July 15, 2015

As customer experience becomes a more important Telco boardroom strategy, service providers need to step up their game and improve B2B customer experiences to the same degree as B2C. Capturing greater wallet share from B2C customers has always been important for Telcos, but now more than ever, we are seeing this focus shifting to incorporate the B2B user. So how do the needs differ from the B2C customer and what steps can carriers implement to deliver a great B2B- customer experience? 

Most B2B customers will certainly invest more in the services that their carrier provides than any individual customer. Many B2B customers could have a substantial number of end users across their portfolio which, in itself, can be a complex issue to manage; then again, some may only have a few end users. End users will find themselves having different needs and demands, so a higher degree of flexibility will be required to effectively manage the B2B customer base. This is why service providers need to understand their B2B customers in greater detail because SMEs and MLEs are by nature, different beasts.

In addition, service providers who declutter their offerings and make it easy for the B2B user to do business with them are likely to reap substantial rewards. Today’s tech savvy generation has become much more self-service orientated. They very seldom buy anything without comparing products and prices, and they have a preference to do this online. Hence the service provider who understands and supports this behavioural trend should see a significant uplift in both customer interaction and ARPU as a direct result.

Forrester Research defines the customer experience as the sum of all experiences a customer has with a company over the duration of their relationship — including awareness, discovery, attraction, interaction, purchase, use, customer service, and advocacy. Good experiences, in-line with customer expectations, are no longer a nice-to-have for customers. It is expected. And, when expectations are not met, customers are happy to seek out the competition.
We have all been on the receiving end of good customer experiences, and as a result were satisfied, loyal customers who have then increased our spending with these companies. Forrester suggests that this return on investment for customer experiences can be quantified by correlating customer loyalty and experience over three dimensions: increased cross-sells and upsells, reluctance to switch away from the brand, and recommendations to others.

Source: Forrester Research  

Today’s customers expect more from their interactions with brands and the attitudes and behavior of consumers is forcing service providers to redefine how they deliver a great customer experience. While delivering this great experience for B2B customers may not be easy, service providers who succeed in doing so will experience quantifiable benefits.