You all know that Customer Feedback is essential for any organization. But does merely collecting it serves the purpose? Do you know that 32% of the customers stop doing business with a brand once they loved due to one negative experience. It simply means that you need to provide such an experience to the customers that can change a negative experience into a positive one or at least reduce the impact of the poor experience.
Imagine you visit a health care center on the time for which you have already taken an appointment. But you notice that many patients are waiting for their turn who have taken the appointment for a time before yours. Because of this, you would also have to spend two hours of waiting even after having a prefixed appointment with the doctor.
You approach the staff there and he apologizes you and tells that the doctor arrived late due to an emergency. You ask him to arrange urgent appointment as you cannot wait for long, but he again apologizes you saying that all other patients are also waiting since long and promises you to inform you in advance from the next time if any such situation occurs. You anyhow adjust with the situation and wait for your turn.
But what if the same thing gets repeated in your next visit too? It will take your frustration to heights, isn't it? Same is with your customers. When they provide you feedback about your products and services, they do hope that the feedback would be taken seriously, and especially if they have raised some concerns, they expect you to acknowledge and take appropriate action on it.
50% of consumers give a brand only one week to respond to a question before they stop doing business with them. But if they find that the feedback they have given is just a waste of their precious time, they will never provide you Customer Feedback and would even switch to some other brand.
Here arises the need of a process called 'Closing the Customer Feedback Loop'. Let's explore first what is a Feedback Loop and then explore how it is important to close the feedback loop.
What is a Feedback Loop?
Technically, a feedback loop is a part of a system in which some portion (or full) of system's output is used as input for future operations. When we talk about Customer Feedback, the feedback provided by the customers is output for them. Whereas, the feedback data so collected is input for you which should be utilized to improve your products, services and processes.
So in order to improve the Customer Experience, you need to take Customer Feedback seriously and work on it. Here comes the need of closing the Feedback loop. Let's understand what this process is all about and how it is performed.
What is Closing the Customer Feedback Loop?
Closing the Customer Feedback Loop is defined as the process of engaging with your customers and responding to their feedback regarding their experiences with your product, services and brand. It is the process of ensuring Customer Satisfaction by resolving customers' concerns and improving you products, services and practices accordingly.
Here are some steps that this process involves:
- Customers fill survey to provide feedback to the organization regarding their experience.
- You receive feedback through different channels.
- You acknowledge the customers about it and show gratitude for sharing their feedback.
- You share the feedback across your organization and contact the team involved for the particular Customer Experience.
- If there are any issues, you investigate or assign a team or individual to look into the matter.
- The assigned team works on the customers' concerns and resolve the issues raised.
- You contact the customers to let them know that their concern is worked upon.
Now, with this process if the customers get satisfied, you close the complaint or concern raised by the customer which means you have closed the Customer Feedback loop. Now let us understand why it is important to pay attention on Customer Feedback.
Why it is important to pay attention?
As suggested above also, just taking Customer Feedback is useless if not acted upon. What is the purpose of gathering Customer Feedback? It is of course to take actions on them and make improvement in your products and services in order to enhance Customer Satisfaction and improving Customer Experience.
Fred Reichheld, the creator of NPS and his team found that the rapidly growing companies spent around 20% of their leadership team’s meeting discussing about Customer Feedback and the required actions to take.
But if you neither respond to Customer Feedback, nor make any improvement in your business and carry on the way it is, there is absolutely no point of collecting loads of feedback data. This will lead to churning of customers and the sole purpose of taking customer surveys and collecting feedback is defeated.
Moreover, if you do not pay attention to the customers' complaints, they will definitely vent out their feelings somewhere. Nowadays, social media is growing day by day and many people like to share their feelings on the internet through social media websites. In fact, 47% of customers with a product or service complaint will share it on social media.
This can have a very bad effect on your goodwill. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to Customer Feedback and perform the task of closing the Customer Feedback loop. To elaborate this, let's learn some benefits of this process.
Benefits of Closed Loop Process Management
- It helps to build better Customer Loyalty
- It helps to prevent Customer Churn
- It helps to turn Passives into Promoters
- It helps to know your strengths and weaknesses
- It helps to establish better learning among Employees
- It helps to increase Goodwill of the company
- It helps to establish better Customer Support
Let's understand these benefits:
1. It helps to build better Customer Loyalty
When you work on Customer Feedback to close the feedback loop, you are able to improve the overall Customer Experience. This conveys to the customers that they are heard and valued. This increases Customer Loyalty.
2. It helps to prevent Customer Churn
If feedback of the dissatisfied customers is not taken care of, it certainly leads to customer churn. When you work on Customer complaints and concerns and able to resolve customers' issues, it helps to stop customers from churning by converting their negative experience into a positive one.
3. It helps to turn passives into Promoters
Working on Customer Feedback and closing the feedback loop helps in building more trust among your customers which increases their tendency to refer your brand to others. In this way, you can change your passives into promoters. And not only this, if you utilize Customer Feedback information for improvement in Customer Experience, you can even be able to turn your detractors into promoters.
4. It helps to know your strengths and weaknesses
Closing the feedback loop in not only confined to working on negative feedback, but it involves acknowledging and responding to positive feedback as well. The only difference is that you need to follow certain strategies to close a negative feedback loop and in case of positive feedback, you just work on acknowledging and responding to Customer Feedback. But this is very beneficial for your business growth as you get to know various strengths and weaknesses of your businesses.
In this way, you not only get to know the concerns and resolve customers' issues, but also receive information about your what your promoters like the most so that you can serve the same way in the future to other customers as well.
5. It helps to establish better learning among Employees
Closing the feedback loop involves sharing of Customer Feedback with your employees. It leads to more learning for the employees and better Employee Engagement. You are able to tell your executives what customers like the most and what they hate and should not be done.
6. It helps to increase Goodwill of the company
When you acknowledge Customer Feedback and take the required actions to improve Customer Experience, it uplifts the satisfaction levels of the customers. When the customers are happy, they spread a good word of mouth about you and your brand in the market which in turn helps in increasing your goodwill to a large extent.
7. It helps to establish better Customer Support
By working on Customer Feedback to close the feedback loop, you get to know about common problems faced by the customers and you work on how to fix them. This helps you in establishing a better customer support system to eliminate such issues and help the customers in a better way.
Who is responsible for Closing the Feedback Loop?
When discussing about Customer Feedback loop and the process of Closing the Feedback loop, this question often comes to mind. So you should define it already when you start taking feedback. In fact, when you are preparing your survey to gather Customer Feedback, you should define that who is responsible for closing the Customer Feedback Loop.
In a survey, you ask various questions related to different departments. So the feedback loop will also vary among different teams depending upon the question and the customers' responses and concerns.
For instance, you are sending a Restaurant survey and you ask questions about various aspects like ambiance, its cleanliness, taste and quality of food, price, staff behavior etc. So if a feedback is about taste of food, the feedback loop would be with kitchen staff or team of chefs, if it is about price of food, it would be management , it it is cleanliness, it would be another team taking care of it and so on.
With the help of a good Survey Software, you get the feature of setting notifications and alerts to be sent automatically to different teams and departments based on the different questions and the responses from the customers. Once the concerned team has received a notification, it would be responsible for closing the feedback loop.