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7 Steps for Implementing a Closed-Loop System

With so much riding on each interaction with your brand, you can’t afford to leave a negative customer experience unresolved. Research shows that it takes about 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience. In fact, a study by Lee Resources reveals that 91% of unhappy customers won’t return to your brand at all.

In our recent white paper, “Closing the Loop: Saving Relationships by Effectively Resolving Customer Issues,” I laid out seven steps to implementing a successful closed-loop system.

Getting Started with a Closed-Loop System

1. Get Executive Buy-In

Customer experience is an investment, and for your program to have a positive impact—and succeed—you need buy-in from your executive team. For best results, we’ve found that closed-loop pilot programs focused on a few locations usually are the easiest for executives to get behind. With fewer locations, it’s easier to prove the efficacy of the program without straining your brand’s resources too much.

2. Prioritize Initiatives

Implementing a closed-loop system is a marathon, not a sprint. No matter the size of your company, setting up your program will take time. As your program matures, look for the easy wins to gain credibility and prove success within your organization. Once you’ve found your stride, gradually move on to more complicated issues.

3. Harness Existing Business Knowledge

Identify employees with an understanding of your organization’s operations, and empower them to resolve customer issues as they occur. Your employees know your business and are in a unique position to help your customers and quickly close the loop on customer issues.

4. Commit to Faster Resolution

As technology advances and the customer experience evolves, consumers expect more and more from your brand. Expectations have risen to the point that that 42% of consumers said that if they contact your brand for support, they expect a response within 60 minutes. Resolve customer issues in a timely fashion, and your customers will reward you with repeat business and brand advocacy throughout the years.

5. Increase Organizational Agility

Don’t get too comfortable with the way things have always been done in regard to your CX program. Treat every customer issue as you would if you were a small business, and resolve it as quickly—and personably—as possible. Customers want to feel special, and the quicker you’re able to adapt to individual customer issues, the more you’ll be able to reduce customer churn and ensure organizational success.

6. Make Individual Contact

Your customers don’t care about the size of your business; they care about how your brand treats them on a personal level. Study your brand’s customer journey, gather feedback and establish net promoter score, and identify ways to increase the amount of personal contact during the process of resolving a customer issue. A simple note or phone call can have a profound impact on the success of your program.

7. Empower Your Employees

As mentioned earlier, your employees understand the way your organization operates better than anyone else. This knowledge puts them in a unique position to understand customer issues and know the right solution for resolving the problem. Have faith in your employees and give them the autonomy they need to address customer issues on a case-by-case basis and resolve them as efficiently and personably as possible.

closing the loop on customer issues

The Value of Closing the Loop

Closed-loop systems are one of the most effective ways to not only reduce customer churn, but prove the financial impact of your brand’s customer experience program. One client of ours implemented a closed-loop system that helped them identify nearly $23 million in potential revenue.

Other studies have found that closed-loop programs help retain customers, which can increase company value (up to 30%) and increase profits (up to 125%).

About Author

Erich Dietz Senior Vice President, Global Business Development

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