In part one of this blog, I shared how B2B has evolved and how important experience is to it today. In this part, I share the skills that are required to deliver crucial high-quality experiences.
The skills you need
- Project management
What does this mean for roles within B2B organisations?
|CEO||Build the experience around purpose, innovation and the whole customer journey|
|Marketing & Brand||Connect customers to what they want, when they want it. Map the relationship pre and post-sale.|
|Sales||Focus on the customer experience seamlessly delivering at the point of sale|
|Product||Develop based on insights delivered through AI / data|
|Tech||Build efficiency into the system, externally & internally|
|Operations||Get them involved earlier|
|Supply Chain||Can your supply chain become part of your customer experience and delivery? What’s the last mile?|
|Ecosystem||Most B2B organisations now operate in an ecosystem – how does your experience connect seamlessly with your partners?|
|Segmentation||How does segmentation help not just with insights but also with building a long term relationship?|
What then are the habits behind creating these experiences and how do you apply the right behaviours right across your organisation. Obsession is key.
- Obsess about the customer (again – I’m afraid). Fight monotony. Differentiate your interface. What do you want them to feel?
- Obsess about bringing data to every point on the journey – think retargeting right across the experience
- Obsess about what service looks like, old and new, in the context of a single connected experience (e.g. Teams calls)
- Obsess about behaviour and culture. Business is about who you are and what you do – as we have done with Omobono 2.0
- Obsess over the small things. Turn tiny configuration options into brilliant buying experiences like the spare parts portal we built for one of the world’s largest construction companies
- Obsess about real-time data as part of the CX – stock levels and order progress for example
- Obsess about tech that makes life easier for your colleagues. Rising expectations are inside your business as much as they are with customers
- Obsess about conversion. JCB acknowledge that most diggers are bought on finance, so they use a ‘£100 deposit’, lowering the barrier to someone buying using a company credit card.
- Finally obsess about yourself. What is your own true north?
To help bring this to life, here are a few examples from Omobono clients:
A major barrier for some B2B brands selling online is that they often have time-consuming onboarding processes where lots of information is needed. This might be legal documents, IDs or proof of finances etc.
We faced this challenge with payments solutions provider Cashflows, where on-boarding was a typically painful process requiring multiple identifications, ratifications and lots of other information. Many customers failed to complete the process, going off to gather all the information, then losing interest.
However, we discovered that most of the data is needed to withdraw funds, whereas very little is needed to start taking payments. So we split the onboarding up; leaving a lean process to start taking payments, and only asking for more detail when the customer wanted to withdraw their funds. And of course, customers were far more likely to complete the process when they wanted to get their money.
When we look back at the core skills in Omobono: strategy, creativity, technology, insight – all of these combined to find a solution, designing around Cashflows’ specific challenges, not generic assumptions.
Clinigen is a rapidly growing, global speciality pharmaceutical and services company. Its mission is to deliver the right medicine, to the right patient, at the right time.
When we began working with them two years ago, ordering was managed entirely through a customer services team. And they were beginning to struggle with the scaling challenges facing a global business – which was holding back the CEO’s desire for change.
The key challenge was to bring together all aspects of ordering a medicine – regardless of product type and compliance requirements – into one solution that could service many different customer and regulatory needs.
The solution was Clinigen Direct, an online ordering platform for hard to source medicines. It allows life-saving drugs to be purchased online, even though they are challenging to source and transport through the complex and varied international regulatory environment.
Healthcare professionals weren’t used to ordering medicines this way, so the entire process had to be incredibly simple to use and inspire trust.
We used primary research to establish their pain points, and delivered our transformation programme in ‘slices’, so we could get to market quickly and learn and adapt in line with feedback from real users.
It also meant the customer service teams could focus on customer support rather than order processing. Now, not only can orders be placed through the new platform, it also collates and provides data on medicine shortages to enhance supply chain efficiency and minimise disruption.
So the experience is now not only helping grow the business, it’s also saving lives.
So what have we learned?
- Obsess about your organisation’s skills, culture and activities to make teams work together in delivering winning B2B connected experiences
- Focus on the skills needed to create great experiences
- Creativity remains at the heart of the experiences that make customers keep coming back. Broaden the reach of the creative process and your whole business benefits.
How to put experience at the heart of a B2B company
The c-suite can take advantage of the opportunity the last 12 months has presented us to say ‘the walls of our organisation no longer exist – there are no departments – we are one global / virtual / connected team’.
If your organisation can foster a culture of everyone working as servant to a single connected, cross-department experience… that’s not only exciting, it’s accelerating.
It’s what Omobono tries to do and what we’re learning about. When we get it right, it makes a huge impact on the business. It can even be instrumental in saving lives.
We are the digital experience company for business brands.
In today’s connected world, experience is brand.
So we help you create better experiences for your customers, employees, partners and stakeholders. Ones that work in empathy with them to achieve their goals, engage and delight them, and build brand loyalty.