This CX Mini Masterclass explains what it means to close the customer feedback loop. Show host and customer experience expert, Julia Ahlfeldt, shares strategies for closing the loop and teaches you how this can augment your VOC program and fortify relationships with customers. Julia shares her plans for a short hiatus during June, but will be back with more great episodes in July! If you’ve been gathering feedback, but are looking for a way to immediately turn this into a tangible CX improvement, this episode is for you.
From VOC to action
During the month of May, Julia’s shows have focused on customer insights and understanding. Episode 39 covered the definition of Voice of the Customer and why customer insight and understanding are so important, plus some of the most popular methodologies for gathering VOC data. Episode 40 explained how to use insights to build a persona. And episode 41 looked at leveraging employee insights to augment your VOC program.
To cap off a month of focusing on VOC, it only seems right to explore closed loop feedback. This is one of the most effective ways that organizations can move to immediately act on customer insights, plus it enables you to strengthen your relationships with customers.
So what is closed loop feedback? Simply put, closed loop feedback means getting back to a customer, after they’ve provided feedback about their experience. Usually this entails letting the customer know that they’ve been heard, communicating the actions that have been taken (or will be taken), and if appropriate, finalizing resolution. Closing the loop can happen after either prompted or unprompted feedback. I.e. getting back to customers after you’ve asked them for their feedback (surveys or interviews) or after feedback was organically provided by the customer (social media or customer support).
Closing the customer feedback loop vs. insights-to-action frameworks
It’s important to distinguish between an organization’s insights to action feedback loop, which is the internal framework for aggregating findings and operationalizing these as improvements, and closing the feedback loop, which is the external process for engaging with customers after feedback has been provided. You can also think of these in terms of macro and micro frameworks. Closed loop feedback often deals with customer relationships on a micro or individual level, whereas internal insights to action loops tackle macro issues that are causing negative experiences. The two are related and support each other, but are different.
The impact of closing the loop
Closing the feedback loop has multiple benefits. Firstly, it lets customers know that they’ve been heard and that organizations care. All too often feedback lands up in a black hole and we never hear about it, but when organizations do follow-up, it lets customers know they are more than just a help desk ticket number.
It also enables organizations to really deliver a top-notch experience. Think about it, when was the last time that a brand responded to let you know that you had been heard, to validate your customer feedback and to let you know that issue resolution was in the works? Sadly, I think this happens too infrequently, but when it does, customers love it. It’s an opportunity to turn an angry detractor into a raving brand advocate.
You’ll know that you are hitting the mark when customers validate that the loops have been closed. This might not always end in resolution, but hopefully it will more often than not. Over time, you should see an improvement in loyalty scores like NPS, and enhancement in business value drivers like lower churn and higher customer referrals. Small steps can add up to a lot, and don’t underestimate the power of closing the loop with your customers.
Want to keep learning about CX?
If you’d like to checkout more of these CX Mini Masterclasses or listen to my longer format CX expert interviews, check out the full listing of episodes for this CX podcast.
And if you are looking to super-charge your CX skills and continue learning, be sure to check out CX University. They have a great array of CXPA accredited training resources available on a flexible monthly subscription plan. Use the code PODCAST10 to get 10% off your first month’s subscription and support this podcast.
Decoding the Customer is a series of customer experience podcasts created and produced by Julia Ahlfeldt, CCXP. Julia is a customer experience strategist, speaker and business advisor. She is a Certified Customer Experience Professional and one of the top experts in customer experience management. To find out more about how Julia can help your business achieve its CX goals, check out her customer experience advisory consulting services (including VOC research and customer insight) or get in touch via email.