Closing the Customer Feedback Loop feedback loop

Closing the Customer Feedback Loop

Customer Experience

Ensuring an excellent customer experience can be tricky but an effective guide can help.


Table of Contents

Any business that attempts to increase customer lifetime by retaining them is familiar with the concept of Closing the Customer Feedback Loop. However, you will find a noticeable gap between companies who try to close the loop and companies who succeed. 

There are many companies that devote a lot of time and resources to collect and listen to customer feedback. But, very few of these companies act on the feedback or are happy about the outcome they reap from the entire process. 

You may send teams out in the field to engage with customers to gather insight or bring in loyal/heavy spending customers to talk about their experience. However, without a strategic feedback program, you will fail to convert these insights into actions.

According to Harvard Business Review, most customers who declare themselves “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their experience are the ones who jump the ship not too long after. 

Before we dive in on the importance and best practices of Closing the Customer Feedback Loop, let’s do a once-over on “what is closed-loop feedback?”

Customer experience

What is a Closed-loop Feedback?

Closed-loop feedback refers to the completion of the feedback process. When a business takes action on the feedback provided by the customer and responds back it is called a closed feedback loop. Identifying the pain points within customer feedback and responding to customer’s concerns or praises, a business develops a formal process to retain its customers. 

A strong and well-organized feedback loop involves customers at the front and center of the entire process. By timely and effectively closing the loop a business ensures a positive outcome for customer experience.

Why Closing the Feedback Loop is Important?

In all honesty, whether you are a B2B or a B2C company, a company owes its client/ customer response especially after receiving feedback from their end. 

When you request feedback or send a survey invitation you are explicitly declaring that you want to hear your customer’s voice. However, it is of no use if you just hear them and do not take action or respond back. Asking for feedback and taking no action against it is the fastest way to lose credibility among your customer base. By doing so, you rather contribute to bad experiences and push your customers away. 

  • The American Marketing Associates report that consumers talk about their good brand experience to an average of 9 people. But, they talk to 16 people about a bad experience with the brand. 
  • Ruby Newell-Legner’s “Understanding Customers” reports that it takes 12 good (positive) experiences to make up for 1 negative experience.

1. Analyzing the feedback and responding accordingly makes customers feel valued and appreciated by the company. This ultimately drives customer retention, because customers are highly likely to remain loyal to a brand that truly pays attention to them and listens to their concerns. 

2. Paying attention to the collected feedback and closing the loop brings various paint points and issues into the brand’s notice which they would have otherwise missed. There could be issues that your customers are facing which you are not aware of. Closing the feedback loop will shed light on the matter. 

3. Closed-loop Feedback also helps in improving employee productivity. Feedback makes employees aware of their mistakes. It helps them learn how they can recover a potential issue and improve customer retention. Closing the loop helps them identify the upset customers and as they learn to proactively respond to them, employees improve their productivity.

6 Best Practices to Close the Customer Feedback Loop

To ensure there are no gaps in your closed-loop feedback system, follow these practices when building your closed-loop feedback process:

Leverage Automation

Automation can help when it comes to effectively closing the feedback loop. Many businesses have adopted automated CRM to trigger requests for customer feedback. Moreover, it also helps in efficiently processing the feedback and taking appropriate action. 

 Automation also helps the brand to trigger surveys consistently.

You can decide when a feedback request should be initiated and set the frequency so that you don’t have to manually send out the surveys every time it is required. 

However, it is also important to note that the customer should not be overwhelmed with too many survey requests. You should focus on soliciting feedback during the important touchpoint in the customer journey that has the biggest impact on their experience. 

Automation can route the right feedback to the right department immediately while it’s still relevant.

It also helps to detect the immediacy of the issue and send it to relevant senior employees or departments in real-time.This ensures that the issue is addressed efficiently and timely. It also ensures that the brand closes the loop by responding back to the customer. For example, if a customer sends a request for help via social media, their request can be routed to a relevant team who can respond immediately and are best suited to help the customer.

Create a central base for Customer Feedback

The challenge that most companies face, when they have to analyze customer feedback, is how scattered it is across the entire company. Most of the time, the customer data is siloed. It is spread across various departments and their databases. This makes it difficult to access the feedback in order to analyze it. 

So, the best practice is to make the customer data centralized in order to make it accessible. When the customer feedback is collected and transferred to a centralized location where any department or team can look through the feedback it can make the entire process seamless and efficient. 

With a central database, 

  • It is easier for every team to communicate the actions taken for particular feedback.
  • It helps keep track of all the actions taken and the follow-up initiated in a timely and systematic manner. 
  • It ensures that the feedback is not lost and they reach the right team while it is relevant. 

Consistent follow-up on feedback 

It is important to understand that the speed of response should not be the focus. Getting in touch and helping the customer immediately is important however, it all goes to waste if the resolution fails. The focus should be on a resolution that helps convert positively impacts the customer experience. 

Prioritize which customer to respond:

It is of course important to follow up on customer feedback, however, it is also important to prioritize the feedback. When prioritizing which customer you should respond to first it is better to not limit only to the detractors or at-risk customers. While it is a good strategy to respond fast in order to win Detractors back, Promoters are also a big part of closed-loop feedback. 

To create a more formal system of prioritizing customers and responding to them, companies can assign separate time frames for detractors, promoters, and passives. The team can start by closing the feedback loop for detractors within 24 to 48 hours of receiving the feedback. They can allow a long timeframe for promoters and passives for follow-up. 

Prioritize issues that may have potential impact: 

Apart from focusing on the type of customers and their feedback, businesses can also prioritize the issue that may have a big impact on the business. While all negative feedback or complaints are important you cannot, however, solve all of them. 

It is important to prioritize even among the complaints to figure out which issue needs an immediate response. Sometimes it is better to close the loop on feedback that may seem like a small issue but has a bigger impact on the company’s revenue or even reputation. 

It is better to focus on resolving concerns that may harm the company and give bad CX than trying to close all feedback loops at once. 

Be it prioritizing customers or potential issues, a systematic approach to resolve and close the feedback loop works more efficiently. Identifying what impacts the CX and company the most, responding to those concerns, and communicating the action to the customers helps create seamless Closed-loop Feedback.

Appoint Closed-loop Owners

The process of closing the feedback loop is challenging and requires focus to consistently respond to the customer feedback. The best way to maintain the process efficiently is by appointing people, i.e., closed-loop owners, to determine when and how they will contact the unhappy customers and close the customer feedback loop. 

Large-scale companies can afford to dedicate a team for this purpose. But, it may not be the same for small-scale companies. They may find more balance by distributing the task among different departments and coordinating with each team to close the feedback loop and ensure positive CX. 

However, the people responsible should have experience working with customers. The experience makes them fit for the role to understand and build an empathetic relationship with the customers.

It may also be a better idea to engage senior executives and key stakeholders to solve customer concerns and close the feedback loop. 

Train the people responsible for closing the loop

The people who are held responsible for the job should have the skill and ability to communicate and remain engaged with the customer throughout a difficult conversation. 

In order to help employees develop those skills, many businesses ask employees to identify pain points in a customer journey. The employees are asked to provide their feedback on the CX delivered. This helps them understand CX from the customer’s perspective and identify opportunities and insights which they can use to support customers and close the feedback loop. 

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Acknowledge the employee and celebrate success

Closing the feedback loop should not feel like an additional workload. All the departments and employees should happily engage in the process. The employees should willingly put effort and develop a customer-centric mindset. To encourage the employees involved in the process companies should acknowledge their effort and strong participation in successfully closing the loop. 

Senior-level executives, managers, or CEOs should formally recognize and reward the people who maintained a strong engagement with the customer and closed the feedback loop with a successful resolution. This can not only encourage the employees to put more effort but also build a CX culture. 

Failing to close the loop is as frustrating for the employees as it is for the customers. Thus, recognizing the hard work and effort they put into completing their job to deliver better CX can make the employees happier. Happy employees lead to productive and efficient work in the future. 

Share results with Customers

Communicating the result and all the actions you took against the feedback is an important factor in ensuring customer engagement. As customers take their time to provide feedback, it is equally important that companies honor their effort by responding back to them. 

Companies should dedicate time to inform the customer of the actions they have taken just like they dedicate time to analyze feedback and develop appropriate actions. Communicating the result to the customers helps open a discussion for the resolution. 

Keeping open communication ensures the customers that the company listens to their voices and cares for their concerns. When they know that their feedback leads to a change, it improves the perception customers have about the company and also improves the relationship. 

Involving customers may even lead to identifying solutions that result in successful resolution and even increase customer engagement. Keeping customers informed about all the actions taken and brainstorming with them can also help identify solutions to improve the situation.

Explore all the survey question types possible on Voxco

Explore all the survey question types possible on Voxco

Integrate Your Closed-Loop Process in Your CX Program

To ensure you get maximum efficiency out of your closed-loop feedback process, you must integrate it within your CX program. By integrating your closed-loop feedback within the rest of your program, you can set alerts for when you get a negative score, which automatically builds a case for follow-up. 

Doing so allows you to dive into your customer’s concerns and analyze their feedback.

Let’s understand this with closed feedback loop examples. When you see a particular segment of customers giving negative feedback, you can delve into their feedback to do a root-cause analysis, spot the issue, and turn the negative feedback into positive. 

When you ask for customer feedback, you are setting the expectation that you will work on the feedback you receive. Customers end up having high expectations from the company. It is only acceptable that you honor them and take action and respond to the customer. 

By responding timely and communicating successful resolutions back to the customer, you are leading towards a greater customer experience. Customers feel heard and understood, which leads to improvement in customer loyalty and retention.

Close Feedback Loop with Voxco

Close the experience gaps and turn detractors into promoters with Voxco’s close-the-loop functionality. All you need is a Voxco account and a salesforce account, and you can activate workflows without leaving the Voxco platform.

It allows you to bring your customer’s voice inside the organization and address issues quickly to salvage detractors & activate promoters in real time. 

See how easily you can Close the Loop with Voxco


What is closed-loop feedback?

Closed-loop feedback is a system in which a portion of the output signal from a process is fed back and used to regulate or control the input to the process. In other words, it is a system in which the output of a process is measured and compared to a desired output, and the resulting error signal is used to adjust the input to the process.

This type of feedback is used in many control systems, such as thermostats, cruise control in cars, and autopilot systems in aircraft. It allows for automatic adjustment and correction of the process output to achieve a desired result or maintain a stable state.

In a closed-loop feedback system, there are four basic components: a sensor or measuring device that detects the process output, a comparator that compares the measured output to the desired output, a controller that uses the error signal to adjust the process input, and an actuator that changes the process input based on the controller’s output. The closed-loop feedback process then repeats, with the new input resulting in a new output, which is fed back into the system.

Why is closed-loop feedback important?

Closed-loop feedback is important because it allows for precise and accurate control of a process or system. By continuously measuring the output of a process and comparing it to a desired output, closed-loop feedback systems can automatically make adjustments to the input to ensure that the process output remains within a desired range or achieves a specific goal.

This type of feedback is used in many applications, such as industrial control systems, robotics, and automation. Closed-loop feedback can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of these systems by reducing errors, minimizing waste, and improving consistency.

Closed-loop feedback also enables systems to adapt to changes in the process or environment. For example, a closed-loop feedback system in a temperature control system can adjust the input to maintain a consistent temperature, even if there are changes in the environment or fluctuations in the process.

Overall, closed-loop feedback is important because it provides a mechanism for precise control, adaptability, and consistency in a wide range of systems and applications.

How to build a closed-loop feedback process?

A closed-loop feedback process is a continuous feedback system where information is collected, analyzed, and used to adjust or improve a process. Here are the steps to build a closed-loop feedback process:

  1. Define the goals and objectives: The first step in building a closed-loop feedback process is to define the goals and objectives that the process is intended to achieve. This will help you determine the data points that need to be collected and analyzed to measure progress toward those goals.
  2. Identify the metrics: Once you have defined the goals and objectives, you need to identify the metrics that will be used to measure progress towards those goals. These metrics should be specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).
  3. Collect data: The next step is to collect the data necessary to measure the identified metrics. This can be done through various methods, such as surveys, observation, or data analysis tools.
  4. Analyze the data: Once the data is collected, it needs to be analyzed to identify trends, patterns, and areas of improvement. This analysis will help you identify areas where the process can be adjusted or improved.
  5. Implement changes: Based on the analysis of the data, you need to make changes to the process to improve performance. These changes can be small adjustments or significant changes to the process.
  6. Monitor progress: After implementing changes, you need to monitor progress towards the goals and objectives. This will help you determine whether the changes made to the process have been effective.
  7. Repeat the process: A closed-loop feedback process is continuous, so once progress has been monitored, you need to repeat the process, starting from step one. This will help you continually improve the process and achieve better results.

By following these steps, you can build a closed-loop feedback process that will help you continuously improve your processes and achieve your goals.

What are some closed-loop feedback best practices?

Here are some closed-loop feedback best practices for creating and implementing a closed-loop feedback process:

  1. Clearly define your goals and objectives: A well-defined goal or objective provides a clear direction for your feedback process, helping you identify the metrics and data points you need to collect.
  2. Collect both quantitative and qualitative data: While quantitative data is often easier to collect, qualitative data can provide valuable insights that can help you understand the “why” behind the data.
  3. Ensure data accuracy and consistency: To make informed decisions, your data needs to be accurate and consistent. Establish data quality control procedures to minimize errors and ensure consistency.
  4. Regularly communicate feedback: Feedback is only useful if it’s shared with the right people at the right time. Ensure that feedback is communicated to relevant stakeholders in a timely and effective manner.
  5. Encourage participation and engagement: Encourage participation and engagement from all stakeholders in the feedback process. This includes providing opportunities for feedback and ensuring that feedback is acted upon.
  6. Continuously evaluate and refine the process: Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of your feedback process and make adjustments as necessary. This includes reviewing your metrics, data collection methods, and feedback communication procedures.
  7. Use technology to streamline the process: Technology can help you automate data collection, analysis, and communication, making your feedback process more efficient and effective.

By following these best practices, you can create a closed-loop feedback process that helps you improve your processes and achieve your goals.

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