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B2B companies fall short of customer engagement

Friday 26 February 2016 | 12:01 PM CET

B2B companies are failing to engage 70% of their customer base, according to a recent Gallup report.

The study, conducted over five years and based on responses from over one hundred thousand people, completely chimes with research by Bsquared which shows that only 8% of B2B companies have reached full “maturity” in their customer engagement.

The report concludes that the reasons for this lack of engagement are due to incumbency – the difficulty and inconvenience in switching suppliers – and also because supplier organisations depend too much on their name and brand reputation.

The result is that organisational growth strategies rely more on acquisition of competitors and not engaging and nurturing customers. This latter strategy is the one which creates strong customer loyalty and organic growth.

Bsquared research shows that while senior management is willing to devote resource to customer engagement initiatives within organisations and employees are likely to understand the importance of customer focus, the major weaknesses lie in the organisational infrastructure and culture.

These weaknesses are:
• Lack of harmonised processes to capture customer feedback and intelligence
• Little consistent analysis of information gathered to support decision making
• Not enough communication of feedback throughout the organisation and to departments and employees who could make use of it
• Inability to act on the information provided to drive changes throughout the organisation
• Little or no management of outcomes
• Poor integration with corporate governance or management dashboard

The company claims that moving from an operational focus to a relationship focus will help companies identify issues early before they become major problems and help with the resolution of these issues.

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