Having another business as your client is a lot different from providing products or services to consumers. But just like in B2C businesses, getting feedback from your customer base is still an essential tool to ensure you’re meeting your clients’ needs.
The best way of getting that information is to ask them, but you cannot very well have someone individually poll each business after every single interaction you have with them. This is where a B2B customer satisfaction survey comes into the picture.
However, to get the most out of your survey, which is an investment, you need to get a few things right. Here are some of the factors you want to make sure are in order in your survey.
Running a B2b survey without well-defined goals is like running blindfolded. Not only can you not see the finish line, you might actually be running in completely the wrong direction! As such, make sure that the objectives of your survey are well defined. This is the most important step that should be the first order of business when creating a survey strategy.
Work out what measures you’re looking to improve, and ensure that you’re asking questions that clearly tie into each improvement area.
Next to defining your objectives are defining the questions you want to ask. It may sound obvious, but you should know that a few irrelevant or badly worded questions can seriously affect the main goal of your survey.
For example, if you’re interested in knowing whether information provided by you has been effective, ask exactly that question in the clearest way you can. Asking generally about effectiveness could yield answers covering everything from your attentiveness to your typing skills, or asking generally about information could yield all kind of answers that don’t help you.
If you have a trusted client, it could be an idea to use them as a test or pilot survey study to ensure that the questions you’re asking your client are as clear as possible.
Don’t make the questionnaire too long, and aim to begin with short questions to encourage the respondent to keep answering.
Who will be answering your survey? Make sure you are asking the right people for information, as sending a service survey to the accounts team will not get you the information you need!
With this kind of survey, you will need to identify which departments, teams and job roles will get you the best quality information. Get this information prepared ahead of time and consider carefully, for each person on the list, whether the survey you send them will be relevant and easy for them to complete.
As part of this, consider too the language that each client uses with you and make sure that your surveys include the right references to your products or services. If you provide different services to different clients, ensure that you reflect that in your survey, to avoid any confusion.
It may be that you need to create more than one survey to ensure you’re getting a breadth of data from different business areas, while keeping the survey questions tightly relevant to each department or team.
Consider how many clients you need to reach out to get reliable data. Consider that a small sample size runs the risk of getting data that’s not quite as reliable, and could skew your perception of the service you provide.
Different data collection methods will suit different audiences, so consider this when working out how to send and collect your survey information.
For instance, junior correspondents would probably be okay with an online survey but a phone call might be in order for senior positions. For all respondents, consider how they best like to be communicated with, and try to match that where possible.
If your survey is full of rating questions, it is best to use online templates, as these can be difficult to communicate through other methods.
All in all, the right method to use when collecting data will depend on the structure of the questions, the target audience, the length of the survey and the required speed for responses.
Sample Questions for a B2B Survey