Are You Closing the Loop with Your Customers And Internal Stakeholders?

By: Clarabridge Team

March 18, 2014

By: Diem Shin

VOC_Closed_ Loop_Process_ Crossword

In a Voice of the Customer (VOC) program, we all understand the importance of listening to all the customer feedback, analyzing it for actionable insights, and then acting on those insights to close the loop.  But closing the loop is not only something you do with your customer.  Closing the loop with different departments throughout your organization allows you to improve processes and continue to provide the excellent, consistent customer experience your customers expect.

I recently had a bad customer experience with a major retailer in one of their B&M stores. The sales associate completing my return was very rude – he acted like he was doing me a favor by taking back my purchase. He informed me that my purchase was a final sale because it was x% off. I informed him that I had specifically been told when I made the purchase that, even though it was on sale, I could bring it back if it didn’t fit. He then said “I’ll take it back as a courtesy this time.”  His tone certainly wasn’t courteous, though, and it made me so mad because he made me feel like I was doing something wrong.

Immediately after this interaction, I sent an email to the retailer’s Customer Service.  This particular company is very good about replying to all emails regardless of whether the comments are positive or negative, so I knew I would get a fast response.

As expected, within a couple of hours (and this was a Saturday), I received a reply from their Customer Service. They had been able to verify my version of the incident based on my transaction records, and I was right to think that I should be able to return the item. They indicated that the Regional Manager had been informed of the issue and had contacted the store manager at that location who would address the issue with the sales associate. They acknowledged that I was right.  More importantly, by engaging directly with me in real-time the retailer made me feel valued and appreciated, ensuring that I will return to the store in the future.

However, the retailer not only closed the loop with me, but also with its stakeholders. How do I know? The next time I was in the store, I noticed that the grumpy sales associate who “helped” me was no longer behind the register. He was out straightening the store. Behind the registers were happy, pleasant, and cheerful associates. With the insights gleaned from my feedback, the retailer was able to make changes to their processes ensuring an excellent customer experience going forward, not only for me but for all their customers.

Wise companies listen to customer feedback to engage with consumers so they can develop a more intimate relationship in return for loyalty. They also use the insights gleaned from the feedback to drive process improvements that support the excellent customer experience expected by today’s empowered customers.  Join us on March 20 to hear Jeremy Cox from Ovum Research, as he discusses how closing the loop is a critical component of any VOC program.