"CX is the sum totality of how customers engage with your company and brand, not just in a snapshot in time, but throughout the entire arc of being a customer." Harvard Business Review.
Earlier this month, the Really B2B team were excited to attend CXcellence 2016 – this year’s B2B Marketing Conference. Held in London, the one-day conference provided unrivalled insight into current B2B CX together with real-life case studies to transform the way marketers manage customer experience (CX). The event was incredibly engaging and valuable, with experienced speakers covering a wide range of useful topics. For those who were unable to attend, here are a few of the key takeaways from the day…
What do B2B buyers really think about customer experience?
We started our day with an introduction to the conference from B2B Marketing editor-in-chief Joel Harrison, who led us in the opening session. Joel began by sharing some insight into the current CX landscape - while improving CX is a priority for 70% of marketers, responsibility for it sits with marketing just 25% of the time. In fact, the number one CX management challenge for marketers is lack of clarity over who's responsible for it. Joel finished with a helpful CX checklist for marketers that included mapping excellence across all touchpoints, and having clear, coherent metrics that are measured against.
Your customers are changing, how can you keep up?
Next up was a session from Mike Bainbridge, chief digital technologist at Rackspace. Mike discussed the importance of learning from our customers and shared some key findings -
- Engage with your customers and form communities
- Measure the outcomes using relevant metrics
- Empower your employees
We also learned what a HiPPO is – the highest paid person’s opinion. According to Mike, every organisation has one, and they often block CX progress. For this reason, measuring outcomes using relevant metrics should be an important part of the process.
The cultural implications of excellent CX
Chris Wright, UK and Ireland Marketing Director at BSI, gave a keynote session all about the cultural implications of excellent CX. He believes that CX equals premium price justification, increased loyalty, and higher customer value. Amongst other things, Chris discussed how important it is to have the right culture in your organisation to begin with, in order to deliver CX successfully. CX is a brand differentiator, especially in service businesses, and customers choose to stay with brands that deliver consistently excellent experiences.
The future of CX
The final keynote session of the morning was from Dr Chris Brauer, Director of Innovation and senior lecturer at Goldsmiths University, and David Burnand, Marketing Lead for North Europe, Adobe Marketing Cloud. The two industry experts discussed the high expectations surrounding CX – 73% of customers expect more compelling content. Today, people block content and adverts which aren’t of value or empathetic to their world, so as marketers we must humanise their experience.
After our packed morning, we spent the afternoon attending breakout sessions where we discussed topics such as advocate-based marketing, buyer expectations, and the influence of customer stories. We finished the day with an interactive panel discussion regarding CX in the real world, where marketers came together to share the different ways they are leading CX in their markets.
Employee experience is key
Our experience at CXcellence was highly valuable and offered us insight into many new and exciting strategies to explore in the future. The overriding theme throughout all the sessions at the conference however was clear – look after your employees, and they will look after your customers.
Really B2B Account Manager Gemma Roalf agrees, ‘It’s clear that organisations need to focus on improving their employee experience and increasing satisfaction company-wide, in order to start providing exceptional customer experience.’
We’re already looking ahead to next year’s B2B Marketing Conference, so keep an eye out for news and updates surrounding the 2017 event here. In the meantime, visit our Downloads page for more insights into B2B marketing.