Worldwide, most valuable organizations working in different B2B sectors want to enhance customer satisfaction, loyalty and retention – the ticket to sustenance & growth. Since this is easier said than done, question is how can we measure & manage this systemically.
For starters, it’s intuitive to surmise that customer experience across all customer touch points needs to be managed and that clients may want to give feedback, which needs to be heard, captured accurately and when necessary addressed.
Regular measurement of satisfaction levels by B2B surveys is a specialized activity and should be done by experts & independently (as research indicates thatB2B clients often open up and give more candid feedback, if the surveys are administered independent of the organisation, albeit on behalf of the organisation). Feedback response rates are known to be higher when done by an independent consultancy. So a specialist consultancy engaged by an organisation is often the best equipped to design & administer the B2B study.
B2B satisfaction studies lead to not just right measurements, but can give valuable insights to improve -one of the simplest & smartest ways many organizations use to go up the value chain.
B2B surveys if done well, measure the various customer experience variables and gains insights to make smart decisions related to improvement of organization’s products & services, by improving its structure, processes, strategies, technology, governance, etc.
Is delivering a superior customer experience consistently easy?
Designing and mapping customer journeys requires tremendous operating rigor to integrate sales, delivery, processes, metrics and technology, and ensure well-oiled smooth operations .The challenges can increase many fold in B2B environments. And thus, customer experience enhancement through customer feedback (B2B surveys) can uncover actionable, insights for enhancing product/process improvement & even generate ideas for innovation.
B2B Customer feedback program needs to be accurately designed to enhance macroscopic or microscopic understanding of customer contact points/experience. Gauging the specific causes of customer satisfaction, complaints or inconvenience all of which need to be captured. For designing the B2B feedback programs – an initial focus group workshop with all key stake holders is often used. B2B satisfaction surveys/studies also need to be designed holistically- and is usually unique for each sector & organisation, given the differences that usually exist in the way the organisation is structured and specific B2B engagement environment.
The B2B satisfaction surveys needs to be administered with great care, as it is an engagement on behalf of the organisation vi-a-vis its B2B clients and as such the survey approach, channels, questions, quality, format of administration & communication needs to reflect & embellish the brand promise of the organisation.
We are often asked - who all should be surveyed? Every B2B satisfaction study should attempt to cover all the B2B clients of the organisation – and cover respondents – broken up into two categories, viz., (i) direct users and (ii) influencers – as satisfaction scores and feedback from both are critical in any B2B relationship.
Lastly, B2B client feedback & measurement scores, need to be analysed and converted, to easy to understand info graphics – to facilitate, communication internally, understanding, buy in & actionables. May be pertinent to mention that senior management buy in and sponsorship is critical for any B2B satisfaction study program to be successful.
How frequently should a B2B study be done?
Best practice is to do B2B studies annually – as doing it more frequently, may cause client irritation in any B2B environment. Also it’s critical, that any survey feedback be acknowledged and summary results/actionables shared with clients (by communication from leadership of the organisation) – so that the clients know that their feedback is being heard & respected.
If done well – B2B satisfaction studies – can transform organizations, improve client loyalty & catalyze their growth.