We say it all the time: don’t settle for a customer feedback program—invest in a customer insights program. A feedback program essentially amounts to a list of reviews. There may be some interesting tidbits here and there, but for the most part, it just sits on your shelf collecting data. A customer insights program, on the other hand, makes sense of all that data to help you drive meaningful actions—across every channel.
While a large portion of those actions will be geared toward driving long-term improvements, it’s equally important to use the program for resolving time-sensitive issues—quickly and efficiently. Here are 7 quick tips to help you tighten up your close-the-loop processes.
1. Get the details you need + offer to follow up
When customers experience an issue, it doesn’t matter who’s at fault—you can’t afford to let it end there. After all, it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for a single unresolved negative experience. But what makes for effective resolution in those situations?
Start by asking customers to provide the details you’ll need to make amends—including their name, preferred contact information, and problem details. Even if that’s all captured in a CRM system, collecting it through the survey gives the customer a choice to be contacted by your teams.
2. Allow customers to share feedback through social channels
It may seem like a risky proposition, but if you’re going to ask customers to connect with your digital channels following a survey, it has to be every customer—not just the ones having great experiences. In addition to promoting a culture of consumer transparency, many brands have social teams equipped to handle problem resolution quickly and efficiently. While having that happen in a public forum can be great for your brand reputation, you have to make sure you’re not giving the impression that it’s all just pretext for getting some positive PR.
3. Tell customers what will happen as a result of their feedback
Responding to issues as they happen is paramount to short-term customer recovery efforts. But if you really want to show customers that their feedback matters, you should be upfront about how you’re using it to inform longer-term strategies, too. Your brand’s website and social channels are also great public outlets for telling customers what you’re learning from their surveys—and how you’re using those insights to build better brand experiences over time.
4. Establish senior leadership accountability
Your employees may be the ones actually reaching out and closing the loop—but their level of commitment largely depends on how accountability cascades across your organization. Brands that win on the customer experience almost always have executive-level ownership and oversight to make sure CX feedback translates to meaningful action.
For example, one of our QSR clients with a heavily franchised system wanted to make sure their corporate locations were the standard-bearers for the brand, so they made it their mission to get company-owned locations to the top of internal benchmarks. With the biggest immediate opportunity being in problem resolution, the team ran a key driver analysis and found that employee friendliness was the biggest driver of alleviating dissatisfaction for guests who experienced a problem.
The client immediately:
As a result, the company locations moved into the top 3 in Overall Satisfaction and—more importantly—improved their visit share in the company market, based on SurveyMini® data.
5. Set up internal channels for sharing customer feedback
Even if your brand has a dedicated CX team, you can’t afford to let the program get siloed to the point where no one knows what customer issues are occurring and how they’re being resolved. If you’ve invested in an omnichannel measurement program, customers are providing key feedback on every aspect of your business. Proactively sharing relevant customer feedback with different functional areas of the business serves the dual purpose of working to improve those channels and bringing more visibility to the customer experience across the organization.
6. Put flexible systems in place for problem resolution
In the age of one-click shopping and next-day delivery, omnichannel customers expect immediate responses to their issues. In fact, 82% of customers report having their issues responded to quickly is the number one factor of a great customer experience. The first step toward resolving issues quickly is being flexible enough to anticipate their occurrence. Be sure to:
7. Use technology to track the close-the-loop process
Your customers use state-of-the-art technology to interact with you across channels—there’s no reason you should be using outdated systems to act on it. If you’re a multi-unit brand with thousands of locations across the globe, it may not always be possible to keep up with every tech innovation. But at the very least, you need to make sure all systems are integrated and agile enough that they’re not hampering your customer recovery efforts.
If you have inadequate customer recovery solutions, your employees may become as frustrated as the customers experiencing a problem. According to Forrester, 42% of service agents reported they’re unable to efficiently resolve customer issues due to disconnected systems, archaic user interfaces, and multiple applications. We recommend integrating your CX program with your CRM platform to maintain a single source of truth for customer recovery efforts.
Mobile reporting apps can also be a powerful tool when it comes to problem resolution. With push notifications, front-line employees and managers can be notified of issues as they happen. In fact, managers that use our smg360® mobile app close alerts 3x faster than desktop users and have significantly fewer unresolved alerts on average.
Creating cross-channel impact
Closing the loop efficiently and effectively is just one of the ways you can use your program to improve the customer experience across every channel. For more omniCX best practices, check out our ebook.
Director, Client Insights