The better you plan your B2B customer satisfaction survey, the more you'll get out of it. Done properly, the survey should be a significant source of additional revenue rather than a chore.

1. Acting on the Feedback

If you have to conduct a survey because your quality standards say that you have to, or any other outside influence is telling you to and you feel that, maybe, your company, your organization, is lacking the commitment to make any changes, then consider running an in-house paper-based survey. This way, your customers won't expect any commitment from you, and they won't feel let down when nothing happens.

If, however, your company wants to hear from those important clients and it has the drive to make changes based on the feedback and wants to grow, then please read on and use this checklist. Remember, the better you prepare for your customer satisfaction survey, the more you'll get out of it.

2. Choosing Who You Want to Hear From

You are in B2B, right? You have an ongoing relationship with your customers who buy from you over and over again. You might have one or some large customers with lots of contact points—not just someone in Purchasing, but also Design Engineers, Production Engineers, Operations Directors, Logistics Managers, Supply Chain Directors—decision-makers as well as key influencers.

You have salespeople who need to be involved in the selection of who you want to hear from. If they are not involved, they could feel left out at a critical stage—and, after all, the feedback is designed to help them sell more. But don't let them choose just their friends (those they play golf with), because that's not the point.

Don't choose non-customers. A sales director recently talked about customers that his firm had never sold to. They are suspects or prospects, but not customers. Their perception of your internal systems, disciplines, and procedures is not right for this sort of customer satisfaction survey. Include only your customers.

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image of John Coldwell

John Coldwell has been the UK managing director of InfoQuest since 2000. He has run post-survey workshops for clients in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia, including Russia and China.

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