5 Promises That Define B2B Customer Success

We work with many of the largest technology companies, helping them bolster the experiences they deliver to customers, often focusing on their (business-to-business) B2B relationships.

With the shift from on-premise to cloud-based software, technology providers have had to focus even more on customer experience. Why? Because customers buy more incrementally and make renewal decisions more frequently, forcing tech vendors to ensure that customers are continuously getting value.

This shift is not unique to the technology industry. Many B2B companies are realizing that customers aren’t buying products. Instead, customers are making purchases in the expectation that they will achieve some value from the provider’s products and services. We call this a shift to “Value-As-A-Service (VaaS).”

In the world of VaaS, B2B companies must change how they interact with customers. Instead of relying on sales-oriented account management teams, they are creating customer success organizations. These groups are focused on making sure that customers achieve the value and outcomes they expect.

Unfortunately, many customer success organizations still look a lot like old fashioned account management groups. While there are many changes that need to be made, one of the things that can help is to commit to delivering on a set of customer promises. To help organizations start this process, we’ve identified a set of five promises that customer success organizations should make and keep:

  1. Understand My Business: Know how your products/services will help your clients business succeed.
  2. Find & Share Relevant Best Practices: Expose clients to meaningful opportunities for them to create new value with your products and/or services
  3. Prevent Known Issues & Obstacles: Make recommendations that will avoid problems in the future.
  4. Orchestrate Value Across Your Silos: Provide seamless access to appropriate resources across your organization.
  5. Don’t Surprise Me: Anticipate client’s upcoming needs and let them know what to expect during their entire lifecycle.

The bottom line: B2B loyalty depends on customer success.

The Future of VoC: Insight & Action, Not Feedback

The vendor market for Voice of the Customer (VoC) products and services has been heating up, with numerous acquisitions and mergers. All of this is happening as companies are trying to figure out how to run successful VoC programs. It appears that we on the verge of the next stage in evolution for VoC. So I decided to step back and look at the overall market.
VoC Programs Need To […] Continue Reading…

Report: Tech Vendors: Product and Relationship Satisfaction, 2018

We just published a Temkin Group data snapshot, Tech Vendors: Product and Relationship Satisfaction of IT Clients, 2018.
During Q3 of 2017, we surveyed 800 IT decision-makers from companies with at least $250 million in annual revenues, asking them to rate both the products of and their relationships with 58 different tech vendors. Google, Oracle outsourcing, and Microsoft servers earned the top overall scores, while Autodesk, ADP outsourcing, and Fujitsu […] Continue Reading…

12 CX Factoids: Ratings, People, and Leadership (Infographic)

It’s hard to keep up with everything that Temkin Group published in 2017, so we put together a couple of infographics to highlight some of the key data insights. The initial infographic examined CX efforts and ROI.

In this infographic, we examine 12 factoids on CX ratings, people, and leadership. Below the infographic you’ll find links to download the graphic (as well as a poster), along with links to the […] Continue Reading…

Off Topic: A Handful of Super Bowl LII Thoughts

First of all, I want to say congratulations to all of the Philadelphia Eagles fans out there. Your team won a great game that capped off an amazing season!

I was lucky enough to attend my third Super Bowl (SB LII) yesterday. Unlike the endings in Super Bowls XLIX and LI, my Patriots did not win the game. Here are a few quick thoughts about the experience:

Minneapolis was a […] Continue Reading…

Report: Customer Experience Expectations and Plans for 2018

We just published a Temkin Group data snapshot, Customer Experience Expectations and Plans for 2018.
In December 2017, Temkin Group surveyed 145 respondents – each from a company with $500 million or more in annual revenues – about their customer experience efforts over the past year and their plans for 2018 and beyond. We compared the results of this survey to the results of similar surveys we’ve conducted over the previous […] Continue Reading…

BlackRock CEO Shares A Sense of Purpose. Hallelujah!

Every once in a while, there’s a signal that things are changing. I hope that this is one of those moments.

Larry Fink, Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BlackRock, recently sent out his annual letter to CEOs. This year, it was titled, A Sense of Purpose. I urge everyone to read it. Here’s an excerpt:
Society is demanding that companies, both public and private, serve a social purpose. To […] Continue Reading…

Customer Empathy, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and Qualtrics X4

I love it when my work overlaps with some of my other passions. Well, it’s happening in a big way at the Qualtrics X4 Experience Summit in Salt Lake City on March 6th through 9th. I’ll be skiing in Deer Valley before the event, I’ll be speaking about customer empathy at the event, and Lin-Manuel Miranda will also be speaking.

Did you hear me… Lin-Manuel Miranda!I’m not just a fan of […] Continue Reading…

Report: Channel Preferences Benchmark, 2018

We just published a Temkin Group data snapshot, Channel Preferences Benchmark, 2018.
Here’s the executive summary: 
In Q3 2017, we surveyed 10,000 U.S. consumers about their channel preferences when performing 12 different activities – such as selecting a life insurance policy or applying for a new credit card – and compared their responses to the results of a similar study we conducted in Q3 2016. This data snapshot examines how channel preferences […] Continue Reading…

CX Institute Fills Customer-Centric Transformation Gap

For years, Temkin Group has worked with organizations that are looking to become more customer-centric, providing guidance to the executives and teams who are responsible for driving this change. But over the last couple of years, we’ve noticed a shift in our work. It’s no longer just about providing our clients with the skills and knowledge they need to be masterful CX professionals. We are increasingly helping them train […] Continue Reading…

15 CX Factoids: Customer Experience Efforts & ROI (Infographic)

It’s hard to keep up with everything that Temkin Group published in 2017, so we put together a couple of infographics to highlight some of the key data insights. This first infographic looks at CX efforts and the ROI of those activities. Below the infographic you’ll find links to download the graphic (as well as a poster), along with links to the referenced content.

Here are links to download different […] Continue Reading…

Free eBook: The 6 Laws Of Customer Experience

This is an update to the original eBook that was published in 2008. It has been downloaded and read by tens of thousands of people around the world and is likely one of the most-read documents ever published on the topic of customer experience.

So enjoy the updated eBook: The 6 Laws Of Customer Experience: The Fundamental Truths That Define How Organizations Treat Customers

Just like the three laws that govern all of physics, there […] Continue Reading…

Happy MLK Day in The Year of Humanity!

Happy MLK Day!

Source: Wikipedia

Every year on this day I like to celebrate lessons that we can learn from Martin Luther King, Jr. This year, I’ll focus on this quote:
“We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools”
This line is from King’s commencement address at Oberlin College in 1965 titled, Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution. Here’s a bit more of the speech that surrounded that […] Continue Reading…

CX ROI: Better Customer Experience = More Recommendations

In a recent post, I showed the correlation between customer experience and consumers’ likelihood to repurchase.

Since that post was so popular, I decided to once again tap into our survey of 10,000 U.S. consumers to analyze the relationship between CX (Temkin Experience Ratings) and likelihood to recommend.

To determine likelihood to recommend, we asked consumer how likely they were to recommend the company to friends and family. We calculated the […] Continue Reading…

Report: Lessons in CX Excellence, 2018

We just published a Temkin Group report, Lessons in CX Excellence, 2018. The report provides insights from six winners in the Temkin Group’s 2017 CX Excellence Awards. The report, which has more than 70 pages of content, includes an appendix with the finalists’ nomination forms. This report has rich insights about both B2B and B2C customer experience.
Here’s the executive summary:
This past November, we named six organizations the winners of Temkin […] Continue Reading…