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    Why BtoB Businesses Need to Think Like BtoC in the Next Decade

    According to Gartner at least 80% of BtoB buyers now expect the same buying experience as BtoC customers in 2019. Gone are the days when BtoB organizations did not need to prioritize or invest in customer experience. If you are not including customer experience in your roadmap, you might not be part of the future business ecosystem.

    BtoC Organizations Need Partners who Share their Vision

    If you are a BtoB organization, your revenues depend on the depth of the partnerships you have with your clients. Gaining that depth can only happen when you understand your customers’ goals and strategies.

    What is the experience your partner wants to offer to their employees and customers? How can you contribute to making it better?

    If you are a software company offering chatbot solutions, are you building features that will make employees’ lives easier? Or, is your solution primarily built to give necessary information without regard for user interface?

    Have you tested your solution as an employee of your client to understand how long it would take to get value out of your solution? Let me tell you about my big pet peeve in JetBlue. For me, it was when we implemented chat systems that required frontline employees to go and click the windows for notifications to display. Or when we implemented applications that did not integrate easily with the existing infrastructure of the airline and, thus, required a separate login and tab to be open at the gate. This forced our airport crewmembers to toggle between screens while customers needed immediate help.

    Be a good partner by thinking as your enterprise client. Help them meet their customers’ needs in a timely fashion. And you will grow exponentially in the next decade and beyond.

    BtoB Organizations are Still in the Business of People-to-People

    Let’s take the pharma industry as an example here. When you are working with testing centers and fail to prioritize creating user friendly relationships with your partners, they will not prioritize testing your drug in an efficient matter.

    Treating others the way you want to be treated is a safe business practice. For some reason, BtoB organizations historically thought they were exempt from this basic principle. Not to mention the very intuitive business case here.

    Another example, even closer to home – as a women-owned business, we are in the process of getting certified by NY State. The paper-based process is going to delay our application, which in turn will yield fewer certified women-owned business. In turn, this will make it harder for the State to utilize the funding requirement to acquire state funding awarded to women-certified businesses.

    The business case for making BtoB relationships customer-centric is even easier and more impactful than for BtoC businesses. Yet, the ROI is neither fully understood, nor prioritized.

    Feedback is the Best Gift. Don’t Miss Out on It!

    Asking for feedback will grow your business regardless, whether you are BtoB or BtoC. Yet, generally BtoB organizations have not heard of NPS. Or they are not listening effectively to what is coming back from customers.

    When you listen to your customers’ needs and adjust to meet them, your customers reward you with loyalty – and with more business. Tracking how you are doing is a must in the business of the future.

    If you have one goal in 2020, make that goal to infuse customer satisfaction scores into the way you do business. Just do it. And thank me later.

    How a Personal Interaction builds Customer Loyalty

    A customer-centric methodology is key to the successful outcome of my interaction with Hello Spud. It is the reason this story appears here, and not among the CX Big Fails! The company did not send an automated response. It did not deliver a message stating “sorry we couldn’t help you, would you like something else.” Instead, the company co-founder reached out to me personally across multiple channels (a handwritten note, followed by personal emails).

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    Get Customer Experience Basics Right and You Don’t Need to Invest in Wow Moments

    Wow Moments are a Customer Experience hot topic. Customer experience professionals ideate how to build, prioritize, finance, and measure these Wow Moments. Chip and Dan Heath wrote a whole book on the topic: The Power of Moments. No Wow Moment saves you from negative word of mouth if your brand fails to get the customer experience basics right or to deliver the expected brand experience consistently.

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    Culture and Access to Information

    By and large, people perceive culture as an HR discipline. The most common perception is that culture covers the soft side of performance. Culture is about how you do things, not so much about what you do. This approach to culture could not be more wrong. In fact, organizational culture is about so much more than a few words in a performance review sheet.  It is about leaders expressing values, and the action guidance their cultural behaviors provide.

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