Customer Service. It’s a term we all know and are very familiar with, and it takes shape in many different forms: a department at your office that solves customer issues, a phone call you made the other day to report a delivery that did not show up on time, or a company quickly resolving an issue and getting your line back up and running. Customer service means something different to each of us, and it can make or break our loyalty to a specific brand. As a customer, customer service can change the way we view a company forever.
So what is that supposed to look like on the other side when you are the business providing the product or service and not the customer? This can be referred to as providing the customer experience. “Once overlooked, customer experience is now a pillar of the business-to-business (B2B) world. A recent survey found that 90% of B2B leaders say customer experience is crucial to their companies’ strategic priorities” (Forbes).
What is the customer experience?
Customer experience goes further than conventional customer service. It is knowing and understanding customers in a proactive, rather than reactive, way. As a business, especially in the B2B space, the customer experience is about staying one step ahead of your customer as they travel through the buyer’s journey, anticipating needs and wants before they arise.
How that looks different in the B2B space
In the business-to-consumer (B2C) world, one’s customer base can consist of thousands to hundreds of thousands of end consumers. B2B businesses have much smaller customer bases, and the loss of even one customer can detrimentally impact a company. The customer experience contributes heavily to the satisfaction of the customer. In industries like distribution, poor customer service over a period of time can end a long-term customer relationship if the customer experience is no longer satisfactory. Unlike B2C, these customers are still in need of these products, so where do they turn? To the competition. For a number of reasons, B2B products do not evolve or change as fast as B2C offerings. With stable products across the industry, sometimes the only difference between you and your competition is quality of service. The company who offers the most consistent and highest quality customer experience will win.
Have you had a poor customer experience? Are you looking for a distributor with experience, data, and transparency? Learn more about how JRW does distribution differently. Download now to see how we do business.