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Whatever industry you’re in - whether you sell technology, tools or orchids - you do everything for your customers. And it is them who have more and more influence on your company, due to their expectations and buying habits, which are also changing faster and faster. So, many people are asking: How do I integrate customer feedback into my processes? How do we generate added value - for the customers themselves, but also for the organization?

The "B2B Expert Group" therefore wants to answer the question: What role does the customer play in B2B digital transformation? Herbert Pesch (Director of the B2B digital agency Evident) and Roelof Swiers (Intershop) lead the expert group. This time the meeting of Dutch B2B entrepreneurs will take place at Ansu Vanda, Europe's largest orchid grower and customer of Royal Brinkman, supplier, consultant and installer for horticulture.

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Digital and human language

Royal Brinkman is growing. That's true of course for the plants but also applies to sales and international business. Rob Helderman, E-Commerce Manager at Royal Brinkman: "I am convinced that our growth is partly based on how we communicate with our customers. We strongly believe in the combination of digital and human language. The digital relationship offers operational excellence, while the human relationship creates an emotional connection. Both together lead to customer proximity".

"For each country, we have small decentralized teams for the web shops. Digitization is important to us because it frees up time and people for personal consultation. This is part of our value add - alongside with the products we offer. Our employees are experts in the field of horticulture. If a customer has problems with plant diseases, our experts can provide on-site advice and help them".

The customer first

Royal Brinkman places the customer at the center of its activities. This is checked annually by experts. In June 2019, there was also a customer event for around 500 customers. Rob: "As part of 'Get to know your customers', our e-commerce specialists visit one of our account managers every quarter and we organize focus groups with 10 to 15 customers. This results in new insights time and time again. For example, we talk about functionalities, customer experience, service quality, internal order tracking and customer service performance. Royal Brinkman offers tailor-made solutions to key accounts. "For example, we are increasingly working with OCI connections to ERP systems. This saves our customers a lot of time".

Technical side

Royal Brinkman is also constantly looking for ways to improve the web shop. They analyze and evaluate their performance using online forms, heat map recordings and telephone interviews. In addition, Royal Brinkman's campaign "The best idea for" asks for suggestions from customers. Rob: "Sometimes there are suggestions for functionalities that already exist. Then we show where to find them. At the same time, we question whether the option is well placed. People who readily give feedback are shortlisted for our focus sessions. We also ask for feedback elsewhere, for example after an order was placed. But we go even further. The e-commerce department encourages our customers to stay in touch - with the gardener, but also with the market. Customers feel heard and almost always want to attend the next session."

Acquisition of customer feedback

The "B2B Expert Group" has 5 tips to collect customer feedback:

  1. Conduct customer interviews.
  2. Adjust the amount of feedback you want, don't overburden your customers.
  3. Let your customers know what you have done with the feedback.
  4. Include different departments in the data collection: This way you create team spirit.
  5. Ensure support from within your company by having ambassadors explain the benefits of customer feedback to colleagues.

Tools & Methods

The following tools and methods have proven their worth in capturing customer feedback:

  • Hotjar
  • Google Analytics
  • Delighted
  • jot shape
  • VWO (A/B test)
  • customer interviews
  • Marketing Insights (via Account Manager, Customer Service)
  • Customer Satisfaction Survey/NPS
  • Usabilla
  • chat

These tools provide a variety of data. You need to be able to interpret them and translate them into useful instructions. An aimless abundance of information can make it difficult to draw the appropriate conclusions. The experts therefore advise to limit oneself to a few methods and tools and to ask one question before collecting data: What kind of improvement should be made exactly?

Dare to ask

After all, the experts have a valuable tip: Don't be afraid to ask your customers for feedback. In most cases, they will appreciate this because their customer journey can get better. And that's the goal, isn’t it?

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