B2B Firms Lag B2C Firms in Customer Experience

As I’ve said in the past, many of the underlying tools and techniques for CX work across B2B and B2C settings. But how effective are the CX efforts for these types of firms?

I examined results from Temkin Group’s CX Competency and Maturity Assessment from The State of CX Management, 2012 for B2B and B2C firms. The assessment rates companies across our four CX competencies: Purposeful Leadership, Compelling Brand Values, Employee Engagement, and Customer Connectedness. As you can see in the chart below:

  • Less than half of both types of firms are “good” at any of the four competencies
  • B2C firms are much stronger with Compelling Brand Values (+17 points) and Purposeful Leadership (+8 points)
  • B2B firms are slightly better at Employee Engagement (+3 points)
  • B2B firms struggle the most with Compelling Brand Values (24%) while B2C firms struggle the most with Employee Engagement (30%)
  • When I examined the overall results, 68% of B2B firms and 63% of B2C firms are in the two earliest stages of CX maturity

B2B2C_12CXCompetenciesThe bottom line: B2B and B2C firms have a lot of CX work to do

About Bruce Temkin, CCXP
I'm an experience (XM) management catalyst; helping organizations improve results by engaging the hearts and minds of their employees, customers, and partners. I enjoy researching and speaking about these topics. I lead the Qualtrics XM Institute, which is the world's best job. We're igniting a global community of XM Professionals who are inspired and empowered to radically improve the human experience. To achieve this goal, my team focuses on thought leadership, training, and community building. My work is driven by a set of fundamental beliefs: 1) Everything starts and ends with human beings, so you need to understand how people think, feel, and behave; 2) XM is a discipline that needs to be woven throughout an organization's entire operating fabric; and 3) Building the XM discipline requires a combination of culture, competency, and technology.

5 Responses to B2B Firms Lag B2C Firms in Customer Experience

  1. alan@servicebrandglobal.com says:

    Hi Bruce,

    I think there is a typo here re compelling brand values repeated?

    Happy New Year!

    Sent using BlackBerry® from Orange

  2. Daniel Piekarz says:

    I think the key issue that this is representing is that B2B companies need to remember they are actually B2B2C. If the consumer needs to complain to the client company when they have a problem then the client company needs to work with your company to fix the issue, it is a recipe for dissatisfaction. A B2B company that wants to ensure a high level of customer satisfaction needs to have direct communication with the consumer. A way to measure and act upon dissatisfaction quickly, providing open communication and preferably resolve the issue before the client even realizes it exists. When a consumers issue is quickly addressed to their satisfaction this builds brand loyalty. The further you distance your company from the consumer the harder this is. When done right with open communication a quickly resolved problem builds confidence across the board.

    • Bruce Temkin says:

      Hi Daniel: Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree with your general direction, but it probably doesn’t makes sense for all B2B companies have direct access to consumers. To look at an extreme, a corn farmer can’t really have direct connections with consumers that are eating a meal at a restaurant or buying corn from the supermarket. Take a look at my post: Three Models Of B2B Customer Experience

  3. Thanks for citing the specifics for B2B companies, Bruce. We need to hear more statistics and progress reports about B2B, since most of the customer experience benchmarking reports in existence emphasize consumers rather than business customers, with the exception of specific industries within specific geographies, e.g. financial industry CEM in Asia, telecom CEM in UK, etc. In a quest to balance the CEM conversation across B2B and B2C, I launched an annual B2B CEM study, and the latest report features numerous stories of B2B successes in their journey toward customer experience management best practices: http://www.customerthink.com/blog/focusing_on_people_in_b2b_customer_experience_strategy/

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