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A New Era in B2B Customer Experience

Posted on March 29, 2013 , by Steve Bernstein

I was extremely excited – and quite proud! – that our friends at SAP (the $20B global enterprise software company) published intimate details of their Customer Success program in their most recent annual report.  SAP is leading their industry by publishing customer-focused metrics right alongside financial measures.  Based on the Net Promoter System, SAP has gone beyond measuring customer sentiment to incorporate true best practices for B2B businesses, including:SAPlogo

  • Measuring customer success:  “We view customer success as being so critical to our own that we have made it one of our four company-wide strategic goals, in addition to employee engagement, growth, and margin.”
    “…a shorter questionnaire that hones in on what really matters to customers – such as the degree to which SAP solutions contribute to their success.”
  • Understanding the level of engagement with their customers by defining coverage and response rates.  Notably, “Our secondary goal was to achieve a response rate of 70%. While we fell short of this goal with a response rate of 67%, we were encouraged by the high level of customer engagement in providing feedback on our solutions and services. Our plan is to continue to promote our new methodology to sustain this feedback.”
  • Focusing on improvement, not measurement.  “…we are putting much more emphasis on responding to their concerns. In 2012, we greatly expanded the respective training for our employees, introducing a new e-curriculum that covers the subtle skills required to manage customer relationships. We can already document that our follow-up on issues has improved significantly.

Congratulations and best wishes to Phil Morin and his global team on these achievements – truly an exciting development for SAP and for our “Customer Experience” industry!  I’d also like to acknowledge Mary Brigden for her pioneering efforts that helped SAP get to this point.
This is the first time I’ve seen this level of customer focus published in this way … are there other examples?  The customer success section of the annual report can be found here: