The claim to fame of any successful Net Promoter® program is the ability to react quickly to customer feedback. After all, NPS® is about more than just the score, it's about what you do with it (i.e., actionable data).
However, it isn't often discussed what exactly qualifies as a good "closed-loop" process, which can often leave companies struggling to set proper goals.
Taken from our eBook, Closing the Loop: The NPS Handbook® to Put Out Fires and Improve CX, in this post we'll discuss the four variables that qualify a good closed-loop process:
- Measure the impact of your actions
- Embrace agility
- Cover a large portion of your customers
- Solve strategic issues
Measure the Impact of Your Actions
Any process should always be measured on results. A good closed-loop process can help you achieve the following when it comes to measuring the impact of your program:
- Future response rates increase when customers understand there is something in it for them.
- An increase in Net Promoter Score is likely when you listen, act and communicate your actions. Improvement rates differ a lot, but the average NPS increase in our client base is 29% higher when closing the loop!
- With the proper tools, closing the loop becomes a solution selling tool for account managers. It allows you to identify customer problems immediately, establish subject matter expertise and trust. If you want to learn more about how you can use NPS as a tool for sales, check out our eBook, How To Grow And Retain Existing Accounts Better.
Agility means being fast and graceful during the act of closing the loop. How fast you respond to customer feedback or take action to resolve issues is essential. Responding to customers months after they provide feedback means they may have forgotten about the issue, it may no longer be an issue, or worse they are infuriated at how long it took to respond.
Alternatively, a speedy closing the loop process impresses customers and shows that you really do care. A good way to ensure speed is to create automatic alerts for feedback defined as needing action. It ensure fast "fire-fighting" of issues and that issues are escalated to the right people. In fact, studies have shown that closing the loop within 48 hours can lead to an 12% or more increase in retention.
Closing the loop gracefully is about making the experience effortless for the customer. The closed loop process should not feel like another touch point to the customer, but rather as a natural follow-up. A good example of this is refining call scripts so the customer spends as little time with you as needed, but gets as much out of it as possible.
Cover a Large Portion of your Customers
If you only close the loop for a fraction of your customers, you are likely to miss out on some root causes and a company-wide impact. Of course, if you have limited resources and thousands of responses, it may be difficult to follow up with every response. A solution to this is to automate the feedback with emails or newsletters, explaining what you learned and what you plan to do or have already done.
This type of communication can serve a purpose outside of your respondents as well. Send a quick update to your non-survey taking audience. In this update, talk about the adjustments you’ve made as a result of direct feedback from your survey responses. This is an advanced strategy that not many businesses utilize, however those who do have found it boosts future response rates from both audiences significantly.
Solve Structural Issues
Once you have decided to close the loop, the front line of your company can handle most operational issues. A lot of companies struggle, however, with issues that require cross-organizational cooperation, investments or even strategic changes.
After 2-3 years you typically “run out” of operational issues, so if you do not handle structural issues your NPS stops improving.
If you want to learn more about closing the loop with your customers, check out the full eBook by clicking the button below.