Guest Blog [Accelalpha]: 5 Steps to Improve Your Customers’ Experience

By Devang Bhavsar, Accelalpha

Mar 22, 2021

Devang Bhavsar of Accelalpha shares how B2B companies can improve customer experience through a holistic strategy and powerful sales, pricing and eCommerce technology from Oracle and Zilliant.

Are You Easy to Do Business With?

Each day, people around the world all have the same desire. They want everything faster, with fewer clicks. They want more self-service options and digital choices, because everyone is now an experienced online customer. Shaped by their interactions with consumer brands like Amazon and Netflix, decision-makers feel the same way about their B2B transactions, too.

Even if they don’t use these precise words, it all boils down to the same thing: They want a better customer experience, with seamless transactions, automated service and always-on features that stay one step ahead of their needs. They want more control in every single channel. COVID-19 intensified those demands. From remote work to telemedicine to online grocery shopping, technology adoption patterns have vaulted years ahead in a matter of months.

At Accelalpha, we help companies meet those customer expectations. How? By solving the most common customer pain points in the most effective ways possible. By eliminating friction, we make it easier for your customers to do business with you, driving satisfaction, loyalty and revenues.

We have developed a five-step process to start those changes immediately. But first, it is helpful to understand how business processes can improve:

Enable More Self-Service Capabilities

One of the most important trends today is that customers want more control. Many prefer to handle solutions and transactions on their own, digitally. That means that customers should be able to log in, research products and services, purchase software licenses, configure products and renew subscriptions easily.

We choose to partner with Oracle and Zilliant to deliver these capabilities for B2B companies. Oracle CX applications, including Commerce Cloud, Subscription Management Cloud and CPQ Cloud, make it possible to power a self-service digital commerce environment. These capabilities can be further enhanced by integrating with 3rd party applications such as Zilliant, which can dynamically calculate and expose the optimal price in real-time to increase the chances of customers completing the transaction.

CPQ Cloud is one of our favorite examples of how to give customers the control they want over their accounts. It solves a common pain point: Customers constantly ask for ways to configure products more easily, with immediate, relevant and consistent pricing delivery.

Empower the Sales Channel, Both Internally and Externally

Even though sales processes have been in the cloud for more than a decade, there is still room for significant improvement in digital selling. Reps are still spending up to 5.5 hours a week on CRM data entry1. Moreover, the average organization estimates that 22% of all its contact data is inaccurate in some way2. This poor data quality directly impacts the bottom line, according to 88% of companies, resulting in a loss of as much as 12% of revenue2.

Artificial intelligence helps companies close the strategy-to-execution gap by intelligently automating data-driven pricing, sales and marketing campaigns. Applications like Zilliant also help sales reps manage agreements and price updates with ease and serve up guidance to sales teams on price change justifications.

External sellers, including resellers and dealers, need help too

Gartner reports that only 29% of sales organizations are fully optimized and reports that their salesforce automation processes directly correlate with revenue growth and customer retention3. Some 44% describe themselves as still growing into technology3. They say that the system is used regularly, and the sales organization couldn’t operate without it, but there’s plenty more to be done. Companies say they’re expecting to add advanced analytics/business intelligence platforms (25%), chatbots (22%) and predictive opportunity scoring (19%)3.

Oracle also offers a broader range of industry-specific solutions, and its AI-based predictive forecasting product stands out. Additionally, through integration with Oracle CX Marketing, cold deals can be immediately fed to the marketing tool for automated nurturing and remarketing processes.

At Accelalpha, we believe that CX Sales has the deepest and broadest functionality in the market. It can increase a sales rep’s productivity and effectiveness, slash administrative time and set actionable, motivating quotas – all while making customers’ lives easier.

Add Real-Time Service Options

Service is far behind other sales functions and has only been fully cloud-based for the last few years. With many companies still struggling to bring multiple applications under a single efficient umbrella, there are still many gaps to fill.

B2B customers know they could be getting better service. According to a survey conducted by Forrester, 77% of customers say the most important thing a company can do is provide good service, acknowledging that their time is valuable4. And 82% want multiple ways to communicate4.

Their concerns are the same as those in consumer customer-service experiences. People don’t like having to repeat their issues over and over as they climb up the service chain. And when they switch to a different communication channel, 71% expect the next person they interact with to know about their previous attempts to resolve the issue5. Increasingly, it is how they make purchasing decisions, with 78% saying the quality of service is a determining factor in repeat purchases, and 86% willing to pay a higher price if it means a better experience6.

Oracle Service Cloud is an omnichannel solution that captures a 360-degree customer view, effectively solving these problems. It simplifies the service experience and helps differentiate an organization’s service experience.

Five Steps to Improve CX

Taken together, improving these three areas will make it easier to do business with companies for all stakeholders – customers, prospects and sales. These changes reduce errors and aggravation and let customers control much more of the process. To find new ways to bring all these areas together for a more seamless experience, we suggest companies start by:

Quantifying sales problems and outlining expected benefits Tapping a capable sales leader to build a team and lead this initiative Investing in the right tools and talent Providing a training and support structure to keep the team focused on implementing changes and solving problems Measuring progress against benchmarks, updating stakeholders with regular reports and continuing to improve business processes.

For more information, contact me on LinkedIn or the Accelalpha website.

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