With the holiday season fast approaching, retailers of all shapes and sizes will be fiercely competing for their share of consumers’ wallets. If history repeats itself (and it will), the most successful businesses will be those that have mastered the delivery of great customer experiences.
To understand why this is, take a moment and think of a few consumer brands to which you are fiercely loyal.
Consider companies that you buy from without hesitation—perhaps it’s an online retailer that is your go-to-source for shoes, a resort that is your first choice for holiday vacations, or a favorite grocery chain that always gets your business.
Aside from the quality of their products or services…
- What motives your devotion to the point where you rarely consider alternatives, even when they may cost less?
- Why do you follow and recommend the businesses on social?
- How do the company’s employees make you feel?
The answers you’re coming up are your personal definition of positive customer experiences. They are the emotions that every B2C business strives to elicit, yet few achieve.
Marquee brands like Zappos (famous for surprise and delight while selling shoes online), Disney (magical family vacations), and Costco (zero-hassle returns) have elevated customer experience to an art form. By doing so, they’ve cultivated priceless customer evangelists and tapped into competitive advantages no marketing dollars can buy.
The Ramifications of B2C Experiences on B2B
What can B2B brands learn from those who have mastered B2C customer experiences? Just about everything.
As it turns out the desire to receive amazing customer experiences doesn’t turn off during the hours of 9 to 5. Just like they do in their personal lives, B2B buyers are quick to reward companies that are easy to buy from and fast to respond when issues arise. This is the new everyday B2B reality that touches every customer-facing aspect of the business—from marketing and sales to finance, customer service, legal and beyond.
To be clear, achieving customer experience nirvana across the enterprise is an undertaking. Yet within every department, simple steps can be taken toward the collective goal. As PWC points out in Experience is Everything: Here’s How to Get It Right, employees hold the key to creating and sustaining great interactions.
According to their findings, 71 percent of buyers think a company’s employees have a significant impact on customer experience, but only 44 percent believe the company’s employees are equipped to deliver.
What steps can you take to end up on the winning side of the customer experience equation? Consider these two tactics:
1. Map your B2B processes
There is a direct correlation between the efficiency of many internal processes and the experiences your customers receive. Customers value things like quick turnarounds on sales proposals, simplified contract reviews, and rapid resolution of service issues—yet many organizations have little insight into how these and other high-impact processes are executed.
Process mapping is a critical first step toward documenting the current state of customer interactions, identifying areas of improvement, and putting the revised processes into action.
Nintex’s acquisition of Promapp equips businesses to do this and more. Nintex Promapp makes it easy to create, navigate, share, and change business processes, continuously improving areas like risk management, quality assurance, and customer experience. Hundreds of organizations worldwide use Nintex Promapp to map and manage their processes, and now you can try it for free.
2. Automate your B2B documents and processes
Mapping will undoubtedly uncover manual, document-centric processes. In many cases, customers are a key component of these processes and inevitable errors and delays that result from a lack of automation have a direct impact on their experiences.
Sticking with the sales proposal example cited above, you may discover your reps navigating multiple systems, manually cutting and pasting data, using self-created and off-brand templates, then emailing the results to others within the organization for approvals.
The request will likely sit in inboxes for periods of time, prompting reminder emails and further delays. Upon internal approval, the document will then need to be sent for prospect review, and if accepted, may require a wet-ink signature, scanning, and further emails. The agreed-upon proposal would then need to be stored in the CRM and other systems of record, and only then would the sales rep begin the real work of initiating and managing the contract process.
Nintex transforms these types of processes through document and automation and routing.
In this case, the rep could instantly create a proposal from directly within Salesforce Sales Cloud. With the click of a button, Nintex Drawloop DocGen® would merge data entered via responsive, dynamic forms with any custom and standard object stored in Salesforce or other systems of record. All of the information flows into preapproved templates, ensuring every document is on brand and accurate.
Delays would be further eliminated Advanced Routing. The document could be instantly sent for internal reviews and approvals by sales management, legal, or others—and then automatically sent to the prospect for approval. Upon acceptance, the document would be automatically stored in systems of record, triggering the start of the automated contract lifecycle management process.
Everyone is a customer
The experiences customers receive while ordering their holiday gifts via a mobile app shouldn’t vary much from the experiences they receive later that afternoon when they need to sign off on the installation of new servers.
To deliver on these growing expectations, start by identifying and mapping customer-centric, document-centric processes. Then, automate your workflows to streamline each step.
Your customers—and your bottom line—will thank you.
Interested in trying the Nintex Platform for yourself? Start your free, 30-day trial today.