As Fred Reichheld and Rob Markey stated in their article*:
“Closing the loop is a central element of the Net Promoter System℠. To close the loop is not only to let customers know that you have heard their feedback but also to bring the customer’s voice right inside the organization. Employees get a direct line to the people they are serving. They see and hear how they are creating or destroying loyalty and what they can do to improve matters. The feedback provides immediate, compelling reasons to up their game, fix problems and come up with innovations that will make for a better customer experience. It offers the satisfaction of a job well done when the comments are positive, and it provides course corrections and incentives for improvement when they are negative.”
Most voice of customer programs include listening to customers through surveys, social media and other channels as well as analyzing their feedback in combination with other data such as CRM and financial data. But acting – quickly – on feedback is the most skipped step by companies although it improves customer loyalty when carried out correctly. Closing the loop is a personal, one-to-one communication that shows your customers that you’ve heard them and built what they asked for. Closing the loop gives you credit for building what your customers want. Why that matters to your customers:
- Know me: Use what you know to provide me with what I need
- Hear me: Listen, learn and act on what I say
- Value me: Demonstrate that you value our relationship
– How it works
Closing the feedback loop is a perpetual work in progress. It is useful to think of this process in terms of four sequential stages: Listen, Analyze, Act, Monitor. But in reality, these stages should occur simultaneously as well as repeatedly.
Listen: First step is listening to your customers and gathering data.
Analyze: Once you gather the data then it is time to analyze smartly using advanced analytic tools.
Act: Now, you need to take actions based on what you’ve learned.
Monitor: Continuously track results of your actions.
– Some common pitfalls and how to avoid them
- Closing the loop only for dissatisfied customers: Both dissatisfied and satisfied customers are important for designing the close the loop process.
- Keeping at only operational level: Closing the loop requires cross functional and coordinated efforts across the company so any level (from frontline to C-Suite) should be part of the process.
- Jumping to immediate solutions without understanding the root causes: A well-defined structural problem-solving approach such as PDCA, 6-Sigma, etc would be helpful to find the root causes.
- Not prioritizing the drivers affecting the score: Driver analysis helps to identify what to prioritize for getting the most impact thru the system. Don’t allocate your resources and energy randomly.
- Not touching to structural and strategical issues: Operational issues can be solved quickly and often lead to quick score increases. Structural and strategic issues typically take more time to solve but lead to higher NPS increases over time.
Closing the customer feedback loop is one of the easiest ways to reinforce a positive experience or fix a negative one. Your customers want to know that their time and opinions are valued. There is nothing more frustrating than giving constructive criticism and never receiving a follow-up.
Understanding and responding to customer feedback is an ongoing process, thus make sure to constantly keep up with your customers needs and increase their loyalty.
Expert Interview – Eureko Insurance’s CX
In this issue, we’ve interviewed with Serhat Sarıtaş who is the Customer Experience Strategy & Journey Chapter Lead at Eureko Insurance.
– How long have you been using Voice of Customer (VoC) program in Eureko? How do you operate the close the loop mechanism if any?
We have implemented VoC program in 2015 and revized it in 2021 in alignment with the customer journeys and company structure. Right now, we measure realtime customer experience in 7 touchpoints (acqusition, call center inbound, call center outbound, automotive damage, non-automotive damage, health and assistance services) in partnership with Alterna CX. Our ultimate goal is regardless of the score itself, to make sure that all functions are hearing the voice of the customer and engage them to take actions accordingly. Therefore, we share realtime feedback with departments respectively and organize biweekly meetings to discuss about improvement areas as well as ongoing projects. As CX team, we also categorize feedback and analyze root causes of negative topics then turn these into the improvement projects. Moreover, we’ve established a Customer Experience Commitee where we get together monthly with representatives from all departments and share latest updates about customer experience actions and projects.
– What are the tangible outcomes of the program? Could you please elaborate more?
First of all, our main achievement was that all employees from the lowest level to the highest level of the company can hear the voice of the customer easily and have an awareness of the main improvement areas. Another achievement was that after aligning the voice of the customer program with the company structure, the teams were able to instantly recognize the feedback about their business areas and turn them into action with less effort. While this increased the willingness and effort of the relevant teams to take the relevant actions, it also revealed which teams should own the projects. Senior management, on the other hand, began to distinguish more quickly which projects would need the budget and which touch points the customer experience suffered the most. In this case, issues such as prioritization and budget allocation also relieved the top management of the company.
– How do you link VoC program and CX strategy with overall company strategy? Any more details?
As Eureko Insurance, we have been promising “Comfort of Heart” to all our customers since 2020. One of the most important long-term decisions of our company is to maximize “Customer Focus” and to ensure that the customer experience is at the forefront at every point of the actions taken. The voice of the customer program and the customer experience strategy that goes along with it play one of the most important roles in the realization of these decisions taken by the company. All company employees are aware of which points they need to work on to ensure customer focus and take action accordingly.
If you want to learn more about cases where Alterna CX Voice of Customer solution was used for Closing the Customer Feedback Loop, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org