How To Measure Client Satisfaction In A B2B Environment

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By Adrian Cruce

Measuring client satisfaction is the best way to know what your company is doing right and what can be improved. Listening to feedback and learning about your clients’ experiences with the company’s products or services is the only way to stay relevant in today’s competitive society. Knowing the clients’ opinions and requirements can lead to innovations and products or services that will sell faster and with less effort. While B2Cs can have access to their clients’ feedback easier, especially when they are selling products, B2Bs have to invest some time and money into measuring client satisfaction.

In order to measure client satisfaction in a B2B environment, companies need to organize their client satisfaction program in 6 steps:

  1. Create A List Of Clients To Interview

The key to conduct relevant client satisfaction research is to find the right person to interview from your clients’ companies. This will vary based on your company but also on your clients’ companies.

For example, you can interview the decision makers in your clients’ companies but also the final consumers if you sell your products through wholesalers. In this way you will get the full picture and not just one side of the story. If you provide B2B services, interviewing the decision makers in your clients’ companies might be enough even though you should consider interviewing the account manager or the person that is in touch with you all the time as well. Sometimes decision makers are not involved in all parts of the business so talking to the person who is in touch with your company can be a better option.

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The idea is to ask the right person, the right questions if you want to measure client satisfaction in a B2B environment.

  1. Create Of Attributes That Should Be Measured During The Interviews

After deciding who you want to interview, make a list of things you want to measure during the interview. Make sure you include questions that will cover as many issues that can impact the relationship with your clients as possible.  You can include questions about the product/services, questions about delivery, questions about staff and service, questions about the company and questions about the price and so on. Just make sure the questions will allow you to have a better understanding of the way your products and services are perceived by your clients and that they will give you enough information to measure client satisfaction.

  1. Decide Which Type Of Interview Is Best For You

B2Bs can opt for three major categories of interviews including surveys, classic face-to-face interviews or other types of interviews including telephone interviews and email interviews. Each category has its advantages and disadvantages so be sure you choose one that will allow you access to the answers you need.

  1. Create The Methodology For Measuring Client Satisfaction

People tend to complain when they are not satisfied by offering many details, but when they are not completely disappointed by a product or they are happy with a product, they tend to use words of praise or not give detailed answers. These types of answers are hard to categories in order to scale the level of satisfaction so the best way to avoid this problem is to include rating systems with numerical scores in the surveys or in the questions for the interview. During measuring client satisfaction research, it is also important to measure expectations and the importance each client attribute to different characteristics.

  1. Analyze The Results Of The Interviews

In order to analyze the results of a client satisfaction research, businesses have to create a client satisfaction index using the scores obtained during their research stage. These scores will allow businesses to have an overview of their clients’ satisfaction, but paying attention to their opinions, non-verbal communication (for face-to-face interviews) and suggestions is also an important aspect that is essential for the next step.

  1. Plan Of Action Post Interviews

The last, but probably most important, step is to analyze the results of the research and to create a plan to increase the level of client satisfaction. Taking everything into account, businesses should find ways to work more effectively with their clients, to improve their products or services and to make adjustments were needed.

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