In a recent survey carried out with our customers, 89% said we were doing a great job. A brilliant result and an indication of all the hard work put in by our team.
So if we’re doing really well at delivering high levels of customer service, we don’t need to worry or put plans in place for new strategies or ways or working.
As there is no problem, then there is nothing to fix.
The survey also showed that our customers find us easy to do business with, that our staff are helpful and knowledgeable and that our deliveries are accurate.
Surely our main aim then is to keep this up.
It is. But, it is not that simple. Customer service is not the whole picture. Today, to be successful, companies need to consider the customer experience, that is the total involvement or whole journey that customers have with the company.
This refers to all the interactions between a customer and a company from initial discovery, relationship development, support, information provision, purchase, delivery, as well as service. Customer service is just one aspect, so looked at in this way, there is much more to do.
So what are the challenges facing many B2B organisations that already deliver high levels of customer satisfaction?
At Oscrete, this challenge is maintaining the drive for continual improvement and differentiation in a competitive marketplace. We serve a diverse group of customers whose products are literally everywhere and make up the backbone of our country’s infrastructure. This could be concrete tunnels below ground, pre-cast building panels or concrete paving, to mention just a few examples.
Oscrete admixtures are used in the concrete manufacturing process to reduce costs, enhance performance or increase manufacturing efficiencies.
In order to achieve more, B2B businesses need to give customers want they want and not what they tell customers they need. This involves looking through ‘the lens of the customer’ in other words putting your feet in their shoes.
Creating competitive advantage through offering great customer experience is not easy and has its challenges. But whether its B2B or B2C, one definite thing is that customers are evolving.
One of the main challenges in B2B is that there is no single customer profile – none of our customers are the same, which makes it difficult for us to deliver a consistent experience.
And within each customer organization, we deal with multiple contacts, some of these only participate in certain parts of the customer journey and each will have different expectations.
There are therefore many relationships to manage within just one customer outfit that makes the journey complex and fragmented. We have also been slow to embrace new ways of communicating, digital channels have not been top of the list and we instead continue to rely on personal relationships forged over time. We do however need to find ways to overcome ageing technologies, operational processes and rigid organizational structures.
Despite these challenges, there are ways for B2B brands to stay relevant, customer-centric and run successful business models. Here are a few key strategies to help improve the overall customer experience:
1. Commitment from all
Ensure commitment from your entire organization, all employees need to understand what you are striving for and take your customer-centric goal to heart. Every person contributes to the client experience.
2. Fulfil All Customer Needs
Be aware that decisions are not always rational. Listen to clients and understand their needs. Build a connection to discover unmet needs. Don’t think only short-term goals – i.e. sales. Think long-term relationship.
3. Make Life Easy for Your Customers
The easier it is to do business with your organisation, the more your customers will love you. Make their entire journey seamless, convenient, and easy.
4. Be Responsive
Don’t disappear. Don’t take days to respond. Don’t ignore them because you perhaps don’t have all the information just yet. Timely responses will earn you a lot of favour.
5. Be Proactive
Don’t wait around for things to hit the fan. Instead, do everything you can to anticipate the needs and wants of your clients, and then resolve their problems as quickly as possible, ensuring you fix things before they start feeling the pain. The more proactive you are, the more loyal your customers will be.
6. Don’t Be Stagnant
Ever. Customers are constantly evolving, which means you need to evolve right along with them, or you will end up being left behind again.
7. Be personal
Personalisation goes a long way with customers. Collect data and use it to take advantage of the insights it offers. Go beyond the expected level of interaction to show you know your customer inside and out.
When thinking about all these strategies, remember to set achievable targets. Look at levels that are conservative, realistic and ambitious and measure these over time, adapting as things move forward.
Doing nothing and expecting to maintain customer satisfaction would be foolish. Our challenge in an organization already achieving 89% customer satisfaction is to ensure understanding, commitment and willingness from the whole company and hopefully this way we can achieve so much more, for both our own company and our clients.