IT Consumerization of CX


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Over the last five years or so, the increasing prevalence of personal technology devices has brought IT consumerization directly into contact with corporate IT departments. Many consumer products and applications (think smartphones, tablets, Dropbox, Google docs, etc.) enabled knowledge workers to be more productive at work than they were with corporate provided tools.

At first, corporate IT departments were not ready for these new products and applications and their impact on the IT environment. Given their undeniable impact on employee productivity, however, corporate IT departments have had to change. Mobile devices and some consumer applications have become irreplaceable tools in the IT environment.

A parallel trend is occurring within the customer experience world for B2B companies.  Knowledge workers have become accustomed to the way customer experience is being managed and is evolving in their B2C customer relationships. These workers are coming to expect that B2B organizations will provide the same kind of customer experience tools and practices that are provided by B2C companies. Some companies leading the B2B charge in CX are companies that also have a robust B2C component of their business, including Amazon, Google, and even Panera Bread.

A number of specific processes or behaviors are becoming expected in B2B customer relationships:

  1. Hot alerts within CX surveys and appropriate follow-up
  2. Surveys and other digital experience content designed specifically for mobile devices
  3. The expectation that when dealing with the company, channel or product doesn’t matter – it’s one company

These trends have significant implications, not just for the way your CX program is designed and executed, but also for the way you engage with customers in a more general sense. So what does this mean for ways that you should develop your customer experience programs?

A few things to consider implementing in the short term:

  • A True Omni-Channel CX Management Approach – B2B companies tend to have lots of silos. Most have a number of lines of business, so there are product silos.  Many have a tiered approach to account management, with the best customers having dedicated account teams down to relatively small customers that may be managed by marketing.  And of course, many companies have CX silos such as call centers, web support, and perhaps a field support team.  The question, then, is whether you are organized around all of these silos or around the customer.  In most cases it is the former, so the challenge becomes letting customers engage in the ways they want to and serving them effectively.  This is not an easily-answered question.  Start by understanding the customer’s journey more holistically.
  • More Proactive and Timely Response Capability to VOC Feedback – If you are not using hot alerts today to allow customers to alert you to a critical problem or concern and then following up quickly to try and resolve the issue, then you have a hole in the bucket that is your customer base. You’re are missing a customer recovery opportunity.  If you do have hot alerts, that’s great.  However, you have an opportunity to take it to another level.  Beyond customer recovery which is reactive to past issues, uncover customers’ needs proactively and create alerts that will help your team delight customers and drive growth.
  • Design Customer Engagement with Mobile in Mind – For knowledge workers, mobile platforms are quickly becoming the primary platforms for their business activities. Many B2B companies have not yet embraced fully mobile strategies, but that is changing quickly.  A mobile-designed strategy includes mobile-designed interfaces for digital properties as well as mobile apps.  B2B companies today need to be mainstream or possibly fast followers when it comes to adoption of mobile-friendly CX.  If they wait much longer, they risk being laggards.

IT consumerization in CX is just one of a number of trends with a real impact on CX programs within B2B organizations. On May 28th I’ll be presenting a webinar on this and four other trends that you should be thinking about If you are involved in customer experience in a B2B organization. These trends include

  1. CX Consumerization
  2. What Relationship?
  3. The Clear Blurred Line
  4. I Knew You Wanted That
  5. Corporate Narcissism

Please join us if you can. I’ll be sharing not only the trends, but some of the action steps you should be thinking about.

Are you prepared to meet the changing expectations of your B2B customers?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Michael Allenson
Michael is Founder of CXDriven. Formerly he was Principal CX Transformation Consultant at MaritzCX where he led a global team that consulted with clients on how to better leverage their customer experience management programs to drive business success. A frequent writer and presenter, Michael is passionate about helping companies leverage customer intelligence to take action that creates lasting customer relationships and sustainable improvements in growth and profitability. Over a 20+ year career, he has consulted with numerous Fortune 500 companies and their leadership teams on how to uncover superior insights and turn them into action. Prior to his role at MaritzCX, Michael was a Senior Consultant for Maritz Research, Technomic, Diamond Management and Technology Consultants and Leo J. Shapiro and Associates.


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