How do business to business (B2B) surveys differ from business to consumer (B2C) surveys?

When we think of customer surveys, we most often think of end-user or consumer surveys:  how was the service at a restaurant, did the service advisor respond in a timely manner, would we stay at the hotel again. But, there is another type of customer survey, the business-to-business, or B2B customer survey. In this type of customer survey, companies survey business partners and customers. While a company may have over a million end-users, they may only have a few hundred business partners.

These relationships are just as important to the financial wellbeing of the company as relationships with end-users and employees. Some may argue that they are even more important. After all, I can’t purchase a soda if they haven’t made it to the shelf through transportation, distribution, and wholesale partners.

When conducting a B2B survey, it is important to survey multiple levels within the relationship. Yes, we want to know what the decision makers have to say, but we also want to understand how our day-to-day and procurement contacts interact with us. For example, we may want to understand invoices are accurate, if account representatives are knowledgeable, and if they plan to renew their contract.

A B2B survey has a different approach than a business-to-consumer survey. While online surveys may be used effectively with both populations, we may also need to employ a telephone strategy with a B2B survey. The use of multiple deployment methodologies is important for small B2B populations and to ensure we achieve valid data across multiple reporting groups.