After years of increase, the number of enthusiastic customers within B2B Netherlands stagnates
For the first time in years, the Net Promoter Score(NPS) within B2B Netherlands has stagnated: +15. Since 2016, this “customer enthusiasm grade meter” actually showed an upward trend: from an average of +7 to +16 last year. In practice, the even slight decline means on average fewer promoters recommending customers to others and more customers switching to competitors. As a result, organizations often miss out on sales and profits. Average customer satisfaction is. 7.9 That is the same as last year. So says the recent NPS benchmark report “Customer experience in the Netherlands 2023,” based on more than 200 customer surveys conducted by research and consulting firm Integron in nine industries, namely: construction and installation, transport and logistics, wholesale, ICT, industry, waste services, business services, facility services and financial services.
Depending on the type of industry, companies and organizations faced rising energy and commodity prices due to the war in Ukraine and sanctions against Russia, among other factors. “That affects product delivery and service delivery. We also see customers looking more critically at the value being delivered. Partly due to increased prices, customers are charging companies hard on the theme of value for money. Therefore, expressing the added value of an organization is becoming increasingly important,” said Benjamin de Mooij, customer experience consultant at Integron.
The report shows the difficulty of obtaining and retaining staff. As a result, labor has become scarce and more expensive. Nevertheless, the economy still grew by 4.5% (source. CBS). This growth is expected to decline by 2023. De Mooij: “Despite all the trends affecting B2B organizations in the Netherlands, the NPS did fall by ‘only’ 1%. But so that does break style, given the upward trend that began in 2016. The good news is that one in three B2B customers are actually enthusiastic and actively recommend organizations, according to the customer experience survey. These promoters are an important predictor of future sales. Moreover, with 50% of passives (customers who are satisfied but not overly enthusiastic) in the Netherlands, there is enormous potential for the future.”
Differences between industries – industry remains leader
As in previous years, the report shows differences among industries. Industry is still leading the way. With 46% in promoters and the fewest detractors (14%), this industry scores an average NPS of +32. Wholesale also does well when it comes to customer recommendations with an NPS of +28 compared to other sectors. It did drop slightly from last year. Partly because of the lead times of delivery and (the lack of) communication about it. Waste service providers have been climbing steadily for years, but still have to make do with a negative NPS (-1) on average. This makes it the only industry with an NPS below zero. Just above the national average are the transportation and facilities industries. The corona situation has given digitalization a new name and this has had an immense effect on these sectors. The facilities management industry in particular has a challenge to maintain the level of customer experience through the change to hybrid and more circular operations. Furthermore, complaint handling remains an issue in all industries.
Work on happy customers
On average, 27% of B2B customers leave an organization each year (source: CustomerGauge). These include poor service, poor communication and better products and services at competitors. “Organizations within B2B Netherlands know where they stand because of this and partly because of the research report. Work on happy customers. That’s our motto,” says De Mooij. “Get concrete with your NPS. An increase of +10 can already result in 10-15% less churn, i.e. fewer customers switching to competitors. Also, such an NPS increase drives 3% more business within the overall customer base and reduces marketing costs by 10-15%. All of this can go a long way for organizations and businesses. For an organization with a turnover of 30 million euros, this can result in savings or revenue of 2-3 million euros. This is a significant gain and shows how important it is to invest in customers, but also in your employees. The two go hand in hand on the road to greater success and better business results! In all this, keep a close eye on the customer journey. Then you’ll know when to do what or not do what. Really get to know your customers and act proactively! Customer experience should be a ‘way of working’.”
The NPS (Net Promoter Score) is measured using an 11-point scale from 0 to 10. Anyone who gives a 9 or 10 when asked if you would recommend an organization is a promoter. At a 7 or 8 you are a passive and at a 0 through 6 you are a detractor. The NPS is the percentage of promoters minus the percentage of detractors.
About the benchmark report
Integron based the NPS benchmark report “Customer experience in the Netherlands 2023” on more than 200 customer surveys conducted in 2022 across nine B2B sectors. These include the following industries: construction and installation, wholesale trade, ICT, industry, transportation and logistics, waste services and financial, facility and professional services.