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B2B Satisfaction Survey: 10+ Best Practices & Real-Life Examples

Written by
Cem Dilmegani
Cem Dilmegani
Cem Dilmegani

Cem is the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per Similarweb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.

Cem's work focuses on how enterprises can leverage new technologies in AI, automation, cybersecurity(including network security, application security), data collection including web data collection and process intelligence.

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Research shows that 95% of B2B companies use surveys to measure the voice of customers. Creating an effective B2B survey is vital for maintaining strong business relationships and continually improving your product or service. This article provides the best practices for measuring customer satisfaction for B2B companies and some real-life examples.

Best practices for creating and distributing B2B customer satisfaction surveys

1- Choose the right survey tool

Selecting the right survey tool is vital for any business, as the wrong choice can lead to wasted time and resources. For instance, for a company with a large user base, a tool with automated alerts for negative feedback is essential. It streamlines the process of identifying and addressing customer issues, thereby enhancing efficiency and customer satisfaction. Without a tool tailored to your specific needs, managing feedback can become cumbersome and less effective, potentially impacting customer relationships and business outcomes.

Our research on the top 7 survey tools based on 30k+ reviews can help you find the right survey software for your research.

Real-life example

Grundfos, a water pump manufacturer, tackled customer feedback challenges by focusing on real-time responses.1 They implemented a survey tool sending automated alerts whenever negative feedback was received. Their approach led to 1,000 follow-ups with dissatisfied customers, resulting in a +9 average increase in employee ratings and a 3x growth rate among satisfied customers compared to dissatisfied ones.2

2- Use omni-channel survey distribution

Offering multiple feedback avenues caters to the diverse preferences of B2B customers, enhancing their willingness to participate. For instance, a busy executive might prefer a quick online survey interaction, while another might opt for a more detailed email questionnaire at their leisure. Such flexibility in feedback collection is a strategic move towards building stronger, more responsive business relationships.

Real-life example

IBM employs Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys to gauge customer loyalty and satisfaction among its corporate customers. The single metric question “How likely are you to recommend IBM to a colleague or friend?” is typically sent via multiple channels. IBM’s approach is to engage customers where they are most active, which could include email, within service or product platforms, or even through SMS.

Source: IBM.3

Figure 1. Example of IBM Net Promoter Score (NPS) Survey on their website

3- Send the surveys at the right time

The timing of the survey is as crucial as its content. Sending B2B Customer Satisfaction surveys at the right moment at every touchpoint of the customer journey is vital. This includes sharing surveys after key events like ticket closures, support calls, onboarding, bill payments, or purchases.

Real-life example

Livestorm sends an NPS survey to customers on their paid plan for over 15 days immediately after a webinar.4 If a customer rates at least 8/10, they’re also encouraged to leave a review on software review platforms such as G2 and Capterra, given their higher likelihood of providing positive feedback.

4- Ask relevant survey questions

Crafting survey questions that resonate with the unique context and needs of your audience is essential. This targeted method garners more valuable feedback, as respondents are more inclined to provide detailed insights when the questions directly relate to their experiences. Such precision in questioning improves the relevance of the data collected and demonstrates a genuine interest in the respondent’s specific views, leading to more constructive and actionable outcomes.

Besides, the use of ChatGPT for crafting survey research has become more popular among businesses (see figure below). 

If interested, check out our article on the top ChatGPT survey research use cases.

5- Collect qualitative data

Surveys typically feature quantitative elements like multiple choice or rankings. However, incorporating open-ended questions is crucial as it lets customers share their sentiments, experiences, and suggestions in their own words. These qualitative responses offer deeper insights, enabling businesses to more precisely align their strategies and services with customer needs.

Real-life example

SAP sends out UX surveys to their business customers before or after major software updates or implementations. These surveys focus on the user interface, workflow, and overall satisfaction with the new changes, usually focusing on qualitative survey data and helping SAP to continually refine their software offerings (See figure below).

Source:SAP5

Figure 2. SAP User Research Panel

6- Tag responses and identify recurring patterns using NLP

Cataloging survey feedback and uncovering repetitive trends are crucial for acquiring comprehensive insights. The application of Natural Language Processing (NLP) can facilitate this process seamlessly. It includes organizing feedback into categories to pinpoint prevalent themes or concerns.

For example, one use of this technology is sentiment analysis, which evaluates the emotional undertones within responses. Through sentiment analysis, companies can delve deeper into how their customers emotionally engage with their products or services. This deeper awareness empowers businesses to make more precise and impactful enhancements based on their customers’ actual sentiments.

For more on sentiment analysis, check out our comprehensive guide and vendor benchmarking.

Real-life example

Adobe’s implementation of surveys incorporates Natural Language Processing (NLP) to enhance their customer experience management program.6 By utilizing NLP, Adobe is able to sift through customer feedback collected through Net Promoter Score (NPS) surveys and analyze the sentiment of the responses. The NLP technology helps in identifying whether the feedback is positive or negative. This granular analysis of customer sentiment enables Adobe to categorize the feedback effectively, identifying the key drivers behind customer satisfaction or dissatisfaction.

7- Track customer satisfaction over time

Keeping a consistent eye on customer satisfaction as it evolves is like mapping a journey, revealing the highs and lows in client experiences over time. This ongoing observation helps in pinpointing exactly when and how business changes affect customer perceptions, providing a dynamic, real-time feedback loop for continuous refinement and growth.

Real-life example

The Nike Feedback Lab appears to be an exclusive initiative designed by Nike to engage a select group of its members in a collaborative and interactive process. Participants in this lab have the chance to actively contribute to the evolution of Nike’s services and products. They are involved in various activities such as filling out surveys, joining in digital discussions, and having personalized dialogues that aim to delve into the nuances of the Nike consumer experience.

Source: X.7

Figure 3. Nike Feedback Lab

8- Keep surveys short and simple

Short surveys are more likely to be completed and can effectively capture in-the-moment feedback. This approach is supported by the principle that customers are more inclined to share their experiences when the process is straightforward and not time-consuming.

9- Offer incentives for completing surveys

Providing incentives for in-depth survey participation is an effective strategy to encourage thoughtful responses, especially for lengthier surveys. Such rewards can vary from exclusive offers to special access to new features, adding a tangible value to the time customers invest in sharing their insights.

You can also check out the best practices for creating online surveys.

10- Use neutral language to avoid bias

For customer surveys, it’s essential to use neutral wording to prevent bias and ensure accurate results. For instance, rather than asking, “Did our advanced solutions significantly enhance your business operations?” a more impartial question would be, “How have our solutions impacted your business operations?” This method avoids suggesting a positive impact and allows for an honest assessment, resulting in more reliable and accurate feedback.

What are the benefits of running a B2B customer satisfaction survey?

1- Improve products with feedback loop

In the B2B realm, products often require a higher level of customization and sophistication since standard consumer products do not meet the specific needs of a business. Customer feedback surveys act as a direct line of communication with users, providing insights into specific features or aspects of a product that may need refinement. This feedback is crucial, especially in industries where the functionality and efficiency of a product can significantly impact a business’s operations.

2- Foster long-term relationships

In B2B markets, the value of a single customer is typically much higher than in B2C markets, making the nurturing of each customer relationship vital. By conducting customer satisfaction research, a business shows its customers that their opinions are valued and that their feedback is an integral part of the business’s development process. Companies can integrate Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to continuously track customer feedback and respond to them immediately. This act of seeking and acting on feedback can improve customer satisfaction and strengthen trust and loyalty.

3- Create personalized customer experiences

B2B transactions are often complex and highly tailored to each customer’s needs. Effective customer satisfaction surveys can uncover specific preferences and expectations of different customer segments, enabling businesses to personalize their interactions and solutions.

If interested, here is our data-driven list of survey participant recruitment services and survey tools.

For those interested, here is also our data driven list of market research tools.

Further Reading

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Cem Dilmegani
Principal Analyst

Cem is the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per Similarweb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.

Cem's work focuses on how enterprises can leverage new technologies in AI, automation, cybersecurity(including network security, application security), data collection including web data collection and process intelligence.

Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.

Cem's hands-on enterprise software experience contributes to the insights that he generates. He oversees AIMultiple benchmarks in dynamic application security testing (DAST), data loss prevention (DLP), email marketing and web data collection. Other AIMultiple industry analysts and tech team support Cem in designing, running and evaluating benchmarks.

Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised enterprises on their technology decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.

He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.

Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.

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Microsoft invests $1 billion in OpenAI to pursue artificial intelligence that’s smarter than we are, Washington Post.
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Empowering AI Leadership: AI C-Suite Toolkit, World Economic Forum.
Science, Research and Innovation Performance of the EU, European Commission.
Public-sector digitization: The trillion-dollar challenge, McKinsey & Company.
Hypatos gets $11.8M for a deep learning approach to document processing, TechCrunch.
We got an exclusive look at the pitch deck AI startup Hypatos used to raise $11 million, Business Insider.

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