The Customer Service Survey

Business-to-Business Customer Feedback

by Peter Leppik on Wed, 2013-06-12 17:54

The overwhelming majority of customer service surveys happen in the business-to-consumer world.

Which, if you think about it, is a little strange given that the business case for an effective customer feedback program is much stronger in the business-to-business world. In B2B, the value of each customer is usually higher, the acquisition costs higher, and the length of the relationship longer. Reputation and word-of-mouth is just as important in B2B, but it's less likely to be visible through social media and other public channels.

We have a number of very successful B2B customer feedback programs in place, and our clients have found it to be a powerful tool. Many of the tools and techniques we use in B2C customer feedback are just as useful in B2B, such as real-time interviews, delivering data to the front lines in real-time, and a robust service recovery process.

There are a few things to be aware of, though, when implementing a B2B customer feedback program:

  • Reaching the right person can be more of a challenge than in B2C. It's common to have multiple contacts for each customer and lot of out-of-date information.
  • B2B customers are very willing to talk to an interviewer for a few minutes--refusal rates are typically very low. However, you need to respect their time, and automated surveys are not likely to be successful.
  • B2B customers expect a high level of service, and if they have a complaint they expect it to be addressed. A proper service recovery process is not optional.

So don't listen to the people who think you can't do customer feedback in B2B--our clients know it isn't true.

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