How to Close the Customer Feedback Loop

Collecting and analysing customer feedback is one thing, but bringing it to a profitable conclusion by taking action is what makes the whole feedback process worthwhile. We refer to this last step as closing the customer feedback loop. This is a key concept in managing the online customer experience, which is why it’s important that this step is not overlooked. It’s also imperative that this step is carried out as efficiently and effectively as possible.

In a previous post we touched on how to analyse your feedback data using various charts and dashboarding techniques. This is a critical phase in your customer feedback program, however your efforts shouldn’t stop here. Next up will be to take these insights and make them actionable, through what is called closing the customer feedback loop, or closed loop feedback.

Closed loop feedback is essentially how you can ensure your customers and prospects ultimately buy from you and remain happy, loyal customers. Customer feedback is not only valuable for fixing online sales and service processes; it is also an ideal opportunity to convert an interested visitor into a customer and closing the loop is how you take the process full circle.

Source: Bain & Company

Why is closing the customer feedback loop so important?

Closing the customer feedback loop is all about organising and distributing feedback data across teams and departments and reverting back to the customer. This process is a pivotal part of the customer feedback cycle as oftentimes data gets ‘siloed’ and never reaches other departments where it can be leveraged for improvement. It can also build loyalty among your customers when they know something is being done with their opinion.

The strongest feedback loops do more than just connect customers, the front line, and a few decision makers in management, however; they keep the customer front and center across the entire organization.

Harvard Business Review

To do this properly, it is ideal to have the right action management process in place, enabling you to engage your ‘at-risk’ customers and put them back on the path to success. In this stage, you must consider both internal and external actions. Let’s take a look at some action management tips that will help your organisation effectively close the customer feedback loop.

Effectively closing the customer feedback loop

The action management process consists of two parts: internal and external actions. Internal actions comprise the distribution of your feedback data across the right teams or departments and external actions include following up with customers on their feedback.

Internal actions for closing the customer feedback loop

First things first. We need to make sure that the feedback insights obtained fall into the right hands. There are a number of ways to take your feedback from analysis to action (internally).

Note: these are all solutions available within the Mopinion software. Check with your feedback software provider first to make sure these options are available to you.

1. Categorise your feedback with tags or labels
A great way to keep your feedback data organised is by tagging items based on their category. By ‘tagging’ or categorising certain items with a label, it’s very easy to search and group similar feedback items together. This also makes it easier to assign tasks to the right teams. For example, if you add the tag ‘bug or error’, it is immediately clear for your IT team to see that that particular item is for them to solve. Alternatively, if you add the tag ‘expensive’ or ‘pricing’, your sales team will know to involve themselves in the matter.

Tagging incoming feedback

In fact, some feedback software solutions such as Mopinion even leverage machine learning technology that allows for this process to be done intelligently and automatically. The user simply has to specify the conditions in which tags should be added to feedback items and based on the parameters, the items will be tagged automatically.

2. Assign feedback tasks to team members or departments
Got your feedback sorted properly? Then it’s time to distribute it to the person or department responsible for handling the item. The easiest way to do this is to assign feedback to individuals or teams directly, especially if you can do this within the same software. This way it is clear who is responsible for which action and the assignee knows what is expected of them.

*Adding notes for yourself and colleagues is another great way to further simplify the process. Many feedback tools are capable of doing this. It is a quick and easy method for communicating suggestions or comments about a particular feedback item. What’s great about this too, is that rather than sending a separate email to a colleague, all details are in one centralised location.

3. Set up feedback email alerts
Need a faster and more direct way of notifying your team members of a new feedback item? Feedback email alerts might be a good option for these urgent matters. With some solutions, these alerts can also be automated depending on the conditions set in place (such as low scores or specific comments) so that your organisation can quickly resolve any majors issues.

Setting up a feedback email alert

4. Automate distribution to external tools with webhooks
Got a big marketing tech stack? Then it may be beneficial to set up webhooks. For those of you who are unfamiliar with webhooks, these essentially serve as a way of relaying data to other applications in real-time. Unlike an API which must poll for data quite frequently, webhooks are transferring live data to your application of choice every time an event meets your criteria (i.e. low score, feedback comments containing certain words, feedback from a specific device, browser or url, etc).

Create webhooks for feedback

This is ideal for pushing feedback to your project management, chat, or other collaboration tools used internally.

Do you collect feedback in-app? Be sure to check out one of Mopinion’s newest features called Callback Events and learn more about how you can create a follow-up event based on the actions performed by your users!

External actions for closing the customer feedback loop

To bring your feedback ‘full circle’, the next step is to revert back to the customer. But where do you start?

Set timescales
Depending on priorities, it can be helpful to set the timescales for the fix. When it comes to online channels, customers generally want a resolution as quickly as possible, so it is advisable to bear this in mind internally. Put simply, if a customer has to wait more than a reasonable period of time they will take their business elsewhere!

It is also very helpful to include a schedule of follow-up points following the resolution. You will want to see what the results are from your actions, not only from the individual feedback customers but also the overall trends, to ascertain if it has generated the benefits you wanted.

Getting your team on board with customer feedback

Try this simple three-step process for getting your team on board with customer feedback

Track progress and keep all the right parties informed
Not all issues can be resolved within a short period of time (perhaps a number of hours or even a day or so) so it is important to manage the expectations of your audience accordingly. This could be directly via your online customer portal, social media or customer support centre.
In fact, there is nothing worse than your business going silent on an issue – it is much better to show you are working on a resolution and value the opinions of your promoters (as well as your detractors!).

Follow up on feedback by email

And then, of course, when the issue has been resolved, be sure to notify the customer (or group of customers) depending on how widespread the issue is.

Harmonising internal and external actions

It’s important to understand that internal and external actions will often influence the other, as these actions are often linked.

Let’s look at an example:
One of your customers has identified an issue. The first step you’ll want to take is to alert the appropriate teams (in a timely manner) so that the issue can be diagnosed and steps can be taken to resolve it. However, this doesn’t mean that the feedback item is then ‘closed’.

There are a lot of cases in which businesses collect feedback but never inform the customer of the result. This can be detrimental to customer retention and satisfaction – mainly because you’ve left the customer in a sort of ‘limbo’ where they don’t know if their voice has been heard or not. The perfect example of this? A customer awaiting a confirmation before they go on to purchase your product.

As you can see, the level of importance in resolving the issue is just as high as keeping the customer informed of the issue.

A continuous process…

Closing the customer feedback loop is an advantageous endeavor. Not only will it help you improve conversions and performance on all of your digital channels, but also your digital strategy as a whole. And by working collaboratively as a team, you can achieve much more – making your feedback programme much more efficient and successful in the long run.

Ready to see Mopinion in action?

Want to learn more about Mopinion’s all-in-1 user feedback platform? Don’t be shy and take our software for a spin! Do you prefer it a bit more personal? Just book a demo. One of our feedback pro’s will guide you through the software and answer any questions you may have.