This week on the blog, we’re sharing an extract from chapter 3 of 19, from the Balance Internet whitepaper ‘Digital Transformation in B2B eCommerce — Driving success and growth in 2021 and beyond’ Second Edition.’

We’ll take a look at why it’s crucial to understand that your customers have all the power. As well as why the customer experience (CX) should be at the heart of everything you do in B2B eCommerce.

While you’re here, don’t miss out on downloading a FREE copy of the whitepaper to read the full chapter, along with expert insights and predictions from 40+ leading industry experts.

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Customer experience (CX) at the heart of everything

The CX you deliver should go hand in hand with a business model that has excellent customer service and experience embedded into it.

Rolling out an exceptional CX, requires several projects that sit alongside eCommerce platform solution development. You will need to restructure everything from the customer service department and the way they offer support through your chosen support channels, to the shipping and fulfilment solution you implement. Each of the nineteen chapters of this whitepaper is in itself an area of focus.

Then there’s the change management and training required to deliver the transformation to your organisational structure and processes. Not to mention, very importantly, the streamlining of data to create unified customer profiles.

Challenges in delivering a winning CX

In order to build a winning customer experience, we must acknowledge the importance of data, and the role it plays to generate actionable insights.

Customer data, provides a business with real-time, specific, customer insights, trends, and engagement metrics which can be used to continually innovate the product and service offering, and the digital customer experience.

Through the interpretation of data, we cannot talk away our views on the customer experience. It is, of course, possible that things become lost in translation, which is why we must rely on alternate data sources to validate insights.

Many organisations today face an extremely tangled web of data sources and data aggregate technologies. Companies have, on average, 17 different technology applications leveraging customer data, with an average of 28 different data sources used for generating customer insights and customer engagement. In our experience, streamlining the data sources, and being able to use the various sources to validate insights or show an alternative view, remain a critical challenge in delivering a winning customer experience.

Driving success, critical areas of focus

According to global market research conducted by B2B International, there are six critical areas of focus for building a superior, or award-winning customer experience. The six areas are commitment, fulfilment, seamlessness, responsiveness, proactivity, and evolution.

At Balance Internet, the businesses who we see achieving success in B2B eCommerce and mastering digital transformation, have a company vision and strategic objectives which incorporate several, if not all, of the six areas of focus in their digital transformation strategy, and wider company objectives. Our definition of the six areas of focus is outlined below.

  • Commitment – Being enthusiastic about satisfying customers and making them feel valued. Being committed to the company vision through all aspects of the business

  • Fulfilment – Understanding and delivering on customer needs through the entire relationship, not just at each point of sale.

  • Seamlessness – Making life easier for the customer, offering a product or service that is consistently good in quality, and trusted by customers because of this.

  • Responsiveness – Timely response to enquiries and friction points, prompt and empathetic support for purchases that cannot be completed online.

  • Proactivity – Anticipating customers needs and desires, and striving to continually improve the acceptable standards of customer service.

  • Evolution – Continually seeking to evolve the customer experience by delivering products and services that are new to the market, redesigned, substantially improved or better quality

Something to consider:

A winning CX

A winning CX comprises of smooth, frictionless interactions with your eCommerce solution, at every point. Three points in a B2B-specific customer experience include reordering, downloading invoices and updating a company profile.

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  • Buyer can self-serve
  • Authorised buyers can reorder
  • Order can be placed anytime, from anywhere
  • Simple user-friendly experience
  • Upon reorder buyer can see if products are ‘in stock’
  • Real-time stock availability was shown to the buyer

Key takeaways

  1. The customer and their experience of your brand should be the centre of your business universe, second only to your people and workplace culture. How does your organisation put the customer at the centre of everything?

  2. Customer data provides a B2B business with real-time, specific, customer insights, trends, and engagement metrics which can be used to innovate the product and service offering continually, and the digital customer experience. What are the current data sources, and how is the data used to improve the CX? How might this be improved?

  3. There are six critical areas of focus for building a superior CX; commitment, fulfilment, seamlessness, responsiveness, proactivity, and evolution. What is your organisation’s commitment to improving each focus area?
In Conclusion

This blog post is an extract from chapter 3 of 19, from the Balance Internet whitepaper ‘Digital Transformation in B2B eCommerce — Driving success and growth in 2021 and beyond’ Second Edition.

Read the full chapter, along with expert insights and predictions from 40+ industry experts, by downloading a FREE copy of the whitepaper today.

Download the whitepaper

B2B eCommerce is booming and APAC merchants are embarking on grand scale digital transformation like never before. Download a copy of the whitepaper if you’re ready to kick your organisation’s digital transformation strategy into overdrive for the year ahead. There’s simply no time for slowing down; the time for innovation and growth is now.

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