The future of business depends on humanizing the customer and employee experience—that future is not “B2B” or “B2C.” It’s B2H. Business to Human. People matter more than ever, not just the consumer but the employees as well. An article written by McKinsey & Company on March 2016 explains that businesses are adopting customer-centric strategies throughout their business. Executives delve into the competitive advantages of building a more customer-centric organization and are achieving striking results. Studies by Forrester show that companies who invest in UX (user experience) see a lower cost of customer acquisition, lower support cost, increased customer retention and increased market share.
Use Survey Results to Guide Business Planning
Recently, my main focus has been to ensure that we are delivering a great experience across all customer touch points—from the website to presentation materials, the goal is for our clients to be blown away by their experience with our business. As a designer and office manager, I know that this does not fall solely on my shoulders; it is a company wide goal. Our Vice President, Erin Kerrigan, conducts frequent surveys with our clients to gauge their experience of our services and gather their opinions to continually improve that experience. The survey results help guide us in our business planning and operations. We use this insight to plan goals for the quarter and make changes to our strategies so that we can better align with our clients and help them succeed.
Plan Your Online Strategy Around Your Consumers
We are in an age of the consumer has raised the expectations of all companies. It does not matter if your business is B2B or B2C, you still pitch your products/services to a human—someone with emotions, thoughts, needs, and pains. Make no mistake, however, a B2B company’s customers and their buying patterns are more complex than those of a business focused on retail customers, requiring specific strategies to differentiate itself through customer experience.
User Experience Makes a Difference
When you think of user experience (UX) you likely jump straight to the aesthetics of a product. During an interview with McKinsey & Company, Catherine Courage, senior vice president of customer experience at Citrix Systems says “one of the biggest hurdles—during their transition to design thinking—was that people tend to think of design as being about aesthetic qualities—colors, pixels, fonts, and the like. Absolutely the aesthetic appearance of a product is important, but design means more than that.” UX reaches across the entire business, into operations, sales, marketing, customer support and design, it is how customers perceive each interaction with your business—all the way down to the handshake given at the end of a meeting.
Make Good UX a Part of Your Internal Processes
Proper UX design requires understanding users’ needs and creating a solution that solves their problems and helps complete their tasks in the easiest and quickest way possible. To do this properly, you need to get inside users’ heads by interviewing them and observing them while they interact with the product/business. There is a lot of legwork and research that should go into a proper UX strategy.
It takes a lot of work to retrain your mind’s way of thinking and how your business is running to increase the user experience but in the customer experience age we exist to please those human customers whether we consider ourselves B2B or B2C. At the end of the day, we do not want customers who are just satisfied. We want loyal customers who will rave about their experience. Word-of-mouth is very powerful, so take time to consider that while you might be labeled as a B2B you are truly a B2H (Business-to-Human). Decision makers are human and their experience with you and your business matters more than ever before.
What are your thoughts on B2H? Comment below!