Customer Experience in the B2B Space Matters

Customer Survey

Customer experience has become even more important in the 21st century as buyers gain power.

Customer churn kills growth. And because it’s ultimately unsustainable, it kills companies. Is there anything more important to the bottom-line health of your company than delivering great customer experiences consistently? We’d argue, nothing. So it begs the question, “How can you deliver great customer experiences if you don’t know much about your customers? That’s where we come in. (Do you think you’re already delivering great customer experiences? Think again. Blind surveys with actual customers say otherwise).

But what if you’re a B2B enterprise? It turns out your B2B customers expect experiences consistent with what they get in when they’re consumers in the B2C space. I happened upon this article recently that profiles 10 B2B companies who deliver great customer experiences.

It means having a good CRM matters, not only for your internal benefit but you can leverage the same data to create great experiences such as:

  • Automate sending birthday or anniversary cards.
  • Have all the customer's history on one screen, so no matter which sales rep picks up the phone, the rep knows what's happened. The customer doesn't have to repeat the same story multiple times to get something resolved.
  • Create self-service portals so customers can view their order history, retrieve serial numbers and place help desk requests anytime.

How do you plan on creating better customer experiences? Let’s take a look at your churn rates and lifetime customer value data. We can certainly help. Feel free to bounce some ideas off me. Discovery calls are always free.

Staying Organized Outside of CRM

Productivity has increased dramatically over the last 20 years, but at what cost?

We are overwhelmed.  All of us.

Source: Economic Policy Institute

During the 2008 recession, businesses learned they can get an employee to fill the jobs of two or three people for fear of losing their own. The impact on everyone’s quality of life has been devastating. How do you keep everything straight?

You may think of me as a CRM guy who designs databases for a living, that I am uber-organized. In some ways, I am. But I get overwhelmed, too. That’s just life in the 21st century. There are many items in my day that don’t fit neatly into a CRM construct. For instance, new product ideas, client solutions, articles of interest, meeting agendas, even my website color scheme.

A few years ago, a client gave me a book called Getting Things Done (GTD) by David Allen. The GTD method takes these items and places them where they can be acted on later.

Some people use post-it notes. Over the years, I’ve found that Evernote is a far more powerful tool. Others out there include Microsoft’s OneNote and Zoho’s Notebook as part of the Zoho One platform. I combine Evernote with CRM to keep everything on point, even the stuff I do that’s not associated with an individual contact in CRM. This works for me, especially when I have to reference a Power BI formula I wrote over a year ago, for example. Pairing the GTD methodology with great CRM keeps my desk clean, yet I have access to what I need at any time, wherever I go.

Workflow for the GTD Process.

I combine CRM & Evernote to keep things organized.

How do you manage to keep all your plates spinning? Everyone has a life hack.

Private Equity and Its Impact on Software as a Service

Private Equity

I came across this article, and I found it interesting as my industry goes under dramatic change.

Over the last 5 years, business to business software has taken on the SaaS (Software as a Service) model. It makes sense. The software publisher has incentive to adapt to subscriber needs, the consistent cash flow to continually improve the product, the means to support existing customers and adjusts it to ever-changing hardware and operating systems.

Now, the world of private equity has jumped on this megatrend as well. They can see consistent returns, and they can map out a five year plan with relatively predictable revenues. Sounds great for everyone, right? The software publisher fulfills their vision. Customers enjoy the new features. The private equity firm provides a capital boost and cashes out in 4-5 years. Everyone wins. Maybe.

But what if cash flows don’t meet expectations? Or what if previously acceptable returns aren’t enough for institutional investors who expect year-over-year growth? Will they apply pressure to cut costs and increase prices? Who takes the hit?

“..But don’t mistake their ultimate loyalty: it’s to the money, not the business. Whenever the business isn’t aligned with the money, they will side with the money.” — Inc. Magazine (October, 2018)

We’re platform agnostic and routinely work with both closely-held and investor-owned CRM platforms and vendors.

Yet, we’re sensitive to these industry developments and watch them closely.

Choosing the right provider, one that meets our clients’ unique circumstances, is almost always a nuanced and involving process. We’ve been doing this for over 20 years and enjoy these conversations. If you’re reviewing your current system’s features, functionalities and relevance to your business processes, feel to press the button and book a discovery call.

What is CRM - Has it changed since 2012?

I made this video in 2012, and my branding and platforms has evolved a bit.  However, I still see many core principles remain the same.  Although we have to say good bye to the Blackberry, CRM builds what’s now known as a customer-centric enterprise.   After all, how can you build good customer experiences if you don’t know anything about them?

Customer Experience by The Numbers (INFOGRAPHIC)

Why is a single point of access so important to your company? Because according to this study and many others like it, customer experience is considered the #1 metric in the B2B marketplace. You probably already know why—because it costs 7x more to acquire a new customer than to retain an old one. How many screens do your reps have to flip through to access the data they need to deliver great experiences? Likewise:

  • Buyers have more options than ever before
  • Given online ratings and reviews, unhappy buyers can hurt you more and worse than ever before
  • Ghost Losses—you often don’t know when they’re unhappy or even when they’re leaving you and why

customer-service-five-stars-750So how well do you know your customers? (Maybe not as well as you think.) Your bottom line most certainly depends on it. Even a 5% improvement in customer retention can increase net profits by 25%

Click here for a nifty infographic that lays it all out for you. If you'd like an 11"x17" PDF version to print and post where your team can see it, just let us know and we'll be happy to send one over to you.