B2B customer experience is the topic of Econsultancy and SAP Hybris' latest report.

The Tension in B2B Customer Experience Management includes an international survey of over 220 senior leaders at companies spanning a range of industries.

Though customer experience (CX) is impossible to universally define, the importance of slick customer interactions is paramount.

Yet, as the report reveals, there's still a way to go for many B2B brands.

Only 16% of B2B companies think their customers rate their CX on a par with B2C

B2B experiences are evaluated with many of the same criteria as consumer brands. Convenience is expected in B2B, too.

That's why it's perhaps surprising to know that only 16% of survey respondents said their B2B CX was on a par with the best B2C retail experiences.

The gap between the 'leaders' category (those B2B companies that consider their CX strategy 'very advanced') and the rest is also worth consideration.

These top 20% of organizations are more than three times as likely to provide B2C-quality experiences. The other 80% of companies are playing catch-up, and have much to do. 

b2b evaluated against b2c cx

Less than 40% are using purchase history to improve CX

The majority of respondents are using CRM data (55%) to improve the digital customer experience.

However, it's a fairly damning indictment that less than 40% of respondents use any of the other named data sources to improve CX.

Only 37% use company purchase history and 34% use individual purchase history in order to improve the online experience. Given that this data is routinely used for forecasting and sales targets, this shows a neglect of CX.

In a separate question, 39% saw fragmented data as a barrier to improving digital commerce, second only to legacy tech (42%).

Even when users have given explicit preferences to a B2B company, only 29% are then using this data to change the CX.

data for b2b cx

Only 26% have strategies that identify the talent needed for B2B CX

One survey question looked at what B2B companies have included in their customer experience strategies.

Playing into the fragmented data narrative touched on above, only 40% of companies have a strategy that involves departments outside of marketing.

With no cross-functional teams and collaboration on the CX front, marketers are sure to make heavy weather of progress.

50% of respondents admitted their strategy does not look further than the next 12 months and 74% have strategies that do not detail the talent necessary to achieve CX goals.

In a tough skills market, this is likely to impact B2B companies, prolonging the inertia of a below-par customer experience.

b2b strategies

For further findings from this new report, subscribers can download it using the link below. There's no doubt it throws down the gauntlet to B2B marketers.

Download The Tension in B2B Customer Experience Management.

Ben Davis

Published 11 May, 2016 by Ben Davis @ Econsultancy

Ben Davis is Editor at Econsultancy. He lives in Manchester, England. You can contact him at ben.davis@econsultancy.com, follow at @herrhuld or connect via LinkedIn.

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