How can you improve the customer experience in the supply chain?

Previously, B2B companies mainly worked with parties directly before or after themselves in the chain. Not so anymore: changing customer behavior and digitization are forcing us to change and to investigate how B2B companies can connect to other links in the business chain. The B2B Experience expert group of research platform ShoppingTomorrow has delved into this intriguing topic.

How can you improve the customer experience in the supply chain?

Recommendations and tips from twenty experts

Low prices or a good product are not enough to stay ahead of the competition. Due to low production costs abroad, the pressure on margins is increasing, which means that companies have to distinguish themselves with tailormade products and with excellent service. With good service that is attractive to your target group, you will strengthen your position in the chain, which is crucial since all the players in the chain are looking beyond their immediate neighbors.

How do you put the customer at the center of B2B and how do you strengthen your position in the chain through good customer experience?

To answer these questions, Mirabeau and Episerver hosted a B2B expert group in 2018 with the theme: Customer Experience in B2B. During interactive sessions, experts from twenty different B2B organizations operating in the Netherlands such as Eriks, Schneider Electric, Centraal Beheer, DAF Trucks and Technische Unie shared their knowledge and experiences from the sector. The experts divided the main question into three themes, of which you can read all about the results in the blue paper – examples included.

Three themes

  1. Insight: How do you make data meaningful and how will technology help with this? What data do you share upstream or downstream in the chain?
  2. Proposition (business model): which services will let you strengthen your concept of service? How do you offer your customer a service where all touch points are connected?

  3. Organization: How do you organize your internal processes so that the customer is central? How will you implement these adjustments so that employees embrace them?

The research of the expert group revealed several interesting results that could help the Dutch B2B retail sector. The most important takeaways are:

  • Analyze the end-to-end customer journey for each target group and search through the entire chain where you can improve customer experiences.

  • Objectify and verify the analyses by enriching quantitative research with qualitative research.

  • There is no conflict within the chain. The value that you deliver is what matters. If you don't add anything, you're out.

  • Ensure the ongoing improvement of the customer experience through service design in your organization and make yourself as valuable in the chain as ever.

Download the entire Bluepaperpaper by the B2B Experience expert group for the full research and its results.

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