New technologies in data-management enable b2b-businesses to improve their customer experience. The volume of available data increases rapidly, but how can b2b’s collaborate with their chain partners, in order to use their available data and insights in the smartest way possible?
The ShoppingTomorrow expert group b2b Experience, consisting of professionals from 28 leading logistic organizations and manufacturers, investigates how you can guarantee your position within the supply chain, by offering your customers the best service possible. During the first meeting, the experts split up this question into three themes: insights, proposition and organization.
During the second session, the expert group gathered at Fabory in Tilburg, a supplier of bolts, nuts and other fasteners, to discuss the first theme: data & insights. How can insights contribute to a better customer experience or a better fit within the supply chain?
During this session, members of the expert group shared inspirational cases related to the Insights theme with each other. In this interview, Denise van Keulen, Digital Marketing Manager Benelux at Tarkett, supplier of floors, shares more about her case and why she has joined the ShoppingTomorrow expert group.
‘I find a lot of inspiration in cases of other industries’
‘In 2014 I participated in an expert group that examined the everchanging field of content marketing. We answered questions on how to keep offering inspirational content and how to help potential customers with your content. The good thing about expert groups is the high level of expertise of the participants. I like the fact that as a participant of these groups, you can contribute something to the ShoppingTomorrow’s annual book of whitepapers, and thereby help the readers. Although the group consists of professionals who work in very different industries, you notice that they are all occupied with similar issues. We gain a lot of inspiration from the practical cases, not only the cases of our own market but especially those from other industries.’
Like last year, the expert group b2b Experience focuses on the client. How can you connect with your client troughout the entire customer journey? We investigate the complete supply chain and how you can collaborate with your chain partners.
Case Tarkett: Moodboard tool helps clients with orientation
‘Of course, data and sales figures are very important, however, in order to find out what customers really want, our Marketing Home department in the Netherlands invited customers to share what their orientation process during the purchase of a floor looks like. As a result, they found out that clients often don’t know what actually appeals to them. They use Google or Pinterest in order to find out what style matches their taste. However, due to the large amount of options, customers get overwhelmed and find it hard to make the right choice’, says Denise.
The physical store plays an important role during the orientation and the product selection that fits the customers’ interior style and the functional requirements. Mostly, people buy a new floor once every ten years. Therefore, expert’s advice is very important to help clients making the right decision.
Based on these insights, Tarkett designed a tool that offers their clients support during their orientation process. ‘We developed the concept for the tool based on the wishes of the clients and dealers. This moodboard tool helps clients to discover their style and offers a place for the dealer to give advice about which products fit that style. The moodboard tool is connected to our product database. This way, clients can directly order samples. Subsequently, these samples and the moodboard will be handed over to the client in a charming moodboard-box’.
‘We introduced this tool last year, and we optimized it frequently based on the users’ feedback. As a result, we strengthen the position of the dealers within the chain, as the tool is for in-store use only. This way the dealers can build up a strong relationship with their clients.’
Focus on the adoption of the tool
‘We are very happy with the results, especially since we have little influence on the links downstream in the chain. Most of the tool’s users eventually buy a new floor at the concerning dealer. However, not all of the dealers use the tool yet, so it’s important to focus on increasing the adoption. That’s the disadvantage of the chain: you don’t have influence furtheron the chain.’
‘When developing a new service, make sure to monitor the entire process from the start, including its links in the chain. How can you reach a customer who’s behaviour is ever-changing? What is his customer journey and how can a tool add value? We did a lot of user research. Make sure to stay in touch with all your stakeholders, so you always know what’s happening, and make the right adjustments. It’s not only about introducing a tool. It’s very important to show your users the importance of the tool and how to use it properly’.
Watch the video:
Denise van (Tarkett), Ron () and Floris (Mirabeau) share the most important findings on the theme ‘insights’ of the secondsession of the b2b Experience expert group.
Other insights from the session
How can insights contribute to a better customer experience and strengthen your position within the supply chain?
- Make sure to observe the client and communicate in their daily context. In addition, appoint research professionals. By mapping customer needs, you will better understand how, where and when the services need improvement. Details do make the difference.
- Don’t collect data at all cost. Only focus on data that helps you to add value and interpret numbers in the right context, for example, qualitative insights.
- Innovation is a continuous process of experimenting and testing. Start with testing during ideation and continue after the realization. Correspondingly, test everything in the appropriate way. A usability test doesn’t work during ideation.
Explore what data you would like to share with your chain partners and clients. Sharing the right insights can strengthen your position within the chain.
About the ShoppingTomorrow Expert group B2B Experience
This article is a summary of the first findings of the ShoppingTomorrow expert group b2b Experience. You can read the whitepaper B2B Experience here (Dutch only). Mirabeau and Episerver are the hosts of the expert group.