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Managing B2B customer experience strategy

Do enough to make an impact or don’t bother doing anything at all.

Overview

90% of B2B execs indicated their intention to maintain or increase spending on customer experience.

Customer experience: Just a fad? Or a driver of sustainable growth?

Business-to-business (B2B) companies recognize customer experience is critical to growth and competitive differentiation. Yet, fewer than 25 percent of them excel. Those who are customer experience (CX) leaders achieve higher-than-average revenue growth.

What do these companies do differently? They elevate service as a critical enabler of growth. And they over-invest in both traditional and digital capabilities to sustain—and monetize—customer engagement. With sound strategies and strong execution abilities, these leaders show other B2B companies how to achieve through customer experience excellence and help drive revenue growth.

DOWNLOAD MANAGING THE B2B CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE: DO ENOUGH TO MAKE AN IMPACT OR DON’T BOTHER DOING IT AT ALL [PDF, 2.33 MB]

READ THE RESEARCH FINDINGS FROM THE FULL 2015 B2B CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE REPORT [PDF, 2.18 MB]

Key Findings

Accenture’s 2015 B2B Customer Experience Survey revealed that despite the perceived importance of customer experience, most B2B companies do not realize desired business results.

Importance

  • 86 percent of B2B executives consider customer experiences to be very important.

  • 79 percent are convinced that a differentiated experience has a direct effect on business results.

Outcomes

  • Only 23 percent of B2B companies achieve strong returns from their customer experience initiatives.

  • 20 percent (despite stating customer experience’s importance) generate low or even negative returns.

  • 57 percent are in the middle, idling in customer experience mediocrity. They lack a sound customer experience strategy and/or the ability to execute well.

The few B2B companies that consistently and significantly outperform their peers stand apart by having both strong strategies and execution capabilities.

Only 23% of B2B companies achieve strong returns on their customer experience investments. And almost as many—20%—generate low or no return. That means the majority—57%—are surviving, but not exactly thriving.

Recommendations

Leaders adhere to three counterintuitive principles:

Start from the back… to get to the front
Leaders don’t view service as a separate and final phase of the customer lifecycle. They combine product and service to drive outcome-based growth.

Over-invest in traditional
Leaders invest twice as much as their peers in offline capabilities such as contact centers, field service processes and tools, and legacy CRM systems.

Over-invest in digital
Leaders devote two-thirds of their customer experience budgets to digital. But these investments aren’t made in isolation. Digital augments physical experiences to deliver omni-channel customer experiences that customers notice and value.


Authors

Robert Wollan

Robert Wollan
Senior Managing Director, Accenture Strategy
Advanced Customer Strategy Global Lead

Robert Wollan is senior managing director, global lead of Advanced Customer Strategy within Accenture Strategy. His role focuses on shaping and delivering the Accenture front office strategy and technology solutions for marketing, sales, service and analytics functions.

Kevin Quiring

Kevin Quiring
Managing Director, Accenture Strategy
Advanced Customer Strategy North America Lead

Kevin Quiring is managing director, North America lead for Advanced Customer Strategy within Accenture Strategy. His role focuses on shaping and implementing the front office agenda for customer acquisition, development and retention.