More B2B buyers want what they get in the consumer world — customer experience that leaves an impression and makes them buy again.

“There is a blending of B2C techniques to B2B delivery,” said Megan Heuer, vice president of research of SiriusDecisions, a B2B research and advisory company that released recently its 2016 B-to-B Customer Experience Study. “In the end you’re interacting with individuals and individuals have expectations from their consumer experience that says, ‘Hey, I’m used to great online experiences, call centers and my B2C interactions anticipating what I’m going to want next.'”

Based on a survey of 450 B2B buyers, the research can be distilled to one sentence: make the business buying experience count. B2B sellers can certainly do better. Less than half of B2B customers feel their providers offer them the needed value post-sale. As a result, only half of respondents plan to buy more from their current providers.

SiriusDecisions, which held its 11th annual SiriusDecisions Summit in Nashville, Tenn. last week, found customers believe there are many gaps in their post-sales experience. It highlights the need for B2B companies to rethink post-sale goals and delivery, officials said.

Other findings from the survey include:

  • 80 percent of B2B buying decisions are based on a buyer’s direct or indirect customer experience
  • Only 20 percent of buying decisions are made based on the offering or price
  • Executives and end users have very different perceptions of their post-sale experience: In every post-sale phase, the two customer roles reported almost no overlap in their post-sale content and interaction preferences, and described completely different gaps in what they’re getting today compared to what they want

"It’s impossible to separate out those expectations people have in B2C when they show up in a B2B supplier’s website and they’re hit with some information from 1993,” Heuer told CMSWire. 

Too many B2B companies presume that most B2B websites aren’t very good so theirs doesn’t have to be stellar, Heuer said.

“That’s a mistake a lot of them make,” she said. “People are comparing you to the best of what they get in consumer experiences.” 

In other technology news...

Mmm, Doughnuts: Secret to Engaged Employees?

How do you engage your employees in the digital age? Apparently with doughnuts.

Chicago-based Walker Sands, a PR and digital marketing firm, had a little fun this week in light of National Donut Day. At the same time, it acquired some data on employee engagement.

The company sent out two versions of its regular internal employee newsletter with notes about doughnuts. The first group of employees saw this note immediately preceding one of the top and most widely-read sections of the newsletter. The second half received the message as the last story of the newsletter.

Walker Sands wanted to learn who would read the newsletter, would they act on the information, would employees share the information and more.

The findings:

  • Within 90 minutes, 91 percent of eligible employees were aware of the free doughnuts
  • Twenty-one people (53 percent) heard from the newsletter
  • 19 (47 percent) were told by another employee, mostly verbally
  • Twelve of the 19 people tipped off by someone else were told by the person sitting right next to them

The digital team built a visual journey about the doughnut experience.

Learning Opportunities

“We wanted to learn more about how our employees were getting their information about the company and its happenings — whether it be directly from the newsletter, from another employee face-to-face, via technology, or not at all,” Mike Santoro, president of Walker Sands, said in a statement. “We found some interesting information about who was reading our newsletter, but also learned that if you want to make your employees paranoid, give away something free, ask where they learned this information, and then write it down without telling them why.”

Mind Your Manners

Twitter is fighting spam and abuse in Periscope broadcasts. It released a new tool for Periscope, which allows anyone to broadcast live to a global audience and enables viewers to interact in real time. 

The new reporting tool gives people watching the broadcast the ability to report comments they find inappropriate as they appear on the screen. 

What happens next: A small group of randomly selected live viewers will then vote on whether they agree with the reporter's assessment. Those found to be sending spammy or abusive comments will be temporarily disabled from commenting within the broadcast.

"We want our community to feel comfortable when broadcasting," Kayvon Beykpour, Periscope CEO and co-founder, said in a statement. 

"One of the unique things about Periscope is that you're often interacting with people you don't know. That immediate intimacy is what makes it such a captivating experience. But that intimacy can also be a vulnerability if strangers post abusive comments. Broadcasters have always been able to moderate commenters in their broadcast, but we've now created a transparent tool that allows the collective actions of viewers to help moderate bad actors as well."

ClickDealer Acquires Fiksu

ClickDealer, a global marketing agency, bought mobile marketing tech provider Fiksu for an undisclosed sum.

Fiksu’s product portfolio will augment ClickDealer’s own in-house mobile solutions by increasing their functionality while Fiksu will gain access to ClickDealer’s sales prospects and technical resources, officials said.

“ClickDealer is growing rapidly and we are constantly looking for opportunities to bring best-of-breed digital marketing services to the market,” Dmitry Atamanyuk, CEO of ClickDealer, said in a statement. "Fiksu is a natural fit for us as we enhance our mobile advertising capabilities and this acquisition will allow us to offer the most comprehensive suite of performance-based mobile advertising solutions.”

Title image "scream and shout" (CC BY 2.0) by mdanys

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