Feedback loops are a great way to get insights and improve processes, products, services, the performance of employees, teamwork efficiency, ... It depends in which context you're using it. Some use case examples are software development, computer science, psychology, economics, marketing, customer experience (CX), user experience (UX) and biology.
When referring to using feedback loops in customer experience, customer feedback loops are perfect to identify friction in your service profit chain: people, processes, products & services.
A while back we hosted a great webinar featuring our board member and early believer Rik Vera about feedback loops. If you weren’t there, you can watch the recording here, but we gathered the 4 most important takeaways we didn’t want you to miss.
1. Don’t be a frozen dinosaur, be a rat
Rik made the beautiful analogy, that before COVID-19 we’re all dinosaurs minding our day-to-day business, until one-day, a huge meteorite (COVID-19 these days) hit the earth. An unexpected and global phenomenon no one knew how to react on. The world is a different place now and we need to adapt. We all went through the stages of grief (shock, denial, anger, bargaining, depression) to finally reach a point of acceptance that we now need to practice social distancing and that many of our day-to-day activities now look different. As people we didn’t change that much, but our environment changed a lot.
For business this presents unique challenges and we've seen many of them take the dinosaur approach: freeze the business, head in the sand and hope to survive. Defrosting again in a completely changed world will result in the destiny dinosaurs faced.
Don’t try to freeze your company, but try to create something new. According to Rik (we did not fact check him on this) a type of rat was one of the first mammal to come out of the dark. So don’t try to freeze yourself, try to be reborn. The only way to do this is to experiment, experiment, experiment!
2. There’s no better time than now to change
There’s no better time than right here, right now, in these crazy times to reinvent your company from the ground up. When business is going full swing, there’s often no time to think about this because the day-to-day operations are taking up so much time and energy. It’s like having to rebuild a plane, while it’s in the air.
But now, for a lot of companies, that plane is now safely the tarmac, so you don’t have anything to lose. And no worries, the building blocks are still the same. Customers are still around, and the fuel for the engine, data, can still be gathered. So ask yourself : “what would society miss if we would not be there?” or “do our customers miss us?”. You can brainstorm all you want about this, but the way to measure this, is to simply ask your customers. This brings us seamlessly to point number 3.
3. Build your Net Curiosity Score
And this is what is all comes down to. As a company, if you want to reinvent yourself or experiment with new processes, involve your customers and ask for their feedback. But be mindful here, many companies will fall into the trap of making surveys with scales and tick boxes, and that’s not being curious, that’s trying to validate your assumption.
When you create classic surveys you will automatically fall into a self-fulfilling prophecy because you want to see an answer to the questions you have in your head. Real, pure curiosity starts with open questions. It starts by asking why your customers find something good or bad and having an open-minded attitude to whatever they bring up in their feedback.
4. In turbulent times, rely on short feedback loops
In this changed world, a lot of customer interfaces have vanished. A lot of feedback we're used to getting, and taking for granted is no longer there: body language, accidental conversations, the vibes at the office, ... . So be sure to install feedback processes in a super short loop:
- ask feedback after every interaction you have, especially the ones that are new to both you and the customer
- Make sure that feedback is read and analysed right away
- Be sure it is accessible or sent to the right teams right away
- Make sure to have some sort of follow-up with that customer
- Make sure you have near real-time insights from all that feedback across the journey so that you can adapt or optimised all those new processes and interactions
Our AI can give you an easy ‘Top 10 negative mentions’ breakdown so you know exactly where to start. Start by making small changes and continuously measure your improvements. You know you’re heading in the right direction when less people are mentioning your pain points and your score starts improving.