Increasingly accumulating and advanced data and technology are swiftly and continuously changing the customer experience environment as markets, business, needs, and regulations continue to evolve. It’s up to us to keep up and ahead of the curve if we want to be recognized as industry leaders – and successful ones at that.
The importance of an excellent customer experience these days is no secret; it’s one of the last, main factors that separate a brand or company from its competitors. The answer is simple: give your audience a positive experience and they’ll be coming back for more. The execution, however, takes a bit more planning and practice.
Do Your Homework
You’ve heard this one before, but it bears repeating: it’s never been as important as it is today to know your customer as best as you can. Ask the right questions, listen up, do the research, and form the clearest possible picture of who it is you’re dealing with – be they in the B2B or B2C communities. Successfully completing this first step ensures smoother sailing later on, when you get into topics like personalization and mobile marketing. Without it, you might as well be taking shots in the dark.
Sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised. With the wealth of information at our fingertips today, it’s easy to get lost in the noise. The cream, however, rises to the top, so go ahead and start whipping. Advanced content like strongly written and well thought-out white papers and webinars can give you an upper hand on the competition – and you know it’s there, right around the corner. Forrester Principal Analyst Andy Hoar advises: “B2B buyers now insist on an Amazon-like customer experience with real-time interaction, extensive price and inventory transparency, and robust guided selling.” Are you the one that’s going to give it to them?
Above all, don’t forget to simplify – and to set realistic expectations for your staff and your audience. In a recent episode of SAP’s Game-Changers, IBM’s Global Business Services partner Jennifer Engelhardt shared the following quote from her SVP: “The last best experience that anyone has anywhere becomes the minimum expectation for the experience they want everywhere.” Wise words, and cautionary at that. Today’s B2B landscape is more crowded and complex than ever; expectations change quickly, and if you’re not meeting those of your customers, they’ll be quick to look elsewhere.
Game Plan B2B conference – set to be three exciting days of enlightening industry news and idea-sharing – features a keynote by Mark C. Thompson, who will be exploring just this topic in his opening presentation. There’s still time to register, so don’t miss out on what’s sure to be a very informative session about what makes for a successful B2B customer experience today.