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What is closed-loop customer experience management?

6 min read
So you’ve launched your customer experience program and you’re collecting and analysing customer feedback – now it’s time to act on it. A great place to start is with closed-loop follow up.

What is closed-loop feedback?

Put simply, ‘closed-loop’ is when you are able to respond directly to customer feedback.

What’s the benefit of closing the loop?

While an unhappy customer might start to ring alarm bells, the most successful companies see it as an opportunity to resolve the complaint and keep the customer loyal.

In fact, 70% of consumers said they would be more likely to do business with an organisation again if their complaint was handled well the first time.

So closing the loop is an opportunity to demonstrate to your customer in a direct and personal way that their feedback is important and you care about the outcome.

It’s not just for negative feedback

Closed loop feedback isn’t just about preventing unhappy customers from becoming detractors – it’s equally useful in following up with neutral customers and turning them into promoters.

Some companies also use it to follow up with promoters, strengthening the positive power of happy customers by inviting them to share their opinions of products or services with a friend or join a customer advocacy program.

Micro and macro benefits

Closed loop feedback is powerful on an individual level, since it turns negative customer experiences into a chance to build loyalty and even advocacy. But what about on a business-wide scale?

Closing the loop with negative customer experiences can help you highlight problems that may be affecting much more than just one customer. Individuals’ negative feedback could help you unearth UX design problems, customer experience challenges and staff training opportunities that affect your whole business.

Once you fix the issues that one person’s complaint brings to life, you’ll have an outcome that benefits all of your customers and your bottom line too.

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How to build a closed-loop system

A closed-loop system requires two main components:

  • Ticketing – this is the alert system that raises a request in your system that you have an unhappy customer. You should be able to set up the thresholds such as a negative or neutral NPS score, so you control what types of comments are fed into your closed-loop system.
  • Case management system – this allows you to track the ticket all the way through to resolution and should allow you to assign tickets to the right team members and the monitor progress of each one. The best systems also allow you set and track targets – for example you may set a target of 85% of all complaints being resolved within 24 hours – so you always know how your customer service team is performing.

Best-in-class closed-loop programs also include real-time dashboards customised by role so the right people always have the information they need to resolve the problem.

Integrate your closed-loop process with your CX program

In order to run closed-loop effectively, it needs to be fully integrated with the rest of your CX program – either it’s run on the same software as your feedback and analysis or it easily transfers data back and forth between the two.

This allows you to set up automated alerts. So when a customer gives a negative score for something – say, for example they rated you ‘6’ on your NPS survey – a ticket is automatically created so the issue can be followed up.

It also allows you to delve deeper into a customer’s problem and perform root cause analysis and spot trends in your customer feedback.

For example, you might see that a particular demographic is consistently triggering a ticket. You can then dive into your data to find out why, helping to solve the problem and reduce the load on your customer service team.

Learn about our closed-loop customer feedback tool

7 best practices for closing the loop

Here are some best practices for closed-loop feedback management:

  1. Ensure those who are responsible for closing the loop are empowered to delight the customer.
  2. Establish rules to automatically prioritise high-value vs. low-value visitors and triage tickets appropriately.
  3. Use technology to improve experiences for low-value customers without adding the more resource-intensive ‘personal touch’.
  4. Macro fixes will have the biggest blast radius. Focus here first, then follow through on the micro-level.
  5. Use the data to drive change, not just monitor metrics.
  6. Get senior leaders involved.
  7. Spend the right time to identify root cause issues.

Going beyond your CX program

If your organisation is using a CRM system, it’s a good idea to link it to your case management system too. This can usually done through an API to pass data back and forth between platforms.

By integrating with your CRM, you have all the relevant information at hand. So when you’re resolving a complaint, customer service agents have all the background information on the customer. And when a member of your team next contacts that customer, they can access information about the previous complaint too.

Start closing the loop with Qualtrics

Follow up on feedback and turn detractors into promoters with automated ticketing, tracking and case management with Qualtrics Customer Experience software. Built on the same powerful collection and analysis platform, it allows you to address issues quickly to improve the experience for your customers. With integrations into Salesforce, Marketo, Tableau and many more, it gives you a single view of your customers to make case management simple and effective.

See how you can become a CX leader with Qualtrics