the video, there’s my contact information, so feel free to let me know.

I wanna spend some time today just talking about where we see CX in the marketplace, how it’s standing with with the clients we’re working with, and some of the trends we see. I think it might be helpful to first talk about how we got here, how CX came to be.

If you think back, probably the first term you might have heard was customer service. And that’s what the focus was, on the service that happened generally after the sale of the product, especially in the B2B world in which we work in.

In the 1960s through the 1990s, things started to evolve.

And there were several things that caused people to start to think more broadly about the customer experience. First was the commoditization of a lot of products.

Engineering talent throughout the world had gotten stronger, in the 1960s onwards. So it was really possible to get good high quality innovative products, from pretty much anywhere.

So the the issue of innovation and the issue of quality, came to be a bit more of a parity among competitors.

So there was a need to look for an additional way to have a strategic reason for customers to buy from you, and one of those things became customer experience.

The term was first coined by Luke Carbone, a researcher, wrote an article for the marketing management magazine in 1994 where this was the first found use of the term customer experience.

So why the interest in customer experience? Well, I mentioned the the need, to deal with effect of commoditization, which continues today. I mean, there there are a lot of products where the markets are very competitive and maybe great brands, but there are also lots of very good opportunities, in other products out there. So making customer experience a differentiated factor, became very important.

I think over time, managers learn that happy customers do behave differently than others who are not happy.

For example, they return more frequently. Their good experiences if they are good experiences. You know, their good experiences if they are good experiences.

You know, in fact, our research shows that thirty to forty percent of the customers of the clients with whom we work have given a referral.

Now the interesting thing about this, it over ninety percent of those referrals come from customers who also gave a nine or a ten on the likelihood to recommend.

So you’re going to get referrals, but they’re only gonna come or most likely gonna come from those who are most satisfied with, what you did for them.

So what’s the current CX status? Well, first of all, the market is robust.

In 2023, the global CX, management, systems market was estimated to be around eleven point four billion and growing at about twelve percent a year.

And I think the other thing that companies are learning is, CX is something better CX, better customer experience, something customers really want. People will pay more up to sixteen percent more, for a product if the customer experience that goes with it is better.

So there’s a strong incentive, which is probably why you see a lot of talk among publicly traded companies about their CX strategy, what they’re doing to improve CX because they see the value of of, of getting those customers more loyal and managing that important critical, asset for your business, your customer base. So what are some of the trends for the future?

I think, first of all, we can’t push technology too far.

We’ve got to be careful about how far we take it. In my view, we’re still a digital society, meaning physical and digital. Digital can help you reduce cost, can help you improve service.

But at some point, customers want to interact with a human in some way, and there’s all kinds of research to show that this is very important. They may be making their decisions without as much human involvement, sales involvement as they have in the past, but the but they are expecting to be able to talk to someone at some point during that process.

So it’s it’s really important to have some way of infusing the human into that customer experience in almost all cases.

I think managers are recognizing the critical importance of EX employee experience. If you don’t have really good engaged, knowledgeable, confident employees, it’s gonna be very hard to deliver great CX to your customers.

So what we’re seeing is there’s more interest in training.

They wanna develop their frontline managers in particular because they may have been taught skill technical skills, but they may not have been taught some of the leadership skills that are essential to leading smaller or larger teams.

And I think the other thing, they’re empowering people to make decisions that will help improve the things for the customer.

For example, we all know about Ritz Carlton. Every employee supposedly has a two thousand dollar account where they can use it to help make things right for the customer.

So I think we’re seeing a little bit more of that kind of behavior among some of the clients we’re dealing with.

And and I think, the last trend that I see is just beginning, and that is we are seeing a real need to integrate CX into the marketing efforts of the company or vice versa.

Because if you think about it, if you have thirty to forty percent of your customers who are giving referrals, that is a huge lift to your marketing and sales efforts.

So looking at ways to capitalize on those, those bad activity, make the customers part of your selling process almost, That is so important and so valuable, and that’s why why I think we’re going to see CX become an even more important part of company’s marketing plan as we move forward.

One thing to take a look at is I’d recommend, Fred Rieicheld’s new book, Winning on Purpose, where he talks about earned growth rate. It’s a fascinating way to capture the value of that earned growth as he calls it. The growth that comes from loyal customers, giving referrals, loyal customers coming back is well worth a quick read.

So what what do we conclude?

Several things. If you don’t have a, CX improvement plan in place, start thinking about it. And I’m saying that not because we work with companies to help improve their CX, but I think it’s gonna become an increasingly increasingly important part of what you do.

Managing that important asset, your customer base, to get them to be to come back, to tell others, to spend more is really what you want to be able to do.

And I think the second thing to to really highlight is the need to think digital.

Digital, yes, is important. It can help you. It can save money. It can speed up response, but it’s not the complete answer. You still have to have a way for customers if they need to to get in touch with the unit.

Thanks, folks. I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know what you think.

I welcome your observations. We’d like to make it better.

 

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