Have you heard? It’s the year of the customer.
Of course you have.
Lately there’s been a trend in content creation: it’s all about the customer. We’ve gone so far as to say it’s “the year of the customer” – but isn’t every year the year of the customer?
As a business, are your customers the first thought you have, or do you merely say they’re top-of-mind?
The year of the customer: B2B customer-centricity is crucial
Think about your B2B experiences. Is your focus on your competitors, revenue, and overall sales taking precedent over the B2B experiences that you offer?
Your focus and mindset each year need to be centered around your customer – it’s that simple. We know that B2B customers are demanding B2C experiences and personal touches. Is your organization answering that call?
Don’t wait to discover that sales and engagements are dropping – you need to make B2B CX the primary consideration when crafting your strategic plans.
Of course, there’s many different avenues you can take when it comes to customers, but in the end, it all comes down to the fact that everything you do should be about and for them. Without them, your business doesn’t exist.
While that’s a lot to cover, keep in mind that overall experience. If you start with the knowledge that an outstanding CX really does matter and will earn ROI, it’s easier to create a strategy that’s customer-centric.
How digital transformation changed B2B CX
Understanding the multiple aspects of customer experience and how to improve your relationship with your customer is important. But what does the “year of the customer” really mean to you?
“The customer (and data about them) should be at the center of a digital transformation, with decisions made around it.” Christina Lagoda, SMITH
Unlike the constantly evolving B2C realm, it could be fair to view B2B as having been stagnant for a long time when it comes to engaging with customers – B2B buyers don’t have many choices, right?
As digital transformation evolves and more Millennials and Gen Z are becoming your B2B customers, things must change. The expectation of ‘delight’ is now mandatory, even for a standard B2B purchase. Truly understanding your customer and their wants and needs are critical. Without these insights – and the ability to act on them – your business will face extinction.
Organizations that lead in CX have higher revenue, higher client satisfaction, and higher growth, and using B2C as an example of how to treat B2B consumers should be prioritized to keep up with the times – and customer expectations.
Your focus determines your outcome
The more focus you place on your customers instead of competitors, the better your business outcomes will be. In fact, Forrester considers customers the “sole source of sustainable competitive advantage.”
While the ever-changing needs, technology, and shopping habits of customers has been the primary source of disruption, that doesn’t mean that your competitors are immune to these challenges.
B2B customers are people, and like all people, they’re constantly on the lookout for new ways to simplify their lives. It’s not knowing about the new technology that your organization is using; it’s about making that new technology work seamlessly for them.
Customer-focused marketing professionals are investing or expanding their brand’s current technological capabilities. Are you up to date with the latest CMS? How’s your commerce platform? Have you upgraded recently? Has your buyer’s journey on your site not changed since 2015? Are your customers happy with the process, or do you get no feedback at all?
Customers are the life of a company. That’s why finding moments of joy in the buyer journey is important. It’s why your customer experience shouldn’t just be good enough, but be ever-improving.
So no, this year isn’t the only year of the customer. Every year is.