Why customer satisfaction matters for B2B (2023)

“If you don’t take care of your customer, your competitor will,” Bob Hooey – a famous inspiration speaker once said.

Taking care of your customers is the best way to keep them. But just keeping customers is not enough. You must ensure they are happy with your product. And for that, you need to take an active interest in customer satisfaction levels.

Easier said than done

In our recent report on the state of European B2B customer service, we found out that although 80% of customer service teams view increasing customer satisfaction as their main objective, they do not use customer satisfaction as their KPI. Instead, many measure Service-Level Agreements (SLAs).

As you can see – there’s an obvious disconnect between the main objectives and the main metrics used.

The two metrics are related, so there’s no major cause for concern. However, our data also revealed that a shocking number of companies do not even measure customer satisfaction – thus making it impossible to tell if their customer service team is fulfilling its main objective.

In other words – the objective is clear, but the method to measure it is either different or absent.

This got us thinking: why do so few B2Bs in Europe measure customer satisfaction by making the CSAT their key metric? 🤔

However, before we look for that answer, let’s start from the very beginning: what customer satisfaction in B2B is, how to measure it, and why it matters.

Methods, metrics and measures

B2B organizations are notorious for lagging behind in the customer experience ratings. Typically, B2C companies score 65-85%, while B2B companies average less than 50%.

This means that B2B organizations should make more effort in making their customers happy. Yet, nothing can be done without assessing the situation at hand. And for that you need a measuring system!

There are many ways for B2B companies to measure customer experience, and in particular customer satisfaction. They fall into two main categories: customer feedback and customer metrics analysis.

(Video) Measuring Customer Satisfaction In A B2B Company

🗣️ The customer feedback is one of the easier and most obvious ways to evaluate whether customers are satisfied with the experience you offer. Among the classical methods are surveys, social media comment analysis, and check-in calls. All of them have their pros and cons, in terms of ease of use, time investment, subjectivity factor, etc.

🌡️ The most popular customer metric analysis methods are Service-Level Agreement (SLA), Net Promoter Score (NPS), Net Value Score (NVS), Customer Effort Score (CES), and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT). These metrics help companies get a more detailed picture of their customers’ thinking about your product, your services and even communication style.

Practical benefits of measuring customer satisfaction

Customer satisfaction, as the main facet of a positive customer experience, is rapidly gaining weight in strategical B2B minds.

Almost half (45.9%) of B2B professionals said customer experience is now their top priority for the next few years, beating such things as pricing and product. And 89% of businesses compete primarily on the basis of customer experience.

While it’s quite obvious why customer satisfaction is crucial to the success of B2Cs, why is it also important for B2Bs?

To answer this question, we talked to the experts who singled out a few main benefits.


“Customer satisfaction in the B2B sector is vital, as satisfied customers are more likely to remain loyal, make repeat purchases, and recommend other businesses, contributing to sustainable growth and profitability,” states Kyle Roof, co-founder of High Voltage SEO and co-creator of Page Optimizer Pro.


“Improving customer satisfaction compels customers to develop an emotional connection to the company resulting in long-term brand loyalty. Studies have shown that customers with such an emotional connection are often less price sensitive and are more likely to recommend your B2B offering to others,” says Ben McInerney, the Founder of GoTreeQuotes.


(Video) 3 Secrets from a Great B2B Customer Experience (Who says B2B is boring?)

“Customer satisfaction facilitates problem-solving, prevents churn, and identifies loyal customers who will become your advocates. It plays a key role in the process of increasing customer loyalty, improving overall customer experience, and increasing word-of-mouth marketing,” thinks Mocca Bajao, Digital PR Specialist at Thrive Digital Marketing Agency.


“Customers in the B2B sector tend to be more critical of your offerings and services. If you provide them with a substandard product or service, you can expect them to tell their colleagues about their experience. To keep your B2B customers satisfied, you must always strive to meet their needs and exceed their expectations,” argues Matthew Ramirez, entrepreneur and investor, Director at Rephrasely.


“A customer who does not like your products and services won't purchase them again. And if your customer's lifetime value is low, you'd miss out on potential revenue streams. Not only is customer satisfaction a great indicator of customer expectations and purchase intentions, but it also helps predict revenue and business growth,” claims Cayla Thurman, Business Reputation Consultant at Rize Reviews.

So, what’s the best way for B2Bs to measure customer satisfaction?

Deciphering the power of CSAT

The metric used to measure customer satisfaction is called CSAT, often used by businesses as a KPI to find out how satisfied their customers are with their products or services.

The metric is pretty simple and comes in a form of a question that (give or take) sounds like this: “On a scale from 1 to 5, how would you rate your overall satisfaction with the [goods/service] you received?”

The 1 stands for “Very unsatisfied”, followed by “Unsatisfied”, “Neutral”, “Satisfied”, and 5 stands for “Very satisfied”. Then, all the positive responses are divided by the total number of responses and multiplied by 100 – this gives the CSAT percentage where 100% stands for “total satisfaction”, 0% means “total dissatisfaction”.

Why customer satisfaction matters for B2B (1)

PROs 😊 CSAT is not only easy to use and measure, but it also helps analyze specific parts of the customer experience. For example, you can rephrase the question: “How would you rate your overall satisfaction with the helpfulness of customer service agent / shopping assistant/ ordering process / delivery?” It’s engaging, flexible in its form, and usually generates high response rates.

(Video) Why customers help some companies and hurt others (B2B Growth)

CONs CSAT measures the “here and now” reaction to a specific interaction, product or event, but it may not dig deep enough when it comes to measuring a customer’s ongoing relationship with a company. Also, a certain degree of subjectivity may affect the result.

Weighing the contenders: NPS, CES and SLA

There are many methods to measure customer experience with your brand – most of which are rather simple and easy to use.

Let’s take a look at the main rivals of CSAT:

Why customer satisfaction matters for B2B (2)

Same motivation vs. different measuring methods

Going back to our initial question – why so few B2Bs measure CSAT in customer service, and instead opt for SLAs – there seem to be a few explanations.

But all of these explanations rest on the fact that all the metrics used by B2Bs share the same underlying motivation: to improve customer satisfaction. Yet, the method and measuring focus are different.

Here are some reasons to why B2Bs don’t include CSAT to measure their customer service efforts:

Lack of benefit awareness

B2Bs prioritize customer satisfaction, but don’t use the CSAT metric, due to a lack of awareness or understanding of the metric’s benefits. They seem to not see the true value of CSAT.

“Incorporating CSAT into their performance measurement can provide a more holistic view of customer satisfaction and help identify areas for improvement,” thinks Kyle Roof.

Other metrics fit better with the business model

(Video) Do You Matter To Your B2B Customers? HD

Some companies may prefer other metrics like SLAs that align more closely with their specific goals and objectives. The SLA model is rather straightforward and legally binding. It allows companies to do what was promised. Yes, this will help them keep their promises and meet the established expectations, but it will hardly help them exceed expectations.

Lack of resources

Some B2B companies measure SLAs instead of CSAT because they may not have the resources or capabilities to analyze their customer feedback in-depth.

“Focusing on SLAs as a metric allows B2Bs to easily compare the performance of different vendors and services. However, measuring customer satisfaction is still essential since it provides a more comprehensive understanding of the customer experience,” claims Serbay Arda Ayzit, Digital Marketing Expert.


Customer satisfaction is a critical B2B metric. It shows the extent to which a company's products or services meet or exceed the expectations of its customers.

It’s simple: if you're not providing good customer experience, you're failing to meet your customers' needs. And the customers may churn. If you provide good but not great experience, you’re not exceeding customers’ expectations. They may stay but won’t refer you to others.

Since there are many methods to assess your customers’ experience, it’s best to incorporate both SLA and CSAT into your B2B measurement strategies, and this way ensure a more accurate evaluation of customer feedback, as well as make data-driven decisions about your customer service offering.

If B2B companies want to avoid creating communication gaps with customers, and build strong and long-lasting customer relationships, they need to include CSAT in their metric pool. “This metric will help them obtain straight answers from customers regarding how they perceive the B2B solution,” says Simon Bacher, CEO and co-founder of the Ling App.

Want to learn more about the state of customer service among European B2Bs? Then download our newest European B2B Customer Service Report!

Back to articles


Why customer experience is important in B2B? ›

B2B Customer Experience: The Benefits

This was also confirmed by McKinsey as their research shows that B2B companies that transformed their customer experience processes saw 10 to 15% revenue growth, higher client satisfaction scores, improved employee satisfaction and a 10 to 20% reduction in operational costs.

What is customer satisfaction in B2B? ›

B2B satisfaction is the level of satisfaction of the B2B decision makers and buyers with the service or a product, supplied to them by another vendor or business. It can be measured and increased by improving the quality of service, product, and communication between the POCs.

Why is customer satisfaction important for your business? ›

Customer satisfaction is important because it illustrates whether your customer base likes what you're doing. Research shows that high satisfaction leads to greater customer retention, higher lifetime value, and a stronger brand reputation. Low customer satisfaction scores are important, too.

What are the 3 most important qualities of a successful B2B sales person and why? ›

All-Star B2B Sales Rep Traits
  • Compassionate. Loyal customers are gained when they confidently place their trust in your company. ...
  • Optimistic. ...
  • Detail-oriented. ...
  • Coachability. ...
  • Communication. ...
  • Driven. ...
  • Passionate. ...
  • Curious.
Oct 9, 2018

What is most important in B2B sales? ›

The customer is always important. But there are a few things that make B2B selling unique: Purchase value is higher, so you want to build ongoing relationships. A smaller number of leads means more time spent with each lead.

What is customer satisfaction best answer? ›

Customer satisfaction is defined as a measurement that determines how happy customers are with a company's products, services, and capabilities. Customer satisfaction information, including surveys and ratings, can help a company determine how to best improve or changes its products and services.

What is customer satisfaction the key to? ›

Customer Satisfaction Is the Key to Success.

Why is customer satisfaction a must? ›

Satisfaction is important because it means your customer base likes what you are doing. Research shows that customer satisfaction leads to greater customer retention, higher lifetime value and a stronger brand reputation.

What are 3 benefits of good customer service? ›

Five benefits of good customer service
  • “Creating loyal customers through good customer service can provide businesses with lucrative long-term relationships.”
  • Customer loyalty. Loyal customers have many benefits for businesses. ...
  • Increase profits. ...
  • Customer recommendations. ...
  • Increase conversion. ...
  • Improve public image.
May 28, 2021

How do you measure product success in B2B? ›

With that, here are some of the most crucial KPIs for your B2B product team to focus on.
  1. Stickiness (DAU/MAU %) ...
  2. Customer Effort Score (CES) ...
  3. Monthly Recurring Revenue. ...
  4. Customer Acquisition. ...
  5. Customer Acquisition Cost. ...
  6. Customer Lifetime Value. ...
  7. Retention Rate. ...
  8. Churn Rate.
Mar 3, 2023

How do you measure customer satisfaction 4 key metrics? ›

4 meaningful customer satisfaction metrics
  1. Net Promoter Score (NPS) NPS was developed in 2003 by Frederick Reichheld as a way to predict a customer's future loyalty. ...
  2. Customer satisfaction score (CSAT) ...
  3. Customer effort score (CES) ...
  4. Churn or retention.
May 23, 2022

How can a business ensure customer satisfaction? ›

Here are 7 helpful tips you can use to ensure customer satisfaction:
  • Ask for feedback and take action. ...
  • Offer multiple forms of communication for customer support. ...
  • Design a custom contact form. ...
  • Respond in a timely manner. ...
  • Provide 24/7 customer support. ...
  • Create customer rewards. ...
  • Give transparent information.
Mar 10, 2023

What is the hardest part of B2B sales? ›

Top 6 Challenges in B2B Sales and Their Solutions
  1. Identifying Qualified Leads. ...
  2. Catching Lead's Attention in Cold Calls. ...
  3. Booking an Appointment with the Prospect. ...
  4. Enduring Long Sales Cycles. ...
  5. Revealing the Price. ...
  6. Mitigating a Poor Client Retention Rate.

What makes a strong B2B brand? ›

The strongest B2B brands build highly relevant and hard-to-replicate experiences. From the first impressions they make in the relationship building and early evaluation phase, how they integrate with their customer's business, the expertise and problem-solving they bring, it is all connected back to their brand.

How do you stand out in B2B sales? ›

Here are eight tips to help you coordinate a successful B2B sales strategy.
  1. Identify what your buyers want. ...
  2. Support your sales with hard facts. ...
  3. Present tailored solutions. ...
  4. Target the right people. ...
  5. Explain clearly how you are different. ...
  6. Meet in person. ...
  7. Believe in your value. ...
  8. Keep emotions out of it.
Dec 20, 2022

What are the core values of B2B? ›

Common core values of B2B companies are respect, passion, integrity, trust, quality. Respect refers to how your company treats your customers, partners, and employees.

What do B2B customers want? ›

Our findings indicate that B2B customers prefer interactions that fuel their psychological needs — even if they require more time or cost more money. We began our study by identifying respondents with the authority and budget to select vendors at work.

What is the main focus of B2B? ›

Companies that sell products or services to other businesses or organizations (vs. consumers) typically use B2B marketing strategies. The purpose of B2B marketing is to make other businesses familiar with your brand name, the value of your product or service, and convert them into customers.

What factors affect customer satisfaction? ›

Factors that Influence Customer Satisfaction
  • Accessibility.
  • Empathy.
  • Language.
  • Response Time.
  • Convenience.
  • Choices.
  • Simplicity.
  • Quality.
Jul 26, 2021

How do you satisfy customer satisfaction? ›

7 techniques to improve customer satisfaction
  1. Understand your customer journey—firsthand. ...
  2. Listen to your customers. ...
  3. Offer proactive multi-channel support. ...
  4. Act on customer feedback. ...
  5. Personalize your user experience. ...
  6. Leverage NPS and CSAT scores. ...
  7. Follow up with your customers.
Sep 15, 2022

What is customer satisfaction interview answers? ›

Customer satisfaction means to make customer happy when he is having some questions or problems in the product & we have to solve it and make him happy .

What are the 7 Ps of customer satisfaction? ›

Seven Ps of Service Marketing: product (service), price, place (distribution), promotion, people, physical evidence, and process. Marketers work on creating a proper blending of these seven Ps to satisfy the needs of consumers in the service sector.

What are the 5 Ps of customer satisfaction? ›

The 5 areas you need to make decisions about are: PRODUCT, PRICE, PROMOTION, PLACE AND PEOPLE. Although the 5 Ps are somewhat controllable, they are always subject to your internal and external marketing environments.

What is the most important factor for customer satisfaction? ›

The three major factors that affect modern customer satisfaction are customer understanding, service, and technology. By tapping into these factors, you can provide positive, consistent customer experiences and create real customer loyalty.

What are the three P's for quality customer service? ›

Essentially, the 3 important qualities of customer service center around three “p”s: professionalism, patience, and a “people-first” attitude. Although customer service varies from customer to customer, as long as you're following these guidelines, you're on the right track.

What are the 3 R's of customer experience? ›

The Three R's of Customers Satisfaction: Retention, Related Sales, and Referrals. The three R's of customer satisfaction are key indicators of a company's success. Retention, related sales, and referrals are basic pillars of customer success.

What happens if a customer is not satisfied? ›

If they were not satisfied with your product or service, what you can do is offer them a re-do or a replacement. If it was a service, assure them that you will be putting them in the hands of your best staff members, who will be doing their best to provide high-quality service.

How does customer satisfaction affect business performance? ›

Satisfied customers are thought to be more likely to repeat purchase (loyalty) and since loyal customers are thought to be cheaper to service (and less price sensitive) the expected result should be lower costs (and higher revenues) and thus higher profit.

What is customer satisfaction model? ›

What is the Customer Satisfaction Model? The customer satisfaction model is a set of causal equations that look to measure how happy customers are with a company's products, services, or overall performance.

What are the three 3 most important skills when providing customer service? ›

Empathy, good communication, and problem-solving are core skills in providing excellent customer service.

What is excellent customer service? ›

What is good customer service? Good customer service means consistently meeting customers' expectations. Great customer service is quick, easy, personalized, and empathetic. Companies that deliver excellent customer service take the time needed to understand the needs of their unique customer base.

How do you go beyond customer satisfaction? ›

8 Ways to Go Beyond Customer Service
  1. Define Your Customer's Expectations. ...
  2. Identify Customer Needs. ...
  3. Design Your Support Structure. ...
  4. Monitor Your Service Levels. ...
  5. Create a Service Continuity Plan. ...
  6. Use the Right Technology. ...
  7. Use the Right Process. ...
  8. Use the Right Communication.
Nov 23, 2020

How do you measure brand performance in B2B? ›

  1. Brand & Communications. Measure perceptions and track brand health. ...
  2. Customer Research & Segmentation. Understand customer needs and track loyalty. ...
  3. Markets & Opportunities. Assess the size of new opportunities and markets. ...
  4. Product, Proposition & Pricing. ...
  5. Thought Leadership Research.

How do you measure success of a business strategy? ›

Choose metrics carefully
  1. Tie to strategic objectives. Some metrics will be financial, such as profit, revenue and cash flow. ...
  2. Keep it simple. Don't overload staff with too many KPIs to track. ...
  3. Maintain up-to-date data. Be sure your measures include the latest data and are reported promptly within your company. ...
  4. Use dashboards.

What 3 metrics best measure customer success? ›

… because the three metrics we're focusing on today – Customer Health Score (CHS), Customer Lifetime Value (CLV), and Net Promoter Score (NPS) apply to every business – whether you have a customer success team or not.

What is the best metric to track customer satisfaction? ›

Some of the most commonly used satisfaction metrics include Net Promoter Score (NPS), Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT), Customer Effort Score (CES), Churn Rate, and Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).

What is the best scale to measure customer satisfaction? ›

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)

Usually asked on a scale of 1-3, 1-5, or 1-7, your customer satisfaction score can be calculated by adding up the sum of all scores and dividing the sum by the number of respondents. Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) is the most commonly used measurement for customer satisfaction.

How do you ensure 100% customer satisfaction? ›

As a customer-centric company, here is what we suggest:
  1. Offer multi-channel support.
  2. Make collecting feedback a company process.
  3. Measure customer satisfaction regularly.
  4. Ask for feedback across all touchpoints.
  5. Actively ask customers for feedback.
  6. Share feedback across all your teams.
  7. Reply to all feedback.

What are the expectations of B2B customers? ›

Today's B2B customers want to be understood and respected as B2C consumers. Customers seek connected processes – such as seamless handoffs or contextualized engagement based on earlier interactions. 70% of customers agree that connected processes are very important to winning their business.


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