Several years ago while helping a client conduct a customer feedback study, we suggested “closing the loop” with customers by sending them a communication to summarize the initiative and its results. Our client was surprised by this recommendation. And the comments we heard back from customers was interesting. Comments like: “I’ve filled out many customer surveys before but never heard another word.” and “Thanks for being open and telling me what you found.” Too often customer feedback initiatives are just a check-mark on an organization’s to-do list. Don’t be THAT organization. Follow-through with a complete feedback loop and truly make your organization stand out to customers. Learn how to “finish strong”.
In addition to collecting valuable information to help improve how you interact with customers and position your brand, a customer feedback effort can truly help set your organization apart. These few steps are critical to that success…and are often overlooked.
Communicate Results to Customers
I would say the vast majority of organizations fail to communicate the research’s findings back to customers. After conducting many such projects, I have come to believe that this is one of the most important and impactful steps that you can take. And it doesn’t have to be overly complicated. The communication should be made up of several parts: thank you for participating, here’s what we found, here are some of the changes you can expect, and remind them or let them know that you will be conducting this feedback on a regular basis.
Follow-up As Needed
Some surveys (not all) invite survey respondents to let us know if they want someone to follow-up with them about their responses. And if someone asks for that discussion, you have to follow through and have the conversation. Don’t let that fall through the cracks. Don’t wait too long. And whoever is assigned to discuss the survey respondent’s answers should review the survey before they have the discussion.
I know. You may think this is stating the obvious. But I’m stating it anyway. You’ve set an expectation in the minds of your customers. You MUST follow through and do what you committed to. You might be surprised how often these changes are not followed through. They get lost in the many other activities you have going on. It gets forgotten about. Obviously improving the experience of your customers is fundamental to this entire exercise. And now that you’ve been open and transparent with your customers about changes they will see, it’s incumbent upon you to get it done.
Check In Again
A follow-up survey is an opportunity to remind them that you asked their opinion. You listened. You made changes to your operations. And that this was NOT a one-time thing, but an ongoing process. The timing for conducting the research again depends on YOUR organization and the changes you will be making. But, be sure to get your next customer feedback on the calendar…now. Make it a high priority.
It’s natural to get close to the end of a research project and feel like you’re done. You’ve reached out to customers and conducted the research. You’ve plowed through the results to understand what they were trying to tell you. You brainstormed what these findings mean to your organization and any changes you plan to make to improve the customer experience. And all that is great. But that final few action steps will make a great deal of difference to your customers. It will demonstrate to them that you took the time to listen to them – and respect them enough to close the loop by communicating the findings to them and then taking action on what they told you. It’s a very powerful close. Your customers will truly appreciate it when you “finish strong”!
Together we can make sure your organization has a solid path to the future.
Please feel free to reach out and get in touch and let’s explore how I can help you and your business succeed. No pressure. Just an informal discussion to explore some ideas. You can contact me on our Contact Us page, call me at (713) 907-8429, or email me at BCohen@IDiscoverConsulting.com. I hope you are enjoying these blog posts. If so, please help spread the word. Tell others about IDiscover Consulting Group and my blog. Share these posts. Comment on them. I’d really love to hear your ideas!