The next support workflow you build should be closing the loop

Closing the loop with your customers who give you feedback, both positive and negative, should be considered an essential process by your support or success teams. Here's why.

Ellie Peterson, Customer Concierge at Delighted
2 July 20217 Min Read

Closing the loop with your customers who give you feedback, both positive and negative, should be considered an essential process by your support or success teams. Here's why.

Customer feedback is one of the most valuable resources you have as a company. Feedback provides insight into what you’re doing well and where you can improve. In fact, organizations that see long-term profitable growth have Net Promoter Scores that are double those of the average organization.

Even if you share feedback extensively throughout your organization, your customers need to know that you hear and appreciate their feedback. If you don’t let your customers know that you’re listening, they’ll stop speaking. And since 95% of dissatisfied customers tell others about their experience, you can bet that if they’re not giving you feedback, they’re letting others hear it.

Because of this, closing the loop with your customers who give you feedback, both positive and negative, should be considered an essential process by your support or success teams. What’s more, if you automate this process, managing your customer feedback doesn't need to become a full-time job for a team member and can easily scale as your customer base grows.

Confession: I used to follow up with our survey respondents manually

When I first joined the Delighted team, I was super excited to be given the responsibility of following up with customers who left us feedback in our NPS survey. After all, we’re a feedback company! I quickly realized that, while reaching out to these customers was always a highlight of the day, it was beyond time-consuming. With hundreds of NPS responses flowing in each month, I was spending multiple hours a week crafting “Thank you for sharing!” and “How can we improve?” emails, or checking for additional context related to their feedback.

I eventually found myself making a decision every time a survey response would come in: Is this feedback “worth” responding to? Instead of following up with everyone, I found myself only crafting replies to those customers who had acute issues that we had the bandwidth to address. This included submitting feature requests on their behalf or sending them resources to clarify confusion about the product.

This is a common theme I see when helping our customers start customer experience programs—capturing the feedback in the first place is seen as most important. Following up with the respondents and getting more details about their feedback, or simply thanking them for sharing, is treated as a lower priority and ends up getting pushed aside for other responsibilities. On small, scrappy teams, this often means that a respondent who spent precious time submitting thoughtful feedback will never know how impactful their comments were.

Closing the loop isn’t an extra step, it’s an essential step

Closing the loop with customers who give you feedback should be considered an essential step in the feedback process. Why is it worth the effort?

  • It gives you a chance to ask for more details from customers who don’t leave verbatim feedback and builds trust by showing that you really care about what they have to say.

  • It allows you to get more details or clarify functionality with customers who do leave feedback. This conversation can act as a direct line of support to prevent future issues, as well.

  • It’s a great opportunity to connect with promoters and share details about upcoming features, events, or offers available to them (like referral programs). Reaching out to satisfied customers also builds brand loyalty by deepening the relationship they have with your team.

  • It leads to higher response rates over time, because customers feel like their words are really making a difference! This feedback can then be used to catch feature issues early, identify where you’re excelling, help you build a customer-led product roadmap, and generally contribute to a customer-first culture throughout your organization.

Automating the close the loop workflow shouldn’t be intimidating

When first starting to close the loop with customers, it can seem simple to just send out an email as responses come in. Why spend the time automating the process when it doesn't take too long to just reply as feedback is submitted? In reality, these manual tasks can quickly add up, and automating them is easier than you may realize. What’s more, automating the close the loop workflow frees up valuable time for your support team to focus on creative or skilled tasks, keeps processes from breaking down just because someone is out of the office, and prevents valuable feedback from getting lost in your inbox.

At the most basic level, make sure you have templates that guide how you and the team will respond to different types of feedback:

  • A response that asks for more details from anyone who doesn’t leave a comment

  • A response that thanks those who leave a positive comment

  • A response that apologizes for a negative experience and leaves space to address the specific feedback that was left by detractors

But that’s just the basics. Harnessing platforms that are designed for automation can take your processes to the next level. By combining Front with Delighted, the fastest and easiest way to gather customer feedback, you can capture feedback and create an automated workflow to follow up with all of your respondents, no technical knowledge required.

Using Front & Delighted to automate closing the loop

Delighted and Front work together well to enable your team to automate closing the loop after customers leave feedback. Follow the steps below to create your close the loop workflow in just a few minutes.

  1. Set up an account with Delighted and customize your survey. The trial is completely free!

  2. Set up Delighted’s Front integration to automatically create a message in Front when a response is received.

  3. Set up rules in Front for each response type:

    1. If no comment was left, auto-reply and ask for more details.

    2. If a comment was left by a promoter (identified by the “Delighted Promoter” tag added to the thread), auto-reply and say thank you. You can also use this as a chance to promote upcoming features or events!

    3. If a comment was left by a passive or detractor (identified by the tag—”Delighted Passive” or “Delighted Detractor”—added to the thread), assign these threads to a senior rep who is responsible for following up. Make sure they have a template ready that can be adjusted based on the feedback so that the reply isn’t written from scratch each time.

  4. Send surveys out to your customers. Not sure of the best time to send? Check out When to send your NPS survey.

Level up further: Organize comments to share in a “Customer Feedback” Inbox

The Front team uses a team inbox for all our customer NPS surveys from Delighted, emails to feedback@frontapp.com, and responses on their app from review sites, like Google Play. Anytime someone submits a survey, sends an email, or leaves us a review, we can see it all in one place. Every teammate at Front has access to this inbox, so anyone can see the messages and read what customers have to say.

This dedicated inbox for customer feedback is great because it allows the entire company to view feedback automatically—they simply grant access to the inbox to the whole team. As new customer feedback comes in, everyone can see it. And if a new teammate joins and wants to get a sense of what customers have to say about the product, all they have to do is give them access to the shared inbox in Front, and they can browse through and read the historical messages, too.

Everyone should have access to customer feedback

Allowing everyone in your company to see and learn from customer feedback is the first step to being a truly customer-centric company. And closing the loop with your customers can be something you do for every piece of feedback you receive—and it can pay off in your NPS scores in the long run.

Next up: Read how to use Front to deliver better customer support

Written by Ellie Peterson
Originally Published: 5 July 2021
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