Here’s what you need to know about collecting B2B customer feedback and earning quality insights to act to improve customer experience.
Think of brands that have transformed customer experience (CX) for entire industries. Amazon, founded by Jeff Bezos, comes to mind first for many people. As a pioneer in the retail industry, Amazon committed itself to customer centricity early on, and the company’s ability to continuously improve experiences reshaped how all other businesses around the world approached customer feedback.
In both business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) fields, Amazon is a top brand. It delights customers who turn to the ecommerce giant’s digital storefront to purchase items ranging from skincare to groceries to furniture, and the same applies to organizations relying on Amazon Web Services for cloud computing. B2C and B2B customer feedback help Amazon keep up with expectations.
B2C and B2B customer experience is different, though. CX for B2B brands focuses on the perceptions other businesses have of an organization over time as a result of their interactions across all touchpoints. Rather than focusing on an individual, B2B customer experience turns its attention to delighting several stakeholders and end users within an entire organization.
Keeping this in mind, it’s critical to tap into the quality insights of B2B customer feedback.
Customer loyalty for B2B brands increases with each positive experience. Of course, this means revenue also increases. As such, brands in virtually every industry are prioritizing CX as a competitive advantage capable of driving revenue growth as well.
But in order to leverage CX effectively, you need to start with one thing: Customer feedback. It’s the driving force behind the changes an organization needs to make to improve experiences.
Here are the reasons why you should gather B2B customer feedback.
B2B customer feedback reveals what customers say and feel about a brand’s products or services, uncovering market insights and trends that might otherwise go unnoticed. It allows you to easily identify what your B2B brand does exceptionally and where there’s plenty of room for improvement. With this knowledge, you’ll upgrade your CX strategy to cater to their wants, needs, and expectations.
Actively seeking and listening to B2B customer feedback demonstrates that you value customers’ opinions and you’re committed to delighting them.
In addition, customer feedback for B2B brands helps understand what their biggest challenges and pain points are. When you address friction in the customer journey, you’ll bolster customer satisfaction (CSAT).
Everyone knows that happier customers are more likely to remain customers with a brand. By acting on B2B customer feedback, you’ll implement changes that directly benefit B2B customer experience and thus make customers happier than before.
From incorporating B2B feedback into product development to streamlining websites or mobile applications, B2B customer feedback opens the door to building long-term business relationships.
B2B customer feedback offers valuable insights about your brand’s products or services. Analyze this feedback, and use it as an opportunity to take a customer-centric approach for product development after understanding how customers utilize specific features for their own use cases.
Now that you know why B2B customer feedback is important to obtain, you need to understand how to collect it. In truth, it’s not too different from collecting B2C customer feedback. Collecting B2B feedback depends on several factors such as your objective, collection methodology, and analysis.
Here are the steps to collect B2B customer feedback effectively.
First, determine your objective(s) that will guide feedback collection. Goals and objectives range from seeking insights to improve products or services to measuring CSAT to increasing retention.
Once you’ve determined your goals and objectives, the next step is choosing the ideal feedback collection methods. With a plethora of methods available, it’s imperative you pick one that helps you meet your goals and objectives.
Consider moving beyond customer surveys for more interactive techniques to meet customers however they prefer to communicate, such as through:
Develop a clear timeline and frequency for the feedback collection process based on the specific goals and objectives of the business. Your timeline can be initial feedback collection that happens 24 to 48 hours after the completion of a transaction or pulse surveys that involve conducting customer surveys at regular intervals to determine customer satisfaction and identify areas for improvement.
Reach out to B2B customers and explain why you’re seeking their feedback. Clearly communicate the purpose of the survey and how their feedback will help improve their experiences moving forward.
To encourage greater participation, consider offering incentives through discounts, prizes, or early access to new or in-development features.
Once you’ve satisfied all the previous, it’s time to implement your B2B customer feedback collection process. Your customer experience management (CEM) software should have the top-notch features and capabilities necessary to collect feedback and analyze it seamlessly.
After collecting B2B customer feedback, observe the insights from your CEM platform to identify patterns, trends, and common themes. You should review both positive and negative feedback responses to determine areas of improvement and where you excel.
Finally, act on the feedback you’ve obtained. This may include making necessary product or service improvements and communicating changes to customers. By taking action, you show customers that you value their feedback which helps build trust and loyalty.
Not sure what to ask B2B customers in surveys? Get started with generic questions that fit almost any brand, regardless of industry.
Here are a few survey questions to consider asking when collecting B2B customer feedback:
You’ll definitely want to ask survey questions that are specific to your brand and its products or services, too. Ask about specific features and capabilities, and be sure to follow up after experiences to monitor whether they’re well received or filled with friction.
B2B customer feedback will start flowing in, but you might notice some challenges when it comes to the quality or quantity of the feedback.
To help you receive quality insights from B2B customer feedback, here are the top best practices.
Receiving too little feedback to gain insights? You’ve got to boost survey response rates.
Response rate refers to the number of overall feedback responses for measuring product or service experiences over a given period. The rule of thumb is to use a large number of customers that allow for enough response volume to better understand experiences.
The higher the response rate, the more likely it is that the feedback received is widespread among customers and thus worth acting on.
Usually, B2B companies tend to restrict feedback requests to direct buyers of products or services. However, so many other employees within an organization are directly or indirectly affected by your brand. Their feedback also matters, which is why you need to expand your feedback requests to bring on board all relevant stakeholders.
Some of the crucial players who can provide valuable feedback include:
So go outside of the buyer and touch on each stakeholder whose experiences or opinions of your products or services are important to know (and understand).
Not every customer is going to respond to an initial request for feedback. Maybe they’re not responding because they missed the request — it could be you’ve communicated through an unpreferred channel or they’re just busy. That said, follow up!
Whether through a different communication channel or a reminder using the same channel, it’s important to nudge a non-responder to collect their feedback.
Collecting B2B customer feedback might not always feel easy, but it’s well worth the time and effort. B2B customer feedback empowers an organization to improve products or services and strengthen relationships with customers, putting your brand ahead of the competition. Remember, though, that successful B2B customer feedback collection is more than just gathering information; it’s also about acting on insights.
Meet with a Medallia expert — we’ll walk you through building trusted relationships with B2B customers and how to understand every interaction across the B2B customer journey to create long-term loyalty.