Closing the loop (The Micro)

Previous section: Developing a plan

When a response is provided to an NPS survey, the experience is fresh on the minds of both the customer as well as the employee most directly involved with that particular customer’s experience. This familiarity with the customer’s exact experience helps yield two distinct outcomes via the closed loop process:

  1. Rapid learning on the part of the employee
  2. Rapid follow-up and resolution with the customer
As feedback is shared with employees, and as a follow-up is provided to the customer, the feedback program naturally moves away from conventional survey methods. No longer does feedback fall into a black hole, never to be seen again. Instead, NPS and the closed loop process helps catalyze change with individual employees based on actual feedback and timely, personalized, and empathetic follow-up with customers.

In this section, we’ll cover how to best set-up your closed loop feedback in the micro sense- covering best practices for sharing feedback with employees and guidelines for following up with customers.

Guidelines for closing the loop with Promoters, Passives, and Detractors

As you start following up with customer, here are a few suggestions for keeping those conversations effective in terms of resolving customer concerns and gathering more actionable insight.

  • Timing: Within 7 days of NPS response
  • Tone: Appreciate and inquisitive
  • Content: Since the customer has taken time to express their admiration of your brand/product, don’t forget to share the love. Make sure your follow-up content includes a “Thank You” and also includes an opportunity for the customer to provide any feedback and suggestions
  • Call-to-action: Promoters will most often be your most vocal supporters, so be sure to leverage that enthusiasm. If you have an external review page, feel free to pass that along to the Promoter and ask if they’d be open to sharing their testimonial with others. This is a great way to encourage word-of-mouth referrals from your most dedicated customer base
  • Timing: Within 24-48 hours of NPS response
  • Tone: Empathetic and investigative
  • Content: Passives are satisfied overall, but may be encountering a few blockers from having a truly great experience with your company. Be receptive and understanding of any critical feedback, ensuring the customer feels their concerns are heard. Express an understanding of what may be causing the less-than-stellar experience, and also display a sense of proactive interest by digging deeper and asking follow-up questions (more on root cause analysis below)
  • Call-to-action: Prompt Passives with a few overarching questions to help spur additional conversation around any potential concerns/issues. These questions could be general (ex. “Any blockers you might be experiencing?”) or specific (ex. “I took a look at your account and saw you hit an error on our billing page, anything I can help you with there?”)
  • Timing: Within 24 hours
  • Tone: Serious, sympathetic, and constructive 
  • Content: Detractors will be the most sensitive subset of customers you contact as part of your closed loop process. It can be a bit intimidating, but don’t be too afraid to reach out! Detractors are often fairly frustrated, so its helpful to own any problems they escalate, and refocus the conversation by being empathetic and solution-oriented. Acknowledge any underlying issues and provide a clear timeline on any corrective action. Not something that can be immediately resolved? Let them know you'll escalate their feedback and keep them updated on any related progress down the road. Finally, be sure to dig deeper- ask more questions. Work to get to the root cause of any surfaced concerns (more on this later!) This can help avoid any issues from cropping up again later. 
  • Call-to-action: Route Detractors to an internal email to help immediately bridge their connection with your support team. Consider using our Thank You page, focused on Detractors, to ensure your more dissatisfied customers are routed internally, rather than to a public forum to express their negative experience.
Performing root cause analysis

Feedback that comes in from your NPS program, will often just reveal the tip of the iceberg. Below the surface, there may be other issues, concerns, and valuable feedback. When following up with customers, drive your investigation towards identifying the root cause of customer feedback to help highlight these insights.

How can you best tackle this root cause analysis? We recommend asking “Why?” of your team a handful of times to better understand the true source of the customer feedback– particularly for Detractors. Here's an example:

Joe received a Delighted survey from his auto repair shop, 7 days after his most recent repair. In this response to the survey, Joe provided a 6 score and a comment: 

“The repair was great, but I didn't receive the complimentary car wash that I was promised the last few visits– frustrating!”

As you start investigating the issue, use a combination of customer follow-up and communication with your team to ask “Why?”:

Why?- The front desk didn't have notice of the complimentary car wash
Why?- The online customer record didn't provide a reminder regarding the car wash
Why?- The front desk team wasn't completely clear on how to add reminders to the customer record
Why?- The team only had a brief 30-minute training for the online database, which led to a few short-term workarounds, such as using physical sticky notes as reminders

There you have it! The issue can be sourced to a brief training that led to a few bad, inconsistent habits around reminders. Running a more comprehensive training, extensively covering reminders, and automating the process of adding reminders will ensure all future customer offers are honored in full.

Simply resolving the surface-level feedback is often just placing a bandaid on a much more substantial issue. Take some time to get to the root of customer feedback to provide some long-term, lasting improvements.

Sharing feedback on a granular level

A work environment rich in shared customer feedback is key for ensuring your entire team can continue to learn and grow. So how do you accomplish this with the closed loop process? Two helpful steps are to share feedback often and with those most directly connected to the feedback.

Sharing feedback often

Establishing a steady pulse of shared customer feedback helps the NPS and closed loop process be more engrained in the day-to-day experience for your employees. Instead of recapping feedback once per quarter, we recommend sharing NPS feedback on a weekly or daily basis. With a more frequent cadence, you can provides your team with the actionable detail they need to make adjustments in real-time- as opposed to when its too late.

Use Delighted’s email digest, alerts, and integrations to easily, and automatically, route feedback to your team on a regular basis.

Sharing feedback with those most directly connected

Rapid learning is often easiest to facilitate when team members are connected with feedback associated with customers they’ve assisted directly. With Delighted, we recommend passing along properties for each person, department, location, or other grouping of team members that had a touchpoint in the customer’s lifecycle.

Once feedback starts rolling through the dashboard, you’ll be able to segment responses and share them with those most directly connected with that customer’s unique experience. Since those team members will be more aware of the different factors that contributed to the customer’s experience, they’ll be even more likely to learn and grow from the feedback.

Learn more about segmenting feedback via Delighted’s property guide.

Delighted tools to help streamline the process

Delighted offers a number of features that can help you easily close the loop on a micro level, both with the customer and your internal employees:
  • Alerts: Set up alerts to automatically notify your frontline team as soon as Delighted responses are received. In consideration of some of the best practices for timing we mentioned above, keeping your follow-up expeditious is key- particularly with Detractors and Passives. Alerts make it quick and easy for your team to hop on that follow-up process, even outside of Delighted 
  • Alerts (for internal teams): In addition to notifying your frontline team of sensitive responses that require follow-up, you can also trigger alerts based on trends. Many Delighted customers will create trends for different retail sore managers, including all the location properties associated with their region. As soon as a response is received, a notification with all the response detail is routed to the manager. Take some time to consider how you may want to segment feedback into trends (based on keyword and/or property) to more effectively route your alerts
  • Integrations: We have integrations for a number of help desks, such as Zendesk and Help Scout. Our help desk integrations automatically create new tickets, addressed to the customer, containing details from the Delighted response (included as private notes). Setting up one of our help desk integrations can offer another way to streamline  
When deploying all the suggestions mentioned above, you’ll create an empowered and NPS-focused frontline team. Employees will have a stronger understanding of the expectations related to closing the loop with each customer type, digging deeper into the customer experience, and sharing that feedback. 

The next section expands that closed loop focus, moving towards creating long-term, systemic changes based on key trends in customer feedback.

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