State of B2B CEM Survey

The 4th Annual ClearAction Business-to-Business Customer Experience Management Best Practices Study report is based on the results of the State of B2B CEM survey which was conducted during summer 2013.

This study was conducted by ClearAction with promotion support from CustomerThink.
Here are answers to frequently asked questions:

Q: Who qualifies to participate in the survey?
A: The survey is intended for industrial practitioners of B2B customer experience management, such as VoC, market research, data-mining, intelligence, CRM, customer references, experiential marketing, loyalty, CLV, community, word-of-mouth, co-innovation, branding, internal customer satisfaction, service excellence, call center, UX, complaint management, etc.

Q: What do participants receive?
A: As a token of appreciation for completing the 20-minute online State of B2B CEM questionnaire, participants may receive: The complimentary download code will be provided to participants upon completion of the questionnaire.

Q: What motivated this study?
A: To-date B2B case studies in loyalty, satisfaction, and experience management books and articles are sparse! There are no lists of best-in-class companies for B2B CEM, as opposed to abundant data on B2C CEM by Business Week Top 25, JD Power, Forrester, etc. B2B CEM studies to-date have been limited to certain geographies and industry segments. See the press release announcing ClearAction's 2010 baseline B2B Customer Experience Management Study.

Q: What is unique about this survey?
A: The 2013 questionnaire consists of about two dozen multi-faceted questions to comprehensively gauge current practices in customer experience management. It explores the complex relationships between business clients and their suppliers. Business customers differ typically from consumers in many ways:
  • Multiple influencers of buying decisions, sometimes including the customer's plant manager, safety manager, engineers, and other roles.
  • Interfaces among functional area counterparts at both companies, such as engineering and operations.
  • Ongoing interactions between both parties post-purchase.
  • Substantially larger finances are typically at stake, as well as career implications.
  • Highly customized offerings to buyers' specifications, with longer sales cycles.
The study also collects B2B CEM stories, which are rare within customer experience literature which primarily focuses on business-to-consumer examples and achievements.

The 2012 study examined three-year trends and collected B2B CEM stories. The 2011 study explored the motivations behind customer experience management and its linkages to corporate goals, strategy, culture, processes, and business results. Seven success factors were identified. The 2010 baseline study examined the functional owners of various customer experience programs, and the scope of organizational deployment.

Q: How many participants will there be?
A: We are seeking to include representative samples among a wide array of business-to-business sectors, including (but not limited to) agriculture, energy, financial, materials, manufacturing, technology, and transportation. A variety of industries within each sector are invited to participate. It may be possible for us to offer you a survey report for your specific industry, e.g. insurance; we will advise you of such opportunities following the data collection phase of this study.

Q: What is the survey deadline?
A: Monday, September 2, 2013.

Q: How is confidentiality protected?
A: All participants in the ClearAction Business-to-Business Customer Experience Management Best Practices Study will be protected through anonymity of their company name and respondent name in all survey reports and communications. Participants' contact information will not be shared outside of ClearAction.

Q: How will the data be used?
A: Inputs to this benchmarking study will be used only to identify best practices, drivers and inhibitors of success, and key areas for improvement. Participants may be subsequently asked for permission to use their company name in a list of "Top 5" practitioners of certain best practices; if the participant company declines such a request, their wishes will be honored. Additionally, some participants may be invited to participate in an in-depth interview, at which time the parameters of information usage will be jointly agreed upon.

Q: How is ClearAction uniquely qualified to conduct this study?
A: Lynn Hunsaker, head of ClearAction, has managed B2B CEM since 1989 as Strategic Information Manager, Voice of the Customer Manager, Market Research Consultant, Customer Satisfaction Improvement Manager, Head of Global Quality, and Director of Marketing. Ms. Hunsaker's passion and insights for the intricacies of B2B sales and customer management were honed at Sonoco Products Company and Applied Materials. Ms. Hunsaker has also taught marketing courses at University of California Berkeley Extension, and she is past-president of the award-winning Silicon Valley American Marketing Association. Ms. Hunsaker is a CXPA Customer Experience Expert and top-10 2011 author, and she is author of three customer experience books to read on mobile devices. She has been on the Advisory Board of CustomerThink, The Customer Care Network, CustomerExperienceOne, Marketing Operations Partners, and Marketing Operations Future Forum. ClearAction is a Founding Corporate Member of Customer Experience Professionals Association.

Q: What will the benchmarking study report look like?
A: Please see the thumbnail images of the report:.


CustomerThink is a global online community of business leaders striving to create profitable customer-centric enterprises. Each month, the site reaches 200,000 subscribers and visitors from 200 countries via email, RSS, LinkedIn and Twitter. CustomerThink currently serves over 80,000 visitors per month. Main areas of coverage include Customer Relationship Management, Customer Experience Management, and Social Business. This is the place to learn about every facet of customer-centric business management. For more information about CustomerThink, visit

ClearAction is a customer experience optimization consulting firm that guides company-wide action on a clear view of customer intelligence. Customer experience optimization goes beyond the revenue-focus of customer experience management, to grow both revenue and profit naturally through company-wide alignment with buyer priorities.

ClearAction's depth of practitioner experience since 1989:
  • Inspires employees to take the customer perspective — know your customers' world better than your competitors do.
  • Instills customer-focused decision-making as a habit among all employees — motivate customer experience optimization as a way of life.
  • Engages employees to resolve and prevent customers' issues — collaborate cross-organizationally for company-wide customer experience excellence.

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Benchmarking Reports

Customer Experience Benchmarking
Consolidated 2010-2013 Report $395

2013 and 2012 reports together $475
(coupon code = plus2012)

All 4 reports (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013) $550
(coupon code = 4reports)

customer experience benchmarking study
List price: $395    Now $125
2012: examples from Ciena, Citrix, LexisNexis, Orange, SunTrust, Symantec, tw telecom, and others in business services, building materials, remarketing, and semiconductor industries.

customer experience benchmarking study
List price: $395    Now $125
2011: see all the advantages of adopting the 6 success factors.

List price: $395    Now $125
2010: see which functional areas are driving various components of CEM.

Customer Experience Success Factors
See 6 success factors of B2B CEM:

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