Comparing B2B and B2C CX Obstacles

In previous posts, I compared customer experience (CX) management efforts and CX competency assessments across these three types of companies:

  • Companies that primarily serve businesses (B2B)
  • Companies that primarily serve consumers (B2C)
  • Companies that serve both business and consumers (B2B & B2C)

As part of our research for the report The State of Customer Experience Management, 2011, we asked companies to identify significant obstacles to their CX efforts. Here’s how those different firms responded:

Here are some of my observations:

  • “Other competing priorities” is the biggest problem for all companies, but it is much more of an issue in B2C firms
  • B2B firms run into three obstacles considerably more than B2C firms: “lack of commitment from senior executives,”lack of leadership for CX efforts,” and “lack of a clear customer experience strategy.”
  • The obstacles that B2B companies face represent a lack of internal commitment to making major CX improvements

The bottom line: B2B firms lack the CX commitment of B2C firms

Written by 

I am an experience management transformist, helping organizations improve business results by engaging the hearts and minds of their customers, employees, and partners. My "job" is Head of the Qualtrics XM Institute. The Institute is still being established, but our goal is to help organizations around the world thrive by mastering Experience Management (XM). As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. Prior to joining Qualtrics, I was managing partner of Temkin Group (leading CX research, advisory, and training firm), co-founder and chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (, and a VP at Forrester Research. I'm a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Check out my LinkedIn profile:

One thought on “Comparing B2B and B2C CX Obstacles”

  1. Interesting results… specially B2B ranking lowest in understanding of customers. With all key account management and relationship based selling, one would expect that customer understanding in B2B is higher than in B2C.

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