IBM released the results of its 2017 Customer Experience Index (CEI) survey this week. According to the study, the average company has “significant room for improvement in terms of satisfying customer expectations.” For the 500+ brands that were involved in the study, the average CEI score was only 33 out of a possible 100.
One of the “imperatives” that the report suggests companies focus on to better meet customer expectations is to provide a consistent experience across all touch points: “Consumers do not recognize channels; they only see your brand. An inconsistent experience frustrates consumers and may cause some to switch their loyalty and spend.”
We agree that a seamless customer experience is imperative. In B2B, that means ensuring that your customer-facing employees – including inside sales, outside sales, service teams and more – are all on the same page.
Consider this scenario from the perspective of a current customer, Joe. Joe has ordered from you before, but the project he’s working on has just expanded. So he needs to order additional products, but he’s not sure which will work best for the application. Whether Joe has a seamless experience when he orders the new parts will depend on whether your company has a strong CRM system in place.
If you do, your sales rep will immediately be able to view the details of the project Joe has been working on when he calls by looking at his history, which has been well-documented in your CRM. Using that information, the rep can quickly make a recommendation: “I see you’ve been working on X. For that application, many of our other customers use Y product and have been pretty happy with that. If we put in an order today, the part will arrive Z. Our service rep will be in your area the next day, so I could have him stop by and show you how it works. Would that work for you?”
Making the customer experience seamless is reason enough to bridge islands of data in your organization, but it’s not the only reason. Read The Value of CRM Part 2: Bridging Islands of Data to learn how breaking down data silos can also help you to capitalize on competitor mistakes, make the most of manufacturer visits and streamline on-boarding.
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