A recent Gallup study, “Guide to Customer Centricity: Analytics and Advice for B2B Leaders,” found B2B companies need to do a better job of engaging customers if they want to retain their business. Across multiple B2B verticals, 71 percent of customers reported they were either indifferent or actively disengaged with their B2B vendor.
The data also showed 20 percent of B2B customers had experienced
a problem with a company or product, and only 40 percent believed the B2B company resolved their problem.
In fact, looking at several key metrics for customer satisfaction, only about half of B2B companies were doing well: 46 percent said the company always delivers on what they promise, 51 percent felt proud to be a company’s customers, 41 percent agreed a company is the perfect company for people like them.
The study found there was much to be gained by engaging customers. B2B customers with high customer engagement scores achieve 50 percent higher revenue/sales, 34 percent higher profitability and 55 percent higher share of wallet.
To achieve greater engagement with customers, Gallup suggests B2B companies follow a customer-centric model.
“A customer-centric model is about more than focusing on the customer or having a defined customer experience; it is about putting the customer at the core of everything,” the authors of the study wrote. “The goal of this model is to make the customer organization more successful, both within its own business and within the context of its partnership with the company.”
Marketing’s Role in Customer Experience
A February 2015 survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit/Marketo uncovered a trend where the marketing department for B2B companies is becoming increasingly responsible for customer experience.
The majority of CMOs defined customer engagement as a combination of customer renewals, repeat purchases, and retention, with the other two top answers being brand awareness and impact on revenue.
As B2B marketers look toward the future, skills in digital engagement, as well as marketing operations/technology, were identified as key areas for professional development.