Updated: Jan 24
Customer satisfaction is nothing new
The earliest documented written customer complaint dates back to around 1750 BC and was written on a clay tablet by a copper buyer named Nanni to a merchant named Ea-nasir. The buyer complained that the quality of the copper ore was less than expected, there was a delay in delivery, and he had not been treated properly by the salesperson. In many ways, not a lot has changed in terms of customer experience in the almost 4000 years that have passed since Nanni’s complaint to Ea-nasir. Businesses tend to put all of their effort into signing up new clients and are on their best behavior during the sales process. But once the client has signed a contract the company is off to chase the next prospect, ignoring the customer experience and sometimes even treating a signed client as an overhead and inconvenience. In doing so, companies contradict the well-known fact that the best form of new business acquisition is referrals from current satisfied clients.
Not listening doesn't make the problem go away
Sales is usually considered one of the most important functions of a company. Quite simply, without sales most companies would not survive. Sales structures, role separation, and responsibilities can differ between companies, but the most basic set up in SMBs (Small and Medium sized Businesses) in the B2B category is that there is a sales professional that is responsible for prospecting and selling and an account managers/executive, or more recently “customer success specialists,” are responsible for keeping the client satisfied after the sale has gone through.
The more specialized the industry, the more specialized the sales professional’s role. Typically, the Account Executive is in touch with the client and the continued business relationship is reliant upon her staying on top of the client experience and needs. This seems pretty basic, but an alarming study showed that while 90 percent of B2B executives surveyed believe Customer Experience, or CX, is crucial to their companies’ strategic priorities, 72 percent admit they have no direct influence over CX (Accenture, 2017). A large part of this problem is lack of transparency of upper management over the vendor/client relationship chain. Upper management usually isn’t aware of any problems with client relationships until the client has left, and by then it’s too late to do anything about the situation. So in order to make up for the lost revenue from the unhappy client that has left, the company now needs to invest in new client acquisition.
Your clients probably aren't as happy as you think
The lifetime value of B2B clients is critical to the vendor and each compromised client relationship can cost the vendor thousands or even millions of dollars. In the Professional Services industries there is an average churn of 6-9% of revenue. This means that huge companies such as KPMG with over $43 billion in revenue will lose at the lower end of $1.45 billion each year due to customer churn! Not to mention in the B2B SaaS sector where churn rates can be up to 30%!
According to the Research Institute of America, the average business will not receive a complaint from 96 percent of their unhappy clients and seventy percent of clients who complain will remain with the company if it acknowledges and solves the issue. Even more impressively, that number goes up to 95 percent if the problem is resolved promptly.
Gartner defines customer/client experience (CX) 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 products.
Cliezen offers companies a dedicated B2B quick feedback tool to stay on top of their clients' experience and get a valuable insight into their likes and dislikes. The proprietary survey methodology only takes the client under 60 seconds each month to answer but increases client satisfaction and revenue retention up to 80%.