Once you’ve gathered actionable feedback from your customer feedback surveys, you need to take action. Closing the customer feedback loop means making changes, thanking your customers for their feedback, and letting them know you’ve made these changes. Use these tips for closing the customer feedback loop and you’ll be able to act on the feedback that you receive.

7 Tips for Closing the Customer Feedback Loop

1. Use Open-Ended Questions

Multiple-choice surveys, such as NPS, CSAT, CES and others, can give you quantifiable information about your business. This is numeric data that you can calculate, average and compare year over year. While this is valuable information, it doesn’t give you details about why you’re getting these scores. Using open-ended questions such as “why did you give that score” or “When you made your most recent purchase/visit, what stood out to you?” can help you gain insights about what you’re doing well, and what can be improved. This can help you to close the customer feedback loop.

2. Organize Your Feedback

A reliable way to organize your feedback can help you draw conclusions. You might start by organizing your responses into positive, neutral, and negative categories. Or, you might organize your responses based on keywords, like “checkout,” “staff,” or “product.” When your responses are organized, you’ll be able to sort through them and make note of things that come up multiple times.

A singular comment may be one customer’s unique experience. Depending on the size of your response pool, two similar comments might indicate a trend. These deserve taking a closer look, whether they’re positive or negative. Take note of positive and negative comments that come up more than once. If multiple respondents compliment your customer service staff, make a note of this, so you can tell your staff that they’re doing a great job. If multiple respondents say your check-out process was too difficult, or that the product didn’t work as expected, make note of this as well.

3. Include All Staff Members

The staff members that work directly with customers may have the best ideas about how to solve problems. For instance, if customers repeatedly say that customer service staff aren’t helpful, ask several customer service representatives what tools they use to solve problems. You may find that representatives don’t have the power or tools that they need to solve customer’s problems. This information will go much further in resolving these complaints and improving your customer retention, rather than criticizing or punishing your staff for poor performance.

4. Be Transparent and Positive

Transparency and communication are important to develop solutions. It’s a good idea to let your staff members know that you’re conducting a feedback survey beforehand. While some managers don’t want to tell their staff about a customer feedback survey effort because they’re afraid it will skew the results, it’s more valuable to be transparent and to have all of your staff members on your side. Make sure that your staff understands the survey isn’t about punishing low performance, but simply about solving problems and trying to make everyone’s job a bit easier. When staff members feel safe about sharing problems they’re having with their job and solutions they’d like to see, these problems are more likely to be solved faster.

5. Enact Solutions

Once you’ve developed solutions to the problems or challenges your customers pointed out in their responses, you’ll need a way to put them into action. This might mean giving employees more independence or tools, so they can solve customers’ problems. It might mean simplifying a checkout process, or more accurately describing your product. Whatever feedback you receive, be prepared to make changes and enact solutions.

6. Communicate Your Changes

Once you’ve enacted solutions and fixed the problems that your customers pointed out, completing the customer feedback loop means telling them about it. You might use screenshots to show the changes you’ve made to your check-out system or another aspect of your online experience. Or, you might use discounts or coupons to show that you’re taking action to solve a customer’s problem. Maybe you added new features, or made changes to your products. Whatever changes you’ve made, reconnect with your customers and show that you were listening.

7. Use Different Responses for Different Feedback

Not all customers’ responses will ask for changes or point out problems. Many customers might not answer open-ended questions at all. To close the customer feedback loop effectively, it’s helpful to customize responses based on the feedback you receive. Consider the following:

Positive feedback

When a customer gives you a glowing review, thank them, and ask them to share this with others. You might direct them to a third-party review site, or ask for a more thorough testimonial. Regardless, give them a discount or another reward to show that you appreciate their input and their business.

Neutral feedback

Neutral respondents are vulnerable to competitors. They don’t have any particular connection to your business, but since they’re not invested, they haven’t given you any feedback on how to improve either. Show that you care about these customers, and that you’d like to improve their experience. As you make changes, keep them informed. It’s likely that these customers have similar problems as those who provided negative feedback. Also, highlight the positive attributes other customers commented on. Neutral customers might not be aware of these advantages. Use instructional modules to show what your product or service can do, or the news updates with the impact that you’re making. Not all of these customers will be swayed, but some will be.

Negative feedback

We’ve already discussed the importance of making changes and communicating those changes to customers who had negative feedback. It’s also important to let them know right away that you’ve heard them, and that you’ve making changes. Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that not all customers’ problems can be solved. A customer may have responded out of frustration from another source, provided feedback that has no solution, or they may be looking for a different product or service. Sorting through these types of feedback will help you enact better solutions.

Now that you have a system for closing the customer feedback loop, you’ll have the tools you need to make changes from the information that you gather. Conducting customer feedback surveys and closing the customer feedback loop regularly will help you make continuous improvements.

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Posted in: Customer Feedback