This article originally appeared in AllBusiness.
For B2B companies, team members are one of the main reasons clients turn into repeat buyers. Without great team members, client service and operational execution suffer, which means your business will also suffer. It’s as simple as that.
As competition increases in the B2B world and products and services become more commoditized, client service can often be the difference between retaining or losing business. A survey by Salesforce found that 80% of B2B buyers said the customer experience is just as important as the quality of a company’s products or services. The survey also determined that 57% of B2B purchasers switched suppliers because a competitor provided a better experience.
A positive client experience also improves the top and bottom line. Research by McKinsey & Company found that improved customer experience can lower client churn by 10 to 15%, increase close rates by 20 to 40%, and reduce customer service costs by up to 50%
Keeping your team engaged and aware of their personal growth and development is essential to building a business where clients enjoy working with your team members. An employee survey is an ideal way to measure the enthusiasm of your team. Just as important, you will gain insight into your staff’s level of dedication to embracing the company’s mission and values and achieving organizational goals.
A survey gives team members an opportunity to share their opinions on reasons for successes the company has accomplished and challenges the business faces. Giving your team a direct voice shows that you value their input.
If you are not conducting employee surveys at least annually, you are missing out on collecting invaluable information. Here’s how to do it in a way that improves your business.
This is crucial because it gives team members the opportunity and freedom to provide frank and honest feedback. To grow your business, you need to know the good and the bad. Use an independent provider to administer the survey and provide the results in order to ensure participant responses are anonymous.
A survey can give a lot of details about how your team views the business, so share the data, even if it’s not pretty. You will find out how team members view company culture, where the business is heading, and what should and should not change about the way the organization is being managed. Don’t wait too long to let your team know what you have found. Sharing the results—both positive and negative—will encourage discussion about any necessary next steps to take.
You must be willing to act on the results; otherwise, you’re simply paying lip service to your team. Everyone in the company needs to see that action is being taken to address challenges and opportunities that may come to light in the survey results. If the results call for complicated or long-term projects, make them part of the company’s monthly or quarterly priorities and then break the work into manageable tasks.
It’s important to share with your team the progress the company is making toward achieving the goals identified in the survey. Each quarter post milestones reached and tasks completed in an area where your team can see and track the progress. Communicating progress will also help drive accountability so the team knows what needs to be done and when.
Your business is constantly in motion and your team is one of the best resources for what’s working and what’s not in your business. Business leaders can choose from a wide variety of online tools, such as TINYPulse, 15Five, and Officevibe, to measure employee engagement and job satisfaction. The results from those surveys will provide you with a reality check that will help you improve operations and achieve company goals.