Sam Keninger

Why even care about customer experience? Intuitively, lots of folks in business understand the value of it — from their experience as customers. But when it comes to prioritizing it as a business, there always seem to be skeptics — skeptics arguing that there are better places to focus time and priorities. That a business should be focused on initiatives with harder edges… initiatives that can be proven to generate business value. And nowhere does this happen more than in the arena of B2B.

Well, there’s a growing body of evidence to suggest that delivering a great customer experience is one of the highest ROI activities you can be focused on in terms of generating that business value.

No one will argue against the fact that customers are valuable (unless they’re keen to go out of business), but what customer experience skeptics are willing to argue against is just how valuable delivering a great experience is. What lengths and investments should a business go to to give each customer a positive experience? To win their loyalty? And to keep them coming back?

Skepticism is always healthy. By design, any high-level business decision should involve some obligatory questions: How much is this going to cost? What will the ROI be? How will it affect concurrent initiatives? Can it complement other organization-wide strategies? Historically, customer experience programs would be particularly vulnerable to this line of questioning.

Not anymore. The research is coming in, and it’s proving that focusing on customer experience can be one of the most valuable activities a business can undertake. Even more so in the tough and competitive world of B2B. For example, we’re seeing detractor customers representing significantly more risk of revenue churn compared with promoters. And non-responders — those least engaged with a brand — are seven times more likely than even detractors to churn. Without segmenting customers in this way, you can’t prioritize experience improvements, and it could be hurting you right at your financial bottom line.

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