Customer experience is a major focus of the B2C world, but it’s also vitally important for B2B companies. As B2B customers become more digitally savvy, companies need to focus on digital transformation to ensure high-quality customer experiences.
According to Dushyant Mohanty, global head of transformation at Tata Consultancy Services, that means moving from being product-centric to being customer-centric. Mohanty helps companies around the world transform to meet the needs of modern customers. He is an expert in B2B manufacturing, energy and financial services.
When creating a transformational customer experience journey, B2B companies should put themselves in the shoes of their customers to see if they are getting an immersive solution that meets their needs, or if the company’s offerings are outdated. An immersive omnichannel experience includes all types of outreach and technology. In order to make it happen, Mohanty says companies often have to include people who aren’t typically part of the buying experience. Involving these people earlier in the process can help companies get a more accurate view of their customers and help create a cohesive experience with everyone on the same page.
In a digital transformation, the customer experience needs to be customized and in real time. That means adjusting as needed and using the correct customer persona. Just like how modern customers expect customization in their B2C experiences, they also want it in their B2B interactions.
In theory, this new approach to B2B customer experience is relatively simple. Putting it into practice, however, can be quite challenging. Mohanty says executives need to first pinpoint the reason for the transformation. Is it to drive top-line revenue, or is it to establish their market share? Knowing the reason for shifting to a customer-centric company can help drive strategy.
Once a company understands its incentive for changing, it should look at its current contracts to see what customers are asking for. An effective customer experience means that the company is responding to customers’ needs. The contracts can tell the true story of if that’s actually happening.
Mohanty points out that a digital transformation is more than just updating a few processes. For many companies, it’s a complete overhaul of their approach to service and customer experience. Small changes will only get small results. To make a real change, executives need to take a step back and look at things objectively to see if they are reaching customers and achieving their goals. The underlying technology structure has a huge impact on customer experience, as does the data strategy. Start with these as a foundation to customer experience.
In the end, it really comes down to having a growth mindset. B2B companies that can embrace digital transformation for customer experience are the ones that don’t simply do what’s always been done but instead look for new solutions to meet customers’ needs.
Just like in the B2C world, B2B companies need to always be evaluating their approach to customer experience to stay on top of new trends and technologies. A digital transformation can help companies become more customer-centric to guide their customers through the changing digital world.