July 8, 2022
Building an Enterprise Customer Experience
To be in business, you need customers. To stay in business, you need customers who see you as a trusted partner integral to their continued success. To that end, continuing to attract, engage, and retain high-caliber customers means designing—and delivering—a top-notch enterprise customer experience.
TimeDoctor defines enterprise customer experience as “how a business interacts with its enterprise customers at every point in the customer journey.”
But who are your enterprise customers? And, almost more importantly, how are they different from other buyers.
According to Gartner, midsize enterprise companies “make more than $50 million, but less than $1 billion” in top line annual revenue. In contrast, small businesses generally have “fewer than 100 employees” and bring in less than $50 million each year. To that end, we can safely state that large enterprises exceed $1 billion annually.
The differences go deeper as well. Where SMBs have a shorter sales cycle, they also aren’t always as clear on what they need, meaning that they need more education about the process. Conversely, enterprises have more stakeholders, which can lead to a longer sales process, but they’re typically clearer on their needs and buy at a scale that means greater profit.
Ultimately, there are differences in how you acquire, serve, and manage the experience for enterprise customers across the entire funnel.
Differentiating Your Enterprise Customer Acquisition Strategy
Selling to enterprise customers requires a significantly different process than selling to smaller businesses. You must be aware of these distinctions to build an effective enterprise customer experience strategy:
- Longer Sales Cycle: Because changes carry greater implications for more people at the enterprise level, the sales cycle is significantly longer. Plan on as much as a year–or more!
- More Stakeholders: Larger companies need input from more stakeholders. To that end, multiple people may need to sign off on decisions.
- Different Pain Points & Buyer Personas: Different types of people are involved in the buying process at the enterprise level. To understand what keeps them up at night, you must understand their motivations and fears. (Depending on the persona, they may fear that your product will automate them out of a job. In this case, you may need to demonstrate how your solution can improve their productivity.)
- Impulse Buying (or lack thereof): Because so much goes into each decision, there’s almost no such thing as an impulse purchase at the enterprise level.
- Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC): Enterprise customers often cost more to acquire, though that figure varies by industry and solution. However, significantly higher profits and lifetime value offset those higher costs.
Understanding these differences is vital for managing every touchpoint of the enterprise customer experience. Doing so starts by going back to the beginning and reviewing your goals, values, and vision.
Creating a Vision for Your Enterprise Customer Experience
Your values affect the success of your enterprise customer experience. While it’s not accurate to say that everything depends on how well you live up to your values, they affect the way you deliver on your vision.
The first step lies in defining how your values inform your company culture and customer deliverables. Next, it’s time to develop a vision for how your company delivers on those values.
According to IBM, defining your company’s vision ”provides the direction that can differentiate its CX from that of its competitors. This vision also serves to rally the workforce around a set of common principles and goals that help drive the organization’s corporate culture.”
Finally, you must marry this vision with your customers’ needs. By diving deep into the buyer personas and pain points, you can show your enterprise prospects that you solve their problems on their terms. Better yet, doing so may give you a competitive advantage.
Your enterprise customer experience significantly improves when customers see that you’re meeting their needs—in terms of the solution and how you deliver it.
Ernst & Young expands on this, stating that “customers want assistance on their schedule instead of yours, or self-service to avoid interactions altogether. They increasingly expect functionality and communication across their devices. To garner and hold their attention, they also need to be treated as individuals with relevant, personalized information. And they demand transparency that demonstrates trust—for example, through price comparisons that clearly convey the value received.”
The Steps for Evaluating and Managing Your Enterprise Customer Experience
Armed with your vision, you can begin evaluating how well you deliver across the entire enterprise customer experience. Below are some best practices you can follow.
Step 1: Map out and audit every step of the customer experience.
Step 2: As you review each step, ask questions like:
- Does this deliver on our values?
- Does this deliver on our vision?
- Does this deliver on what your customers want or expect?
- Is this an automated step, or is there a human-to-human touchpoint?
- How can we improve or simplify this experience?
Step 3: Review user data and analytics and ask:
- Which steps are performing well?
- Which steps lead to the highest churn rates?
- Where do we see consistent drop-offs?
Step 4: Review the steps with low performance and look for commonalities:
- What are the easiest things you can change to make a bigger impact?
- What requires more technical knowledge or time?
Step 5: Using the qualitative and quantitative data from your evaluation, create an enterprise customer roadmap by listing and prioritizing the steps that will create the biggest impact on your customers and your business.
Creating a Better Enterprise Customer Experience
A top-notch customer experience doesn’t always mean you must make sweeping organizational or programming changes. The truth is that making a few small changes can drive dramatic results. Some of those changes might include:
- Updating your sales enablement materials
- Reviewing the frequency of your campaigns
- Optimizing subject lines
- Revisiting your sales scripts
- Refining your approach based on changing pain points
- Investing in different types of networking events
In addition to optimizing sales and marketing experience, it’s important to stay on top of your product roadmap as well. The overall user experience always has room for improvement. Striving to deliver a better product gives you regular opportunities to delight your customers.
Sometimes this may mean delivering exciting new features. It may also be as simple as improving the experience by adding specific language to your product.
The bottom line is that every step you take to improve your enterprise customer experience drives value. The key is getting started.
Contact 3Pillar Global today to learn how we can help you improve your entire enterprise customer experience.