Obstacles to CX Success for B2B and B2C

I examined data about obstacles to CX success from The State of CX Management, 2012 for 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 you can see in the chart below:

  • Other competing obstacles is the largest issue for all types of firms
  • When compared with B2C firms, B2B firms face considerably more conflict across internal organizations, have a less clear understanding of customers, and are missing more of the required CX skills
  • The only area where B2C companies lags B2B firms is in the area of senior executive commitment

ObstaclesB2B2CThe bottom line: I expect to see a surge of B2B CX activity in 2013

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 (CXPA.org), 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: www.linkedin.com/in/brucetemkin

One thought on “Obstacles to CX Success for B2B and B2C”

  1. I’m so glad to see discussion of B2B CEM. Since the late ’80s numerous B2B companies have been monitoring voice of the customer and striving to improve quality and customer satisfaction accordingly. Some of these B2B firms migrated what they were doing in Total Quality Management at that time into marketing/service’s CRM initiatives in the mid-’90s. They also implemented experiential marketing at trade shows and other customer forums in the early ’00s. Since the phrase “customer experience management” evolved during the past decade, many B2B organizations have migrated and integrated their TQM / CRM / experiential marketing programs to the prevailing CEM methodologies.

    Some companies lost a lot of the sophistication they once had 20 years ago, partially due to turnover among execs, and otherwise due to economic cycles or following the next shiny object, as described above. Unfortunately, B2B CEM examples have been few and far between in books and articles about customer service / loyalty / experience. This is not necessarily due to an absence of B2B CEM in practice, as noted above, but is likely due to the B2C work background of most authors and the prevailing stories and brands we all are familiar with as everyone is a consumer. I’ve personally worked in B2B CEM since 1989, and I can assure you that many of our practices in the ’90s were more sophisticated and effective than a large percentage of B2C and B2B companies alike today.

    I love B2B CEM. It’s more complicated in very interesting ways. There’s much more at stake with every transaction and relationship for most B2B companies, and the interactions between customer and supplier companies are extensive across functional areas and day by day over time. In a quest to bring B2B CEM into the limelight, we launched the Annual ClearAction Business-to-Business Customer Experience Management Best Practices Study in 2010. Our findings complement yours in the article above — you can see our commentary on the obstacles to B2B CEM in this recent article: Investment Patterns in B2B Customer Experience Management ( http://www.customerthink.com/blog/investment_patterns_in_b2b_customer_experience_management ).

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