#91 – Critical difference in B2B vs. B2C feedback, Speaking experience in Amsterdam


Differences in the way B2B and B2C customers answer open questions. Speaking experience at CustomerGauge event in Amsterdam. Welcome to the 91st edition of my customer strategy newsletter. The five topics this week are:

  1. Unexpected (to me) difference between B2B and B2C customer feedback
  2. My recent speaking experience in Amsterdam
  3. Latest blog posts – Answers to CX leadership questions, employee/customer happiness
  4. Notable items from other sites – Annette Franz and Rosaria Cirillo Louwman
  5. Looking forward

Unexpected (to me) difference between B2B and B2C feedback

While working at HP my experience was that NPS Promoters write the longest answers to open questions. My operating assumption is that such customers like you and want you to continue to improve, so they do their best to help. Rob Markey confirms that this is what they see with Bain clients too. However, all of this is for business-to-business customers.

Since retiring from HP, I have been exposed to the situation at a number of B2C companies. I have seen data that shows the opposite pattern. Detractors write the most. In one large data set, Promoters used about 8 words to answer the ‘Why?’ question after the NPS rating, while Detractors used twice that, with Passives half way between. It may interest you to know that it made less than half a word difference for Promoters when people answered on their phones. Single-word responses from Promoters were quite common in all cases. “Great!”, for example. It would have been nice to know what exactly was great.

Since the data sets I have looked at are for companies without annual contracts I suspect this may just be true for companies that have a purely transactional relationship with their customers. Unfortunately, none of these data sets came from research that included the standard ‘What could we do better?’ question, so I don’t know whether the same would be true there.

Your views would be most welcome.

My recent speaking experience in Amsterdam

I spoke at the CustomerGauge Monetize! event in Amsterdam two weeks ago. What a great experience! The event was held in a theatre that has been created inside an old church. The lighting was great, and the general atmosphere was wonderful. Customer Experience work has advanced quite a lot in the last few years. It was great to see leaders from DHL, Electrolux, Salesforce and other companies present their achievements and concerns.

As is often the case, half of what I learned came from discussions during breaks and during the evening between the two days. Fascinating stuff. One of the blog posts in the list below covers my answers to the two most common questions I was asked during these informal interactions.

My main stage presentation was based on two different blogs that you may remember. The first is my ‘Valentine’s Day’ blog about the similarities in the relationships couples and companies have. The second is my recent work on using stories and emotions to communicate effectively. And I just received the preliminary results of the feedback request sent to all participants. My session was the top rated one on the first day. I have not seen the results for the second day, and don’t expect an overall ranking to be published. Anyway… Yay me! (And thank you to all the attendees.)

Congratulations to Camilla Scholten, Adam Dorrell, Sarah Frazier, Katerina Sinitskaia, Cvetilena Gocheva and the rest of the CustomerGauge team on a great event.

Our latest blog posts

Older posts are still available on the blog page.

image Answers to two questions from new Customer Experience leaders: Where do I start, and to whom should I report?

I attended and spoke at the CustomerGauge Monetize! event in central Amsterdam last week. It was fabulous event, held in a theatre that has been created in an old church. Here are the answers to the two most common questions I was asked during breaks…

image The best and worst of customer and employee satisfaction (Part two in a two-part series)

And here is today’s Fake News (though the quotes are real): “Our core values: … Put the customer first…” – Frontier Communications website… In reality there are many companies that customers hate though employees love them, and vice-versa. Here are the results of my research on the topic…

image Do happy employees bring you happy customers? (Answer: In general – No!)

“Everybody knows that happy employees make happy customers.” “Satisfied employees are the single most important driver of customer satisfaction.” In reality, I don’t believe employee satisfaction even makes the top three for most companies. There are exceptions. I recently completed my third annual study on the (non-) relationship between employee and customer satisfaction…

Notable customer experience items from other sites

Annette Franz – Putting the customer at the center of every conversation

While this memorable article just came up in my LinkedIn feed yesterday Annette actually wrote it on her ‘CX Journey’ site back in 2002. It includes a mention of my ‘favorite hate’ in customer experience work. As she puts it, “I think hearing requires a subsequent action or reaction. And in the customer conversation, that part is often missing.” Annette goes on to suggest that only 5% of companies tell customers what they have learned from their research and what they are going to improve.

I think Annette is an optimist. In my own experiments in which I provided a total of 150 B2C companies with feedback, just a single one wrote back to tell me what they had learned and what they were going to improve. (Just FYI, that company was British Airways, which may surprise you. It surprised me as I have probably sent them about 20 survey responses over the years. At least they closed the loop that one time.)

Read this classic blog post here.

Rosaria Cirillo Louwman / Wow Now

I was able to meet Rosaria for the second time on the afternoon before the CustomerGauge event in Amsterdam. I first met her a few years ago when I spoke at a Satmetrix event in London. It was great to catch up, especially to discuss Yellow Goldfish, the recently-published book she has written together with Stan Phelps.

Rosaria founded Wow Now back in 2013. Her focus is not customer satisfaction or customer experience. I think it would be safe to describe it as happiness, meaning happiness of everyone involved in customer interactions, especially the customers, of course. Her framework builds a new layer on top of the well-known Maslow motivation pyramid: Happiness. She describes her focus as ‘happiness driven growth’ and has invented the Happiness Contribution™ Factor.

Read more about Rosaria’s book, training courses and Wow Now here. And you should be able to find the link to download her Happiness-Driven Growth booklet quite easily.

Looking forward

April will bring the second birthday of our first three books. My co-author/brother’s son is preparing a special birthday animation that you will see a few weeks from now. Thank you for your support during these two years. We are happy with the way the book has been selling, and especially the way they continue to sell well, even two years later. The CX strategy and NPS books occasionally make it up into the top 2% of all Amazon book sales. The cost-reduction book does not do quite as well. I suspect we need another economic downturn to make it more relevant.

Here are links to all of our books on Amazon.com. Kindle versions are available in all stores. Print versions are available from the major stores only. If you have already read any of our books, please write reviews on Amazon.

Customer Experience Strategy – Design & Implementation

Net Promoter – Implement the System

Customer-centric Cost Reduction

“So Happy Here”: The Absurdist but Essential Guide to Better Business (Color edition)

“So Happy Here”: The Absurdist but Essential Guide to Better Business (Black & White edition)

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