B2B Customer Experiences By People, Built For People

Episode Notes:

On this episode of “Salesforce Simplified,” our guest is Megan Burns, a Customer and Employee Experience expert, who helps good people deliver great experiences. Our discussion specifically focuses on creating world-class B2B customer experiences.

Visit Megan Burns’ Website: https://www.megan-burns.com.

Learn about B2B Commerce Cloud: https://bit.ly/3dJ6nDD.

Episode Transcription:

Mike Boyle:

Hello everyone, and thank you for joining us for the Ad Victoriam Salesforce Simplified podcast. And on this episode, we are delighted to have, as a guest, Megan Burns, a customer and employee experience expert who helps good people deliver great experiences. She’s here today to talk specifically about creating world-class B2B customer experiences. Now, before we officially say hello, let me tell you a little bit about Megan. Megan Burns is one of the world’s leading experts on customer experience and culture change. She advises leaders and organizations on how to use the science of human behavior to embed world-class customer experience practices into operations IT customer service and sales.

Megan’s insights into customer and employee experience comes from 20 years of research and consulting. Prior to launching experienced enterprises, Megan spent more than 10 years as vice-president principal analyst at Forrester Research, developing groundbreaking research on how brands like Amazon, Apple, Starbucks, and yes, even Salesforce, deliver great customer experiences at scale in the face of constant social and technical disruption. And Megan is the author of more than 75 research reports on such topics as measurement, the business value of customer experience, executive engagement, change management, and how emotion drives customer loyalty. There is a whole lot more about the Megan Burns story, and you can just visit her website at www.megan-burns.com to learn more. And without further ado, Megan, hello. Welcome to the Salesforce Simplified podcast. A pleasure to have you join us. I have really been looking forward to this conversation.

Megan Burns:

Thank you so much for having me, Mike, I’m thrilled to be here.

Mike Boyle:

Tell me what a B2B customer experience is?

Megan Burns:

It’s a great question, and one that we shouldn’t gloss over. It’s funny I keep an eye on keyword research, and what is customer experience? Is still the number one most searched term related to customer experience even 15 years later. So B2B customer experience, let’s start with the definition of customer experience. A customer experience, the customer experience, is how a person thinks and feels about their interactions with a company. You have a person interacting with a company, whatever happens in those interactions, plus the thoughts and feelings that person has. What’s different in B2B is that that person is having that interaction in the context of their job. It’s still a person. It may be multiple people from within the same company, but it’s in the mindset and the role and the context of them as a professional, as opposed to them in their personal life.

Mike Boyle:

Megan, you have years of doing research about the B2B customer experience, what has that taught you?

Megan Burns:

Well, it’s taught me that experiences are created by people for people. It’s very easy to forget that, especially in B2B, when we talk about customers as clients or accounts, and I’m a software engineer by training, but as we go crazy throwing technology to facilitate things, it facilitates great things, but ultimately there are human beings on either end of that experience. And I think that’s a simple but powerful truth that we forget, but would do well to keep front and center in our minds. And part of the reason that it’s important to keep it front and center in our minds is because I’ve also learned what customer experience can and cannot do in terms of business dynamics. Some people will talk about customer experience as if it’s a panacea, we’re going to have the world’s greatest customer experience and that will solve all our competitive issues. Probably not.

How someone feels about your company based on their interactions with it is a piece of the puzzle, rarely, especially in B2B, is there one experience that’s like, that’s it, I’m leaving and I’m never doing business with you again. That happens more in the consumer world, in B2B it’s usually not something quite that cut and dried. It’s the ebb and flow of relationships over time. And the experiences are one piece that influences what is a very complex multi-factor, multi-person decision. So I think we have to keep our expectations in check and really understand as we pull the experience lever, what can it do and what can’t it do?

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