The chemical industry’s diverse customer base insulates it from volatility in one customer industry or another, helping to stabilize revenues and increase resilience during downturns and times of crisis.
But when it comes to customer centricity, that broad customer base can have a significant downside. For many chemical companies, there is a tendency to look for increased efficiencies by offering fairly similar products and services to customers across industries. And that can mean that they are sometimes failing to meet the specific needs of specific industries and customers.
Indeed, Accenture’s Global Buyer Values Study shows that chemical companies do not always have a clear understanding of what their customer industries value and want from them. They often over- or underestimate the importance of certain product and/or service attributes, compared to what buyers actually think is important. And, the research shows that the preferences and needs of customers often differed from established beliefs about what they value. (Figure 1) These gaps point to unmet needs—and to opportunities for chemical companies to adjust their offerings to provide the things that matter most to their customers.
Figure 1: Select perception gaps between sellers and buyers (cross-industry average)