June 22, 2012 | Eric Head

Measuring Your B2B Website is Only Half the Battle


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A B2B’s website’s performance (or lack thereof) can actually have an enormous impact on the business’ contact center.

You might not think that two very separate channels could directly affect each other and a company’s bottom line in very distinct ways. But they do.

When I look at B2Bs, one of the things I find interesting about them is the fact that there is not as much freedom of choice as there is in the regular retail world where you might have five or six or more options if you’re looking to purchase.  With B2B companies there is a built-in relationship and because of that, in most cases, there’s an absolute NEED for them to interact with their customers in order to run their businesses effectively.

In this day and age, we would be foolish to think that a website – be it for a B2B, retail, healthcare, financial institution, or government entity – wasn’t a main (if not the main) touch point for a customer to engage with a company.  Keeping that in mind, it is crucial to provide positive visitor experiences. When done right and measured properly it has been proven that a satisfied customer is more likely to purchase, return, and recommend to others, which are all key in driving the success of a company. As indicated by our research, a lot of B2B sites are not doing so well. Compared to B2C websites, B2B websites underperform.

While the ForeSee Website Index indicates that the average satisfaction for B2C websites was 70 in April, ForeSee’s satisfaction benchmark for B2B websites is at 62. That’s a significant gap in customer satisfaction. The good news is that about 28% of B2B companies measured scored above the B2C average and as high as 85. On the other hand, that means 72% of the sites scored below the average with some as low as 27.

What does that mean?

First, if you have poor -performing site, chances are you are just turning away good business and good money as potential customers abandon the site without a second glance.  And while a company may not have many alternative B2B competitive choices in the short-run, if they are not having a great experience today with a B2B business partner, then chances are greater the company will switch partners when a viable alternative option does come along.

And second, while there may be a lack of freedom of choice in the B2B space, there is still freedom of channel. Customers and/or potential customers may be forced, because of these underperforming sites, to turn to the more expensive contact center to get the answers or information they couldn’t get otherwise. So not only are you potentially turning away business with an underperforming site, you’re adding hefty costs to every customer interaction you’re site drives to the contact center.

At this point, the contact center becomes a last-ditch effort to satisfy customers. Since customers are more than likely already frustrated by the time they pick up the phone, because they couldn’t do something they wanted to, it becomes extremely critical that the contact center is delivering a good and positive customer experience. That’s why it becomes imperative to measure how the contact center is performing through the eyes of the consumer with a credible, reliable, precise, and accurate measurement technology.

While there is, and probably always will be, an enormous amount of emphasis on the importance of measuring the customer web experience, we cannot ignore the significance of – especially in the this multi-channel, multi-device world we now live in – measuring every customer touch point be it web, contact center, social media, mobile, store, or customer relationships.

You need to realize that until you truly understand the impact each channel has on one another (and more importantly the bottom line of your company), you’re only fighting half the battle.

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About the Author

ForeSee | Eric Head

Eric is Vice President of Experience Leadership at Verint, helping clients extract maximum value from their CX programs. He as been a pioneer in the customer analytics sector and has over 20 years experience driving best-practices for better customer engagements with organizations.

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