Customer Experience Counts – Our focus for 2017

Customer experience (CX). It’s being heralded by analysts as the next big competitive battleground for organisations of all sizes, in all sectors. It’s easy to understand why. Get it right and you gain a powerful competitive advantage. Get it wrong and both your bottom line and reputation could take a knock. Today, customers are more empowered than ever before, and technology is at the heart of this.

Seize the CX opportunity
It’s worth the time and effort. In fact, according to Forrester, 72% of businesses say that improving the customer experience is their top priority. This means there’s significant opportunity in the market for resellers, as technology is central to achieving this.

So, what do you need to know? And how can you capitalise?
Over the next few months, we’ll be focusing on CX in our “Customer Experience Counts” series to bring you insight and answers to these questions. We’ll cover areas such as the Key Trends, CX in B2B and Changing Buyer Behaviour. We’ll also explore grittier aspects such as driving revenue and metrics. Our aim is to help you lock into your customers’ needs, identify opportunities and bring the potential of CX to your business.

What is customer experience?
Gartner defines it as “The customer’s perceptions and related feelings caused by the one-off and cumulative effect of interactions with a supplier’s employees, systems, channels or products1.”

This shows that CX flows through every aspect of an organisation. And it becomes more complex in a B2B environment, especially when there are more links in the chain. At the same time, there’s an even greater imperative to get it right.

In the B2C environment, one bad experience might mean losing a single individual customer – a drop in the ocean. By contrast, in B2B, a single customer could represent a significant chunk of your business. One bad experience, and 15% of your revenue could vanish as your customer takes their business elsewhere.

We’ll explore more challenges and opportunities around B2B CX in the next couple of months.

Consistency counts
For Ingram Micro, in our position as a distributor, we know consistency is critical in providing a superior customer experience. We know you expect the same high-quality service, whether you’re dealing with us online, on the phone, or face to face. And that immediately underlines some of the difficulty businesses face when it comes to CX.

The field sales team might be superstars, but that experience has to be replicated at every touch point – accounts, customer service and support. And technology counts as much as people. If online services aren’t up to scratch or backend systems are behind the times, it affects the customer experience. Consistency will be a recurring theme of our CX series as it relates directly to customer loyalty.

Something to look forward to…
We hope you enjoy our forthcoming “Customer Experience Counts” series. Next month’s article will look at CX trends. Get the big picture and understand the dynamics, and you have a great jumping off point for spotting opportunities.

Are there any aspects of CX you’d like us to cover?
We’re open to ideas, so get in touch with us. Email us at imadvisoruk@ingrammicro.com.

SOURCES
1 http://www.gartner.com/it-glossary/customer-experience/

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