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 a customer experience transformist, helping large organizations improve business results by changing how they deal with customers. As part of this focus, I examine strategy, culture, interaction design, customer service, branding and leadership practices. I am also a fanatical student of business, so this blog provides an outlet for sharing insights from my ongoing educational journey. Simply put, I am passionate about spotting emerging best practices and helping companies master them. And, as many people know, I love to speak about these topics in almost any forum. My “title” is Managing Partner of the Temkin Group, a customer experience research and consulting firm that helps organizations become more customer-centric. Our goal is simple: accelerate the path to delighting customers. I am also the co-founder and Emeritus Chair of the Customer Experience Professionals Association (, a non-profit organization dedicated to the success of CX professionals.

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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