ANN ARBOR — ForeSee, a provider of customer experience analytics, Tuesday released new research that allows B2B companies to determine how their Web sites compare to the B2B landscape regarding customer satisfaction.

The benchmark also shows the direct correlation between online customer satisfaction and the impact it has on the future behaviors of B2B customers.

Based on more than 20,000 survey responses collected in the month of April, ForeSee’s satisfaction benchmark for B2B Web sites is at 62 on the company’s 100-point scale. This is an average score that B2B companies can use to measure their own performance against their peers. Since satisfaction plays a direct role in customers’ future actions, such as the likelihood to purchase or recommend the company, B2B Web sites scoring significantly below the average of 62 have a lot of work to do.

The new benchmark focuses primarily on the experience these companies are providing online, though all customer touch points may be critical in the B2B purchase funnel.

In general, B2B Web sites underperform B2C Web sites. The ForeSee Website Index indicates that average satisfaction for Web sites hovered around 70 in April, with many categories outperforming that average, such as retail and e-government. B2B trails that average significantly with an aggregate online satisfaction score of 62. However, scores for individual companies included in the benchmark span a wide range, from a low of 27 to a high of 85, and certain individual B2B Web sites are at the top of their games.  In fact, 28 percent of the measured B2B sites earned satisfaction scores that are higher than the ForeSee Website Index average. That means 72 percent of the sites are below that average.

“Such a wide range of satisfaction scores clearly shows that while a few B2B companies excel, many have a lot of room to improve their site visitors’ experiences,” said Larry Freed, president and CEO of ForeSee. “Companies that have made the online customer experience a priority will enjoy a huge competitive advantage over those who haven’t.”

ForeSee’s technology is able to predict customers’ future behaviors, and it has been used by leading companies in many industries for more than 10 years to measure customer satisfaction across all existing channels (web, mobile, social media, store, contact center, email). Over time, it has been demonstrated repeatedly that companies that improve their customer satisfaction scores improve their financial success.

As part of its benchmark research, ForeSee compared the likely future behaviors of highly satisfied customers (those with a satisfaction score of 80 or higher on ForeSee’s 100-point scale) to those of less-satisfied customers (with satisfaction below 70). This comparison demonstrates the impact customer satisfaction can have on a company’s future success. Based on likelihood scores, highly satisfied customers report being:

• 63 percent more likely than less satisfied customers to return to the website.
• 80 percent more likely to purchase from the company in the future.
• 88 percent more likely to use the company as their primary resource.
• 116 percent more likely to recommend the Web site to a friend.

The ForeSee B2B benchmark includes customer satisfaction scores for companies such as: Alcon, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cummins Engines, Eaton, Emerson Network Power, Gale-Cengage, HNI Enterprise, McGraw-Hill, MSC Industrial Supply, NuStep, Pearson Learning Solutions, Pfizer, ProQuest, Scholastic, Techdata, Valssis, and Yaskawa.

“This research really expresses how valuable customer satisfaction is to the future success of a company, and B2B companies are no exception to that rule,” Freed said. “Providing a satisfactory customer experience and measuring it continuously and accurately, is key in determining what customers will do next, and pinpointing what improvements can be made to make customers more loyal, more likely to purchase again, and recommend – all key success indicators.”

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