Medallia is a software service platform which helps companies to capture feedback everywhere their customers are, understand it in real-time, and deliver insights and actions to improve their performance.

This methodology empowers employees to make smarter, more informed daily decisions so they can deliver better customer experiences.

Through the Medallia Experience Cloud™, companies can build more loyal customer relationships, grow faster, reduce costs, and improve corporate culture.

To help gasworld readers drive change in B2B customer experience, gasworld would like to share some practical advice from Medallia’s Senior Manager of Professional Services, Harry Wheeler.

Wheeler believes in order to drive change in B2B customer experience, companies today need to ’put their foot on the gas pedal’ to accelerate growth. The Medallia Institute looked at 15 companies and found that when companies provided their customers with a superior customer experience, financial performance improved, enabling them to achieve higher revenues due to better customer retention, greater purchase volume, additional upselling or cross-selling, and higher referral rates. While there is no quick fix to replacing old practices with a new customer-centric strategy, there are key steps that any company can implement immediately to create better customer satisfaction and increase profit.

The first step is to Let the B2C customer experience drive your B2B business. The customer experience in business-to-consumer companies has long been a focus for success. Wheeler says that It is time for business-to-business companies to take a page from the B2C book and develop customer-centric strategies that are at the heart of everything they do.

According to a B2B customer experience report by Accenture Strategy, “Leaders, which represent 23% of the survey sample, both agree that the customer experience is highly important to their strategic priorities and have experienced significant revenue growth in the past year.” B2C companies have made it common practice to collect feedback from their customers and use it to improve their performance at all levels. Wheeler says, “When I shop for Apple products, either online or in the store, Apple knows me so well that it feels like a red-carpet experience. When I stay at the Ritz-Carlton, I am recognised as a loyal customer at the time of check-in and then welcomed with my favorite items in my room. The people who are your B2B customers are also consumers who have come to appreciate this level of service from consumer brands, so they expect it from B2B brands, too.”

businessman-press-business-diagram Distribution

Next, Wheeler advises companies to use innovation as a catalyst for change. The surefire fastest way to drive change in the B2B customer experience, he believes, is through constant innovation that has a laser focus on customer-centricity at all levels of the company.

”People often say that it is hard for large companies to drive innovation and change. That is not the case. B2B companies are like big ships. Unlike Silicon Valley startups and smaller, less established companies, they cannot make speed boat turns when it comes to change. Yet even though a large company has a set course, there are still viable ways to continuously foster customer-centric innovation.”

”I’ve seen companies start small by testing the Medallia Voices™ app, which provides a quick pulse of information on customer feedback, with three of their top clients before opening it up to their larger client base,” Wheeler explained.

He continued, ”Hubs can implement new practices prior to rolling them out to the rest of the company. Enabling the organisation to focus on what is important to your customers can help you prioritise your programmes and invest in the areas that will have the biggest impact. For example, when your customers are telling you that your distributor portal is driving frustration, then there may not be a need to invest money in improving your website.” 

Integrate the use of data to drive the B2B experience, is the final piece of strategic guidance that Wheeler believes can create better customer satisfaction and increase profit. A great customer experience is just one piece of the puzzle to staying relevant and increasing revenue in a competitive marketplace. Customer experience practices need to be integrated with financial CRMs in order to have a 360-degree view of a company’s target audience.

”Today, the most successful businesses in the world use empirical data for nearly every decision. A growing number of B2B companies are placing increased focus on digitisation in order to launch successful customer-centric strategies.”

Air Liquide has started to build a global programme with the Medallia Experience Cloud™ that will gather deep data analytics and absorb real-time customer feedback on everything from accurate invoices to timely deliveries. By having access to this data, they are able to shift, alter, and adapt their approaches to focus on a holistic customer-focused transformation. In particular, companies who tie customer data to financial data can focus their programmes on the most important areas of impact, such as cost to serve and lifetime value, in order to have a big impact on the business.

“The cost to implement innovation into a company’s overall strategy is far less than the cost of being left behind.”

Harry Wheeler, Senior Manager, Professional Services, Medallia.

Wheeler assures that, if these three steps are taken properly, any dollars invested in changing the customer experience come back through increased sales and revenue. In Medallia’s Accounting for a Great Customer Experience whitepaper, the value of CX was quantified through a case study with a B2B telecom firm. Sales reps at the firm leveraged customer experience scores to identify the most satisfied clients as the best prospects for upselling additional services. The firm was able to demonstrate that by enabling greater engagement with existing clients, a better customer experience ultimately increased revenue by tens of millions of dollars in a single year.

”It’s time for companies to take their foot off of the brake and push forward with bigger and better customer experience strategies. Once innovation is combined with data, the growth potential is endless.” Wheeler urges.