Closed Loop is the road to high customer loyalty
CX expert and CEO in Cuori, Kent Bredahl, has always had the mission to generate growth through increased customer retention. When you act based on NPS, he says, there is especially one activity which makes a difference.
“My absolute best advice to create actions based on NPS is to start with Closed Loop. This method consists of systematically follow-up on the customers’ answers, and preferably done by phone, as this enables actual dialogue and further questions. Closed Loop is a decisive element for succeeding with getting value from a NPS project. My experience is that Closed Loop is the most efficient and value creating initiative when working with NPS and customer loyalty.
The reason is that it brings the employees and managers closer to the customers. To speak directly with the customers and hear their experience be described through the customers own words, gives a unique understanding, and is stored in both the consciousness and the subconscious. And it automatically starts many thoughts from the person listening, in regards how they can make things better.
Closed Loop is both underestimated and neglected, but for the organization who manages to apply it fully, there are great business opportunities to reap” says Kent concluding.
Ally yourself with relevant departments
The best is to find colleagues from different, relevant areas or departments who can participate in Closed Loop, so it is properly anchored in the company. Customer loyalty does not only live one place within the organization but is created in collaboration between all the organizations’ different departments. Start with creating a list with NPS responses from the last week, where the employees themselves can choose who they wish to contact. Develop a simple interview guide, that the colleagues can use as guidance for a good customer interview.
During a customer interview it is important to remain neutral and curious to what the customer has to say, as it enables you to obtain the customer’s unreserved input. Perhaps it sounds like something even a fool can see, but way too many people do not really listen, but merely wait for their turn to talk, and in such a setting miss valuable information.
The purpose of customer interviews as a follow-up on the NPS, is exclusively to better understand the customer’s experience, so that the sum of inputs can be used to improve or create better experiences. And just as important, to avoid creating bad experiences.
It is bad form to use these types of customer interviews, to sell or bring up dozens of excuses and explanations to the customer. If it is relevant, then you can give the customer a good explanation of what went wrong. When a person receives a proper explanation of wrongdoing, the nerve system will calm itself, because they then can better reconcile with the bad experience. And at least it showed there was a good explanation!” Kent concludes.
Structure is the keyword
In addition, Kent continues: “Make sure you create a structure for Closed Loop, where the notes that your colleagues write down during a customer interview can be stored and connected with the customers original NPS response. That way it becomes available for others in the organization and can be used to assess the customers’ general experiences.
Be prepared that it can be difficult to implement Closed Loop in practice, in an already busy organization. Your colleagues already have a full-time job where the work week is filled up, and now there is another activity you are trying to push in. In relation to this, it is an advantage if you can give them motivation to participate in the Closed Loop and create a mindset that the closed loop is an absolute necessity. You can for example use Kotters 8-step process (in Danish) for change management when preparing Closed Loop.”
Kent elaborates: “Closed Loop can seem like a huge undertaking, but I promise you that it will be worth the effort. Once your colleagues have talked to a handful customers, and gotten used to the customer contact, then the enthusiasm for the great customer experience will spread, and it will be clear what actions you need to take, to make a positive difference for the customers.”