Study Finds Customer Experience a Rising Priority for Business-to-Business Brands

Oct 06, 2015

The results are in from a new Business-to-Business (B2B) Customer Experience (CX) study conducted by with support by InMoment. The report reveals that customer experience is becoming an increasingly critical priority for B2B companies, garnering more investment and driving business success.

Bob Thompson, CEO of CustomerThink, an independent research and publishing firm focused on customer-centric business management, conducted the study among B2B companies in a range of industries from around the world. Of the 135 organizations that responded, 100 reported having a customer experience initiative in place, defined as "a focus on improving customer experiences to achieve business outcomes."

Nearly half (46%) of the CX initiatives analyzed in this study are quite young, at two years or less. At the other extreme, 36 of the 100 initiatives have been in place for five years or more. Companies that are putting the most effort toward CX initiatives ("optimizing") report success at twice the rate of those in the lowest effort ("developing") category. When asked about benefits received so far, 73% of respondents said they have achieved "some" or "significant" benefits in improved customer satisfaction, and 62% reported improved business performance. The second-rated benefit, somewhat surprisingly, was "improved employee engagement" at 64%.

While there are a variety of best practices that support CX success in B2B environments, the study found that the most important element separating leaders from laggards is when company executives set a positive example in the way they prioritize and act on customer experience objectives. Additionally, when asked which sources of information contain the most helpful information to improve customers' experiences, the study found several surprises. The top source of actionable insights was employees. The next three sources were all unstructured sources, including survey comments, qualitative interviews, and customer surveys/other non-survey text, reinforcing the importance of both employee involvement and customer stories in successful CX initiatives.

Respondents listed the top five issues preventing effective CX execution as a lack of time, no measurable ROI, lack of strategy and goals, not enough people and people lacking the right skills.