How to Get Closing the Loop Right
If you are collecting customer feedback, you should be closing the loop with customers to maximise the potential of your voice of the customer programme. Collecting feedback is a logical first step in improving customer experience, but if you don’t follow up with your customers they won’t know that their feedback matters to you or if you are taking their feedback seriously. Don’t forget that there is a lot to be learned from customers, so engaging in conversation with them can only help to strengthen your company’s bond with them and enhance your understanding of their experiences.
What is closing the loop?
Closing the loop is the process of getting in touch with a customer after they’ve given you feedback. Following up with customers is a fundamental step in the feedback collection process as it notifies the customer that you are taking action. Giving feedback is part of the customer’s experience, so it’s important not to neglect your customers at this stage. In responding to their feedback, you’re letting them know that you are paying attention and that they have been heard.
Automate Your Responses
If you have a robust and sophisticated feedback management system, you should be able to send automated responses to customers based on a combination of data points embedded in your system. It’s very important to respond promptly and automation makes that possible. Never delay in responding to customer feedback as the interaction will become less relevant to them as time goes on and sometimes feedback, particularly complaints, will require a fairly immediate response so you don’t lose that customer’s business. You should be able to respond to customer feedback within your case management tool based on real-time alerts that notify your team about a survey response. Having ready-made messaging that can be tailored to a customer’s specific feedback will aid you in reaching a resolution with that customer quickly.
Don’t Only Focus on Negative Feedback
Don’t just get in touch with customers who left negative feedback or a low NPS rating. Negative feedback is important and needs to be acknowledged quickly to hopefully win back customers who might be ready to stop doing business with you, but there is a lot to be learned from neutral and positive feedback as well. Paying close attention to verbatim comments can be an effective trigger for reaching out to customers. All customers enjoy a bit of personal attention and personalisation and it isn’t difficult or expensive for you to offer this to them. Letting them know that their feedback matters to your business and what actions you’re taking, if any, is important to keep them coming back. Following up with customers after they leave feedback can also be a tool to strengthen the bond as they probably don’t expect you to reach out, and showing them that you care will set you apart from competitors.
Respond to Online Reviews and Social Media Comments
Closing the loop shouldn’t only be prioritised for survey feedback. Consider the other channels where customers give feedback on your business, such as social media posts and comments and online reviews on sites like Trustpilot and Google. This may mean that you have to collaborate with your marketing team or invest in a social listening tool, but it’s a meaningful step to getting close the loop right. Responding to customers on these platforms is of particular importance because they are public, so anyone can see a customer’s comment and your response, or lack thereof. Even if your response on social media is a request for the customer to reach out to you privately via direct message, you are showing that customer, as well as anyone who views their post or comment, that you are paying attention. You can read more about responding to online comments here.
You may not be able to respond to all of the feedback you receive, but you should let all of your customers know how their feedback makes a difference. Periodically let your customers know what actions you have taken to improve CX in your business based on the feedback you receive. The majority of your customers realistically will not respond to your requests for feedback (learn about improving survey response rates here), but they will probably have similar opinions, experiences and complaints as the customers who do fill out your surveys. So sending updates about how you are actioning feedback can benefit your customer base at large. “You spoke, we listened. The Super Green Smoothie is back.” is the kind of headline you can share as part of your marketing messaging to show the impact of customer feedback. It also has the added benefit of reminding customers who may not be inclined to leave feedback that it does, in fact, have an impact on your business practices.