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While good customer experience is an excellent way for B2B businesses to win and retain buyers, poor customer experience can just as easily make a buyer walk away. A new report [download page] from the Medallia Institute looked at common practices among B2B professionals that excel at customer experience.

First off, the report separates respondents into categories, with “Leaders” being those customer experience professionals who use customer feedback to achieve at least 6 of the 9 identified business outcomes. “Laggards,” on the other hand, only achieved 1 of such outcomes, at most.

Leaders are more likely to include their employees in improving customer experience. A full 91% of Leaders listen to the input of their employees as a way to understand and improve the customer experience (vs 62% of Laggards). Another 82% of Leaders have a clear process for employees to suggest ideas for improving customers’ experiences and interactions with the company, while only 53% of Laggards have these kinds of processes in place. Additionally, only 16% of Laggards share feedback with employees who are responsible for acting on specific customer comments or issues, compared to 58% of Leaders.

Among companies that rely heavily on selling through partners and distributors, Leaders (89%) are also far more likely than Laggards (52%) to collect feedback from these partners and distributors.

Furthermore, Leaders (70%) are more likely to have a formal communication strategy to drive understanding of customer feedback and to communicate results and success than Laggards (45%).

In a time when marketers are prioritizing customer lifetime value, Leaders are more likely to put customer feedback into action. Some 27% of Leaders use feedback to introduce new products, services or practices (vs. 13% of Laggards) and 23% use feedback to improve existing products, services and operations (vs. 14% of Laggards). Leaders are also more likely than Laggards to use this feedback when preparing for customer renewals or expansion opportunities (26% vs. 15%, respectively). That’s important, given research indicating that only about one-third (35%) of B2B marketers think their companies are effective at maximizing the potential revenue from their major accounts.

So, what are some of the benefits of being a leader in customer experience? Per the report, Leaders (92%) are more likely than Laggards (79%) to have positive revenue growth. They are also more likely to have more than 5% customer growth (47% vs. 31%) and to have made more than 5 significant innovations (39% vs. 22%).

The full report can be downloaded here.

About the Data: Results are based on an online survey of 375 mid-to-senior-level B2B business professionals working in the US at medium to large organizations.

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