First-Ever Benchmarking Study of Business-to-Business Customer Experience Management


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customer experience best practicesThe world’s first business-to-business customer experience management benchmarking study is being launched October 14, 2010, by ClearAction and The Insight Advantage. Business-to-business (B2B) companies face unique complexities with multiple influencers in the buying decision. Unlike most business-to-consumer (B2C) situations, B2B’s multiple-influencers heavily impact ongoing demands on the supplier in addition to subsequent purchases. Customer experience management (CEM) has been an emerging field during the past decade, with roots in total quality management. The results of this landmark study will be instrumental in gaining a clear understanding of best practices in the ongoing journey of business success.

For example, the ClearAction B2B Customer Experience Management Study will cover:

  • How well is voice of the customer monitored among multiple influencers in the buying decision?
  • What roles do social media and customer communities play in B2B CEM?
  • How has management’s mindset about the strategic role of CEM affected investment over the past few years?
  • What impact does a company’s traditional product-focus or sales-focus have on CEM practices?

To-date, related customer experience management studies have been conducted primarily among B2C companies, or selected B2B industries. Nonetheless, B2B transactions can be quite complex, often with hundreds of thousands, or even millions of dollars at stake. The quality of the transaction, product or service, and customer-supplier relationship can have major ramifications on the customer’s business. Despite the sophistication of B2B buyers and sellers, case studies of best-in-class B2B CEM practitioners are sparse, and listings of top B2B performers are virtually non-existent. In the ClearAction study, trends will be identified through an online survey, and case studies will be developed through in-depth interviews.

“Customer experience management is relatively new terminology, and it comprises all of an organization’s activities to manage customer profitability”, explains Lynn Hunsaker, head of ClearAction. “Since the quality movement began in the late 1980s, customer satisfaction has been a priority for many companies. During the 1990s, global appreciation developed for customer loyalty as a broader view of customer satisfaction, with emphasis on the likelihood of ongoing purchases and recommendations for a brand. As a means to loyalty and its accompanying financial rewards, customer relationship management (CRM) helps track individual customer transactions to personalize sales and service activities. At the turn of the 21st century, the prominent interactive role of the Internet, reality TV and handheld devices caused customer engagement and experiential marketing to be natural evolutions in the pursuit of profitable customer satisfaction and loyalty. Customer experience management encompasses all of these customer management endeavors, combining operational and emotional aspects of a customer’s purchase and usage processes.”

To participate in the ClearAction B2B Customer Experience Management Benchmarking Study survey, contact lynn.hunsaker(at)clearaction(dot)biz.

About ClearAction
ClearAction LLC is a customer experience consulting firm specializing in customer experience innovation, enterprise-wide employee engagement in customer experience management, and customer relationship skill-building. ClearAction emphasizes prevention of customer hassles for greater results in customer retention, lifetime value, and sustained profitability. Lynn Hunsaker, head of ClearAction is author of three ebooks: Innovating Superior Customer Experience, Metrics You Can Manage for Success, and Customer Experience Improvement Momentum.

About The Insight Advantage
The Insight Advantage is a full-service research firm, providing a wide range of services (web surveys, focus groups, telephone interviews) to help companies implement customer research for ongoing insight into their customers’ evolving needs and expectations. Jennifer Berkley Jackson, head of The Insight Advantage, is an extension faculty member of University of California – Santa Cruz.

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