Taking care of all stakeholders
There are some benefits of great customer experience culture within B2B companies that aren’t often discussed.
The first, and one that is fully integrated with delivering great customer experience, is employee satisfaction. Companies that care for their customers and want to please them have high employee satisfaction ratings. It makes sense. If looking after customers is second nature, when a colleague asks for help, almost certainly the company will look after them. It raises the question of what comes first; the chicken or the egg. Is it the intrinsic nature of employees that are caring that deliver good customer experience or is it the habitual delivery of great customer experience that results in a caring attitude among employees? It doesn’t matter, they go together. What is more, happy staff deliver great profits as we learn from James Heskett in his theory of the service profit chain. Heskett shows that a good place to work leads to satisfied employees, high employee retention and productivity, good service to customers and therefore satisfied customers. All this leads to revenue growth and profit growth. What’s not to like about that?
The second consequence of great customer service is great relationships with suppliers. Suppliers are critical to the success of every company. Suppliers need to be regarded as partners in the business rather than beaten with a stick to extract as much as possible. This means paying them on time, not getting into disputes about product or delivery failures, working with them to give sensible lead times and motivating them by thanking them for their good service. A company that looks after its suppliers will find that it is never short of product and, when required, the supplier will pull the stops out to provide an exceptional service. Companies regularly check on customer and employee satisfaction but surprisingly very few go the whole 360° and measure supplier satisfaction. They should do so because it is a fundamental part of the culture that says “we take care of all our stakeholders”.