5 worrying truths about the state of B2B customer experience (Infographic)
Customer experience truly is the method of the moment in B2B marketing. Every single B2B brand needs to recognise that the true power of marketing lies not in perfecting the selling of its product, but the overall experience a customer undergoes before, during, and after their purchase.
The state of CX management 2016, Temkin Group
"Only 23 per cent of companies provide excellent CX"
Ahead of our CXcellence Conference in November, we created an infographic not just to highlight the importance of the customer experience, but also to expose the worrying number of B2B brands not quite getting it right.
1. Who is actually responsible for CX?
It’s the age-old question: who truly has control of the customer experience? Recent research from Forrester seems to suggest it’s the marketing department, with two-thirds of CMOs now claiming responsibility for complete ownership of CX.
But rather worryingly, only a third of those CMOs actually have performance goals tied to their customers’ overall satisfaction. The fact 82 per cent of CMOs report the majority of their goals are strictly aligned to revenue targets indicates there needs to be more top-level support for the implementation of CX-specific objectives.
2. B2B marketing leaders know CX matters
The first step towards action is acceptance, and it’s encouraging that 86 per cent of B2B executives recognise customer experience as a strategic priority, while 90 per cent intend to maintain or increase spend on CX.
The fact 80 per cent of B2B customers base their buying decisions on CX rather than price should be the welcome kick B2B marketers need if they’re reluctant to place customer experience front and centre.
3. There’s a huge difference between customer expectations and reality
We’ll let this figure speak for itself: only 16 per cent of B2B leaders believe the CX they provide is as good as the best B2C experiences. The disparity between expectation and reality is reinforced by the customers themselves, of whom only half would buy more from their current providers.
Even more damning is the 61 per cent who wouldn’t recommend their current vendor to others. And perhaps the most shocking statistic comes from a Gartner study earlier this year, which revealed almost two-thirds of B2B buyers are ready and willing to take their business elsewhere.
4. Can marketers prove customer experience ROI?
In short, seemingly not. The infographic reveals a mere 23 per cent of B2B companies enjoy strong ROI from their customer experience strategies, while only 32 per cent of B2B leaders are confident they can deliver on CX (down from 40 per cent in 2014).
And the disconnect becomes discernable when analysing the responses of B2B marketers, with only 12 per cent confident their customer experience delivery is ‘very effective’.
5. What’s getting in the way?
There is a plethora of obstacles preventing B2B marketers from delivering exceptional customer experience, yet perhaps even more interestingly is how equally weighted these challenges are.
- Directors and managers don’t have time to dedicate to CX
- Processes for achieving optimal CX not formalised
- C-level executives view other objectives as higher priorities
- Lack of cross-organisational integration and collaboration
- ROI for CX investments is unclear
- Lack of access to/analysis of the customer data required
- Lack of critical tools and technologies
- Lack of funding/resources needed from senior leadership
- People lack the required skills.
Remember, it’s not all doom and gloom. Almost a quarter of B2B companies are absolutely nailing customer experience. If you’re struggling, you’re not alone – but reticent marketers need to act sooner rather than later, or risk being left behind.