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5 Rules for Managing Your Customer Experience in Business to Business
A lot of the behavioral sciences can feel intimidating. However, it doesn’t have to be. The Five Rules Podcast Series is our attempt at giving you an easy entry point into the complex and messy world of Behavioral Science.
There is a common misconception in organizations that their business customers buy rationally. However, these same organizations also think that their business is built on relationships. This dichotomy comes from a misunderstanding about business customers: they have emotional needs in their business-to-business relationships just like they do in their business-to-consumer ones.
Business customers want many of the same things retail customers do. Business customers share the same emotional needs to feel cared for by the companies they do business with for their business. They need to know they are appreciated and that they can trust the suppliers they use to help them reach their goals.
In other words, they need to feel happy and pleased with their business-to-business Customer Experience. In this episode, we share the 5 rules for managing your Customer Experience in business-to-business relationships, including:
- B2B is complicated, so you need to simplify it.
- Recognize that customer emotions apply.
- Manage different customers differently.
- Define the experience to align the organization.
- Focus on the art of the possible.
Key Ideas to Improve your Customer Experience
Here is a quick summary of why these are the five rules:
- B2B is complicated, so you need to simplify it. Due to the complex nature of businesses, particularly large corporate entities, it is essential to break down the Customer Experience into smaller, manageable parts.
- Recognize that customer emotions apply. Emotions drive value in business relationships the same way they do in personal ones; how business customers feel in your experience is essential to manage.
- Manage different customers differently. In your business relationships, you might have multiple contacts with various jobs within an account with different perceptions of your organization; understanding how these individual perceptions define the value your company provides is vital and might require adapting your approach depending upon the contact with whom you interact.
- Define the experience to align the organization. It is critical to know what emotions are the most valuable to your organization’s customers and how you want to evoke these emotions with your experience. However, we recommend setting the goal of the emotion and allowing the organization’s departments determine how they will evoke that emotion in their part of the customer process.
- Focus on the art of the possible. Not everyone will be on board with your plan, and that’s okay. Some departments will and these early-adopters will score the first wins for the program. Once the other, less enthusiastic departments see the early-adopter’s results, they will come around and join in the effort.
Here are some highlights of the discussion:
- 03:27 Colin shares some context about the complexity of managing Customer Experiences for large global corporate entities.
- 07:09 Ryan reviews the concept behind the Dunbar Number, which dictates how many relationships people can manage.
- 10:57 Colin explains a common dichotomy in thinking he encounters at his meetings with business-to-business clients.
- 13:40 Colin shares a story about working with a healthcare company and what it taught him about segmenting customers within a single account.
- 17:35 Colin explains how the Customer Experience manager should empower organizational departments to determine how to evoke the desired emotional outcome from customers in that department’s part of the process.
- 22:25 Colin shares his advice for managing the departments that buy-in to the process—and how to handle the ones that don’t.
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Customer Experience Information & Resources
Download the new Verint research report on the Engagement Capacity Gap, by visiting www.Verint.com/boundless
Customer engagement is critical to your success. Join this three-day, virtual conference to discover tools and techniques that can help you build enduring customer relationships. Register at www.Verint.com/engage
LinkedIn recognizes Colin Shaw as one of the ‘World’s Top 150 Business Influencers.’ As a result, he has 289,000 followers of his work. Shaw is Founder and CEO of Beyond Philosophy LLC, which helps organizations unlock growth by discovering customers’ hidden, unmet needs that drive value ($). The Financial Times selected Beyond Philosophy LLC as one of the best management consultancies for the last two years. Follow Colin on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Click here to learn more about Professor Ryan Hamilton of Emory University.
Why Customers Buy: As an official “Influencer” on LinkedIn, Colin writes a regular newsletter on all things Customer Experience. Click here to join the other 22,000 subscribers.
Experience Health Check: You already have an experience, even if you weren’t deliberate about it. Our Experience Health Check can help you understand what you have today. Colin or one of our team can assess your digital or physical Customer Experience, interacting with your organization as a customer to define what is good and what needs improving. Then, they will provide a list of recommendations for critical next steps for your organization. Click here to learn more.
How can we help?
Click here to learn more about Beyond Philosophy’s Suite of Services.