Tips for Closing the Customer Feedback Loop

After more than a year of social starvation, increased digital connections with competitors, and ever-growing fickleness, the customer feedback loop with your business is critical. After all, 50 percent of buyers will switch to a competitor after one bad experience. To retain the customer at every stage of their lifecycle, it's time to automate a reminder process.

In medical situations, case management is described as a collaborative process that assesses, plans, implements, coordinates, monitors, and evaluates the options and services required to meet a patient's health and human service needs. When applied to business, the idea is that companies focus on clients' well-being (needs), wellness (desires), and complete functional capability (satisfaction).

Although technology might have advanced to see customers' preferred devices, products of interest, average spending, and much more, the x-ray that reads customers' broken bones is yet to read their thoughts and feelings.

Listen to Your Customer

The only way to understand customer thoughts and feelings is to listen to what they say. Opportunities to hear their voices arise millions of times a day; when they visit your website, sign up for a newsletter, enter your store, add products to their baskets, take an interest in an event, and the list continues. Perhaps you reach out spontaneously simply to ask them how they are, whether they are satisfied with your company, and what could be improved?

Companies gain customer feedback organically through social media engagement, reviews sites, and customer services platforms. It's vital to actively gather feedback from your customers to solve even the most minor frustrations. Public complaints damage business reputation, and in an increasingly vocal community, expect these reviews. Reaching out to your customers and providing personalized recommendations for difficulties is essential to provide satisfaction before your reputation is damaged.

You can gather feedback at every touchpoint within the customer lifecycle through webchat, an automated email with triggers, including newsletter sign-up, cart abandonment, purchases, and post-experience. Businesses can send surveys three, six, or 12 months down the line to check in with customers and ensure they are still satisfied. If problems arose over the period, tackling these might even open a door for repurchase or an upsell.

It's essential to collect data frequently as customer behaviors change over time, and so do your business best practices. Continuously reviewing your strengths and weaknesses with customers provides data that can enhance various departments, including marketing, sales, and operations.

Challenges vs. Expectations

Businesses claim that lack of visibility into previous customer conversations (64 percent), too many systems and tools to consult (56 percent), unclear task ownership (54 percent), and an overwhelming number of requests that go unanswered (49 percent) are the biggest challenges in customer service.

In a world where above three-quarters of customers expect consistent interactions across departments, why are more than half (54 percent) of customers still saying it generally feels like sales, service, and marketing don't share information?

The only way to address these issues is to have a case management system to store customer data, allow multiple access points, and allocate customers to agents. These structures will enable companies to digest and act on insights.

Case Management, an Omnichannel Approach

Case management is the process of handling customer inquiries promptly, gaining insights, and closing the feedback loop. Case management systems that integrate with multiple channels and apps means employees can reach customers on their preferred devices without leaving the platform.

Having all the information accessible prevents customers having to repeat themselves; however, cases still need to be assigned to ensure an agent responds to the issue. Creating topics in net promoter score workflows lets you automate all your survey responses to reach the right team members and drive immediate actions effortlessly based on the net promoter score. Similar to assigning patients with back problems to an orthopedic surgeon, you could set anyone with an NPS score below five as a high-priority issue. On the other end of the scale, you can assign those with a score above eight to receive an automated email requesting a public review.

By creating cases for survey responses based on predefined criteria, you can automate responses to any member of your team. When the agent assigned doesn't have a solution, communicating with colleagues is essential. Embedded chats within each case mean teams can visibly understand the issue and communicate instantly.

The option to receive email notifications (from new to closed cases) means agents are up to date with all inquiries, whether they log into the system. Consider the prompts for recent mentions in an internal note or new customer responses like a patient's heart monitor. If it's left beeping too long, you could lose the customer. Agents can be alerted to know when to respond, improving efficiency within the organization.

Good customer experience leaves consumers feeling heard and appreciated. By gathering feedback at every touchpoint, you can understand customers' needs and desires throughout their journeys. Ensuring all customers surveyed receive a response (and feel heard) means you will gain deeper insights, increase satisfaction, and ultimately improve their experience. In addition, 75 percent of customers are willing to spend more on companies that give them good customer experiences. Small insights gained from people who perhaps wouldn't have reached out independently might lead your company to innovative solutions that please multiple customers in the future.

Eighty percent of U.S. consumers see speed, convenience, knowledgeable help, and friendly service as essential elements of a positive customer experience. Platforms that provide internal chats and instant knowledge-sharing can improve your team's performance and enable seamless experiences for customers. Taking care of customers, giving them opportunities to share their opinions, and actively listening to them means you can discover problems and solutions quickly, and you will gain a loyal customer base along the way.

Shihab Muhammed is founder and CEO of SurveySparrow.