Three Pillars of a Differentiated Customer Experience

20 Jan 21

Of all the changes to accelerate in the world of B2B sales in the last year, few overshadow the shift in buyer expectations throughout the customer life cycle. Implementation and delivery changes are a given, but customers expect to be just as engaged with brands as ever while looking to world-class digital platforms as the new standard.

No company sets out to deliver a poor customer experience. That said, many firms have struggled to meet the changing demands of the post-COVID customer journey, and those that adapt successfully to these shifting needs will be positioned to recover rapidly in the aftermath. Being customer-centric is not enough, as every firm will now compete with a similar goal of dominating their market’s digital space. To accelerate growth and achieve their number, market leaders will need to bring CX to the forefront of their revenue plan and GTM strategy in 2021.

Though CX is a critical component of leading firms in 2021, it rests on the shoulders of a sufficient GTM organization to deliver value to the end-user. To understand the maturity of your organization against the market, benchmark your firm against your peers with the new SBI Growth Index.

Once leaders understand their position in the market, they can take stock of their opportunities to have a quick impact on their customer experience. Building a bulletproof app or website may be a great start, but most companies stop there and fail to consider the broader customer journey and impact of the customer experience. To avoid being among this cohort, leaders can bring CX to the forefront of their GTM strategy to better understand its impact on revenue growth through listening paths, customer journey mapping, and continuous measurement throughout their organizations.

Listening Paths with Actionable Guidance

Customer experience should be at the core of any GTM engine, but it is equally important to anchor these strategies in the external market. To do this, leaders establish listening paths to systematically collect, categorize, and store information from customers, prospects, and partners that can be actioned within their organizations. While some of these paths will be present within existing customer journeys, others will exist through external channels such as social media, customer websites, and digital scraping of a company’s ecosystem. Knowing where to source genuine feedback from customers will help set leaders apart, as the reliance on digital interaction will only continue to grow in 2021.

Understanding the importance of listening paths is the first step to creating an effortless customer experience that will help drive revenue. A successful market listening path will establish a real-world, real-time fact-base and actively push this data to the relevant GTM functions and provide actionable insights to drive revenue. By investing in these channels, market leaders discover the insights needed to maintain a competitive edge and stand out to their end customers.

End to End Customer Journey Mapping

To create a seamless customer experience, firms must first develop a deep understanding of the customer journey and friction points within the process. Mapping an end-to-end view of the customer lifecycle not only gives leaders visibility into their customers’ pain-points but highlights opportunities to shine where others have failed to deliver. In a world that has turned upside down since this time last year, it is more important than ever that CX leaders realize the true journey their customers now face, as continuing to rely on the pre-COVID lifecycle will only set them up for failure.

Market leaders understand that getting the critical moments right will lead their customers to look favorably at the overall experience. Without customer journey mapping, it can be difficult to pinpoint just where those moments even exist and impossible to maximize them to stand out amongst your peers. Those who will prove most successful in growing and retaining their base will be those who understand their customers' current challenges better than anyone else.

Continuous Measurement and Tracking for Monetization 

To see the most value in customer experience design, leading organizations track sentiment, satisfaction, and ‘likelihood to recommend’ directly from their customers to drive insights from their feedback. By measuring these metrics effectively, firms can better understand the correlation/causation that their customers’ experiences specifically have on revenue and where to pivot investment in CX design.

Organizations with over $1B in revenue often track 40+ measurements specific to CX, but what is important is how that data is leveraged to drive change on behalf of the customer. A singular vision of the customer experience is paramount, as a disciplined system can enable firms to act quickly and respond to changes in consumer experiences. Market leaders can ‘close the loop’ on the impacts of customer experience on revenue, but only when the vision of the customer experience is clear to all involved.

Differentiating the customer experience can be difficult in a recession, but by focusing on immediate investment in these three pillars, organizations can prioritize their customers’ buying process and put their evolving needs first. As we have seen from ‘Accelerators’ across industries in 2020, it is the firms that prioritize the critical growth strategies already in-motion that see the most success when things go sideways.

To understand the maturity of your CX organization, benchmark your company against your peers with the new SBI Growth Index.