Closing the loop
"...customer experience is ongoing, it does not start and stop at the point where your customer has left their feedback."
So you’ve launched your RateIt Customer Experience Program and you’re now breaking down and reading through your customer’s feedback. You might find yourself asking “What’s the best way to start acting on it?” The easiest, and probably most effective starting point is “Closing the loop”
So what exactly does that mean? Closing the loop gives you the ability to follow up and respond with your customers directly, after they leave feedback, in-particularly negative feedback.
We have found that the most successful companies who implement a CX strategy action program, see negative feedback as an opportunity. It allows them to rectify the complaint in a simple yet effective manner.
By closing the loop in a practical and nimble way, you are ensuring that a poor experience has less time to linger at the top of your customers mind.
Your customers want to be heard, and as we are now living in the era of the consumer, this is a great way to show them that you do care, you are listening, and their feedback does matter!
It’s important to understand that closing the loop is not just about preventing unhappy customers from becoming detractors. It is just as crucial to retaining your loyal customers (promoters), or gaining more trust from your neutral customers.
This works in the same fashion as a detractor. You’ve now made your promoting or neutral customers aware that you not only value their input, but are also working towards ensuring your business remains proactive and not just reactive.
Companies who provide a good response to negative feedback left by their customers, have a 41% lower rate of customers cutting back on their spending.
So now you understand what closing the loop is, you may now be wondering “why is closing the loop so important?” Put simply, closing the loop is so important as it gives your customers a voice, you the knowledge of what went wrong, and a chance to ensure it doesn’t again.
Research shows that companies who provide a good response to negative feedback left by their customers, have a 41% lower rate of customers cutting back on their spending. Other studies indicate that almost all companies collect feedback, however only 10% of those actually utilise this feedback to create improvements. Even more shockingly, only 5% actually communicate this to their customers, and inform them of the changes they’re making based on their feedback.
Thinking about this in your day to day life, how often have you left customer feedback? I’d assume a fair few times. Now think about how often you have actually been responded too? I’d also assume this to be significantly low. Now, in the instances where you were responded to, were you shocked by it?
The point is, customer experience is ongoing, it does not start and stop at the point where your customer has left their feedback. It is very easy for you to turn a negative situation around, and is just as easy for you to turn a positive experience into a negative.
So how do we action this practically? With so much data coming through it can be easy to get a little lost amongst it. Here are four key steps to help you with this:
Some feedback you receive will need to be actioned immediately, things like health or safety issues, legal issues, anything that would create a potential churn risk for you. Others can be addressed at a later stage, however studies have shown that businesses that reply to their customers within 48 hours have a larger success rate with their customer experience strategy program. So, even if it isn’t a health and safety immediate issue, don’t let the feedback just sit there!
Say thank you and show acknowledgment
Whether you’re a large business, a small business or still in the growing phase, as a consumer it’s nice to know our feedback has not gone on deaf ears. No matter if it’s positive or negative feedback received, it’s nice to send out a quick thank you to your customers.
The thing they care about most is how your business treats them at an individual level. It is recommended that you learn the ins and outs of your business’ customer journey, and identify a baseline NPS (Net Promoter Score). From here, you should then calculate ways to increase personal contact during the conflict resolution process with each of your customers issues. Simply by reaching out to them regarding this will help to improve the success of your customer experience strategy program.
As a large bsuiness one of the worst things you could possibly do when we talk acknowledgement, would be to let this slip through the cracks. It is just as important for you to respond and resolve issues quickly and as personably as possible. Customers want to feel special, and so by adapting to each individual customers concerns or issues, you are reducing your customer churn rate.
Use the feedback you’ve been given as an opportunity to refine your processes, update staff schedules, make improvements where necessary and are able to be done. A great way to start is to establish key employees who have an understanding of your business operations and processes. They are in a unique position to efficiently close the loop on customer issues and help your customers. Then empower these employees to work on customer complaints as they arise.
Within your business set up a “Customer Response System”. This would include things like:
Establish employee ownership by responding to all customers within 48 hours
Task management with reading through all feedback and responses once a week at minimum.
Maintain the conversation with the customer until it is resolved in full, leaving no more than 12 hours after each contact
Create a tally or table of contents that details each issue that has occured outlining resolution and customer details
This will also help you identify common issues and aid you in creating actions to prevent this again
Utilize common scenarios for training purposes for on the spot customer resolution scenarios
Advise your customers what you will be doing with their feedback and how it has helped. If changes are based on general feedback obtained, and not on specific or a personal instance, then be sure to post these changes publically – letting all your customers know that you are listening, and you are changing based off of their suggestions. Doing so will not only help improve your customer’s experience, but also encourage them and all other customers to provide you with more feedback on a regular basis!
At RateIt we are determined to help you close the loop with your customers. Our solution helps you at every single touch point of your customers journey meaning you’re that much closer to closing the loop in a quick and effective way.
What are RateIt stories?
The entire team at RateIt live and breathe customer experience. We speak to customers about CX problems every day, and we’ve learned from over 11 million customer feedback interactions – we know what works, what helps, and how to shape your customer experience in ways that grow your enterprise.
RateIt stories is an opportunty to hear from our people about areas of CX they are really passionate about. We tell you whats happening out in the real world, straight from those closest to the action.