B2B companies looking to create and sustain superior customer experience need to master four competencies -- purposeful leadership, compelling brand values, employee engagement and customer connectedness. A new insight report from Temkin Group, “Best Practices in B2B Customer Experience,” reviews these competencies as well as the rising importance of customer experience in the B2B marketplace.

According to the Temkin Group report, customer experience is growing in importance for B2B marketers for several reasons:

  • Business Loyalty -- Customer experience is an important driver of loyalty for B2B industries. Among IT vendors, Temkin Group data shows that Net Promoter Scores depend more on account management than products and services.
  • Crucial Customers -- Individual customers have a much greater impact on the success of B2B companies than they do on B2C companies.
  • Consumer Expectations -- B2B customers compare their B2B customer experience to their B2C customer experience and are disappointed if the quality is not the same.
  • Bandwagon Jumpers -- B2B companies are increasingly “jumping on the bandwagon” when it comes to providing a B2C-like customer experience, meaning B2B companies that don't follow suit are at increased competitive disadvantage.

Despite the growing importance of B2B customer experience, Temkin Group finds that the B2B vertical in general is not doing a good job of providing quality customer experience. Major impediments in the space include a lack of proficiency in the aforementioned four key competencies, significant internal silos and failure to translate their brands into specific customer promises, reward employees based on core corporate values, define target customers or integrate customer feedback into business processes.

In terms of building proficiency in the four key competencies, Temkin Group makes the following suggestions: