Posts tagged ‘B2B’
Last week I posed the question – can Business-to-Business companies use NPS to understand who their advocates are, and how to build customer advocacy?
Yes, you can – but not just by throwing the NPS question at your main contact in the organization. B2B sales are too complex for that. Suppose you’re selling medical equipment. The Chief Resident might recommend you. The medical technician using the equipment has reservations. The person in medical records is totally on board. The budget director not so much.
Here’s what works – you need to embed the NPS in a thorough exploration of the whole multifaceted customer experience. That means surveying all the people you touch, and asking them all the NPS question. You also ask them why they would or would not recommend you, and get a good picture of their experience.
Then, look at your data and correlate each department’s NPS with the aspects of their particular experience that drive the advocacy or detraction. Maybe you’re good at understanding the overall business, so management recommends you, but you’re not quick enough solving the engineer’s problems. Once you know who all your advocates and detractors in an organization are, you can use NPS just the way BtoC companies do – start changing the behavior of your company to bring about better experiences for all the people you touch.
If you suggested I rename this blog something like NPS News, I couldn’t blame you; I’ve been thinking a lot about NPS lately. Mostly, it’s been about the straightforward advantages of this useful market indicator. But NPS has a fundamental problem too – NPS was designed for a B to C market.
After you’ve rented a car, the agency asks you if you’d recommend their car rental company to a friend. A simple sale, simple process. But nothing about B to B is simple. Both the sales process and the customer experience is complex. Can NPS work in that arena?
If you’re helping a customer rent a car or book a flight, you need to know your product, be helpful, be seen to be getting them a good deal, and solve problems quickly.
In B2B, your relationship touches different types of people. Say you’re selling sophisticated electronic equipment to an organization. You’ll be contacting both the engineer who’s using it and the senior management. Each will have different questions, and different reasons for contacting customer support. The engineer has functionality questions, and needs problems fixed fast. Senior management wants to know if the solution fits their strategy, so they need to be working with people who understand their business. They’re not buying equipment – they’re buying a solution.
So the challenge : how to use NPS in this complex B2B environment? The single NPS question (“would you recommend us …”), is too superficial. Your result would be meaningless, giving you no insight to act on.
Can NPS work in a B2B environment? Sure – but you need to approach it differently. This post is getting a bit long, so I’ll explain how next week.