Updated: Aug 14, 2020
Does the phrase “digital transformation” strike fear in your heart? If you’re feeling anxious, it could be because digital transformation usually means big investments and multi-year change programs. But at the same time, you should be excited because it means your business will stand out as the most au courant supplier in your segment. How? By setting the right digital transformation ambition - to deliver a seamless omnichannel experience. “Customers need to be able to easily find information digitally, and employees need to have access to the right information in one place. A true digital transformation allows customers to have a consistent experience no matter how they interact with a brand.” B2B Digital Transformation by Blake Morgan. Forbes June 14, 2019. Retail lives or dies by their ability to give customers the same high-quality experience online and in-store – an omnichannel experience. Even though today’s situation is not as dire, B2B customers are demanding an omnichannel experience too. Enlightened B2B enterprises understand that Customers have a richer experience when they can move dynamically across channels – Digital Channels: social media, website, mobile apps and P2P Channels: technical advisors, account reps, support team. Clearly, B2B is lagging behind B2C, so what is getting in the way? Could it be that B2B lags behind B2C because of outdated beliefs like these?
‘Digital channel is a nice-to-have, not a must-have’
‘Customers will always find it easier to simply contact their account rep’
‘Promoting digital channels signals that you don’t want to talk to customers anymore’
Old paradigms block B2B enterprises from seeing how the personal experience–combined with a useful digital experience–can super-charge their value proposition.
Another barrier I see frequently; B2B firms that specialize in highly technical products and services often don’t see how offering a digital channel fits into their business strategy beyond the basic order support functions. Those special few who have found success know the hidden truth–customers in highly technical segments don’t expect or want their entire journey online, but they would love to be able to do more online with an easy segue to their trusted expert when needed. The power of combining the Personal Experience with the Digital Experience is far from realized in B2B. There’s plenty of ‘head space’! Maybe it’s time to challenge your teams to reach farther.
Carol Pudnos Carol is a Customer Experience Strategist, helping companies transform their operations to deliver seamless experiences. Carol’s thoughts on customer experience are backed by over two decades of B2B business leadership in chemical, food, pharma and medical device industries. “Processes that serve customers the way they want to be served will differentiate your company and drive business results.”