Close the loop on your feedback

You’ve likely heard about the concept and practice of “closing the loop” or a “closed-loop feedback” (CLF) cycle.  What is it, and how does it work?

There are actually a couple types of closed-loop feedback systems depending on whether you’re talking about internal or external feedback.  Internal refers to an employee feedback mechanism where as an external closed-loop feedback system is geared toward the Customer’s inputs and what you do with them.  They’re both important to a healthy Customer-centric organization, and they operate basically the same way, just with different sources of feedback.  I’ll concentrate on that external, or Customer-centric model here, but realize that there’s another application for this CLF system if you want to approach employee experience the same way.

The overall concept of a CLF cycle is that you (as I’ve often emphasized) do something with the feedback you receive.  Rather than just sitting on VoC information or just reporting it, CLFs empower us to actually improve our processes in a focused way thus improving Customers’ future experiences while also showing gratitude to those who offer us their thoughts.  At first glance (and if you just take the term literally from its own label), a closed-loop feedback system is one that simply follows up with the Customer on their input.  Now, that may take on many different forms depending on how you interpret the concept:  Follow-up may be simply replying—perhaps even with an auto-generated, boilerplate, impersonal email—that a Customer’s feedback has been “received.”  Sometimes the follow-up is in the form of self-preservation and reaching out to a Customer to save the experience.  Let’s be honest:  If you don’t find out about a disastrous Customer experience until you’ve received negative feedback is likely to be a lost cause, at least in that instance…that said, sometimes you can recover, and the best experience is sometimes a make-good for what started out as an awful experience.  But even these approaches to a CLF don’t really capture the benefit of such a system.

By | 2020-08-29T19:47:14+00:00 July 31st, 2020|Categories: CX Thoughts, Measures & Metrics, Process Engineering, VoC|0 Comments

More webinar! Another Reuters Events chat coming up next week!

By | 2020-07-31T16:17:15+00:00 July 31st, 2020|Categories: Reuters Events, Sightings|0 Comments

“Treat your employees right” is more than just ‘feel-good’ rhetoric

The world of CX is covered in platitudes and clichés. I don’t say that to denigrate it as a field of study and practice (quite the opposite), but rather just to acknowledge it so as to better combat empty words in favor of making actual impacts. Sometimes clichés are clichés because they’re right.

One of those sayings that make the rounds all the time is, “if you take care of your employees, they’ll take care of your Customers.” There are variations but in the end the gist is that not only is good employee engagement vital to good CX, some even seem to think it’s the key; perhaps even that that’s all it takes. Oversimplifying the concept, however, is a bad idea (isn’t it always?).

By | 2020-07-28T15:21:45+00:00 July 28th, 2020|Categories: CX Culture, CX Thoughts, Leadership|0 Comments

More on CX ROI: Save AND make money

I have written previously a couple times about return on investment for CX.  In fact, there are volumes of articles and books written about it.  It’s almost as though there’s a sense of having to prove ourselves as CX professionals constantly.  Now, in previous professional lives I’ve been part of PM teams and Process Improvement teams.  Having to justify our existence is something I’ve had lots of experience doing.  Sometimes CX feels the same way:  we can feel kind of peripheral to the operational or revenue-generating parts of our organizations.  And sometimes that catches us off-guard when someone asks us, “So, what are you bringing to the table?”

There’s not one easy answer to that, especially because every company is different.  And it’s also fair to say that if the leadership of your organization doesn’t see the intrinsic value of good Customer Experience, you’re fighting an uphill defensive battle in the first place.  That’s no excuse not to try to make the case, but it’s important to know where you’re starting and the built-in cultural challenges you’ll face.  Again, there’s no silver bullet, but the broad general strokes of the ROI for CX fall really into two categories, as far as I can see:

By | 2020-07-21T16:28:21+00:00 July 21st, 2020|Categories: CX Thoughts, ROI of CX|0 Comments

How are you segmenting?

I once helped a company which made several different products and offered many different services build out a Voice of the Customer (VoC) program.  Here were two mistakes they were making:

Their first mistake was that they defined their Customers by their own products and services.  One of the important concepts in your VoC program is differentiation between your segments.  The different types of Customers you sell to have different needs, different experiences, and different attitudes about what constitutes good CX.  But how you differentiate matters.

This organization had distinct and broad categories of products and services, which, the bigger you get is inevitable.  You may have so many segments that it’s unreasonable to differentiate too much (or at least to categorize and lump together certain like segments).  But, it’s important to segment your Customers because one size truly doesn’t fit all.  And we’ll get to what to do with the segments in a minute.

Here’s the problem they had:  (more…)

By | 2020-08-29T19:45:15+00:00 July 15th, 2020|Categories: Consulting, CX Strategy, CX Thoughts, VoC|0 Comments