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How to Close the Feedback Loop to Improve Customer Satisfaction

Use the closed feedback loop to build a customer-focused approach to continuous improvement

How to Close the Feedback Loop to Improve Customer Satisfaction

Ian Roberts
Posted on 10 August 2015 in Customer Feedback
by Ian Roberts
4 min

In our recent blog, Improving Satisfaction by Closing the Feedback Loop, we discussed loops to improve the overall customer experience. There are three ways your customer satisfaction measurement program can support a closed feedback loop:

  • First, identify your moments of truth and integrate measurement across them.
  • Second, automate the process from start to finish.
  • Third, act on the information to improve customer satisfaction.

Many companies become unhappy with their customer satisfaction programs because they don't get information that leads to improvement. Using the closed feedback loop approach avoids this situation and helps to build a customer-focused approach to continuous improvement.

Here are some ways you can benefit from using your metrics in closed feedback loops:

Combine Metrics across Your "Moments of Truth"

Many companies don't have a comprehensive view of their customer experience. Your customer service department conducts a survey after every contact. Your marketing planning department is looking at relationship measures. And your website team is looking at other metrics. It's not that any of these metrics are inappropriate, but what do they mean for the health of the entire company?

The simplest way to get a comprehensive view is to combine measurements by ensuring that everyone uses the same metric. Whether it is Net Promoter Score, Overall Satisfaction, or Customer Loyalty doesn't matter. Everyone must agree to use the same question and response scale for measuring the customer's moments of truth.

Once you have everyone using a common measurement, the next step is to understand the relationship between the various moments of truth and the customer's overall perceptions. How much impact does a terrific customer service experience have on whether the customer will recommend your firm to others? What does an exceptional field service experience contribute to overall satisfaction? Understanding these relationships will tell you where to focus your improvement efforts.

Automate the Process

Automating customer satisfaction measurement produces two benefits:

  1. It ensures measurement while the experience is still fresh for the customer, leading to better data quality.
  2. It facilitates information delivery to front-line employees and managers who are in the best position to take timely action.

Automation allows information to be delivered nearly instantly to the people who can quickly address the situation. Without automation, the process of delivering scores to the front line is too labor-intensive, increasing costs and delaying information. Automating your measurement program is not difficult, and will pay for itself quickly.

Take Action on the Feedback

If your satisfaction scores are only going to top management, you are missing an opportunity to close the feedback loop. To improve customer satisfaction, those results must be communicated to everyone in the feedback loop: front line employees, their managers, and even the customers.

  • In your survey, ask all customers giving low scores whether they would like to be contacted about their experience. If they agree, that request is transmitted electronically to the appropriate manager to contact the customer within a specified timeframe. Research has shown that this kind of individual attention greatly improves satisfaction, and can yield valuable insight for managers as well.
  • Overall company metrics should be reviewed by managers responsible for company operations. These individuals can review higher-level metrics to identify areas that may need improvement. Without getting bogged down at the department- or branch-level, these metrics and how they are trending can help management prioritize their efforts to improve satisfaction.
  • Customer satisfaction metrics must be reported specifically for the manager's area of responsibility. Seeing overall company metrics does not give a branch or department manager the necessary information to take action. However, if a manager seen declining scores on a particular metric for their area, they can discuss that situation with their staff to determine what might be the cause, and how best to address it.
  • Companies also struggle with providing feedback for individual employees. While it may not be possible to report on a large number of contacts, even result from a few customers can be helpful for the employee and their manager. If scores for an individual team member are dropping or rising, that information can then be shared in coaching sessions to correct or reinforce behavior.

A closed feedback loop combines information with action, and builds and supports a customer-oriented company culture. Without the appropriate metrics for your Moments of Truth, you cannot take action. And without closing the feedback loop with action and communication, you cannot get the best return on your investment in your satisfaction program. Combining strong metrics with closed feedback loop management lays the foundation for improving customer satisfaction.

 

At Nebu we have helped multiple agencies to implement Closed Feedback Loops using Dub InterViewer for their clients. For more information download our case study with Yorizon.

    

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