A lot of companies have implemented the Voice of customer (VOC) solution. This means they are gathering customers´ feedback, direct, indirect or inferred and performing analysis of „weak points“ , in order to improve their service (among other things).

But if you take a look at the fact that 80% of all companies consider their customer service as very good, while only 8% of their customers think the same (helpscout data), it seems we have a problem.

In my experience, the problem is that companies are NOT CLOSING THE LOOP.

What does it mean?

They actually have VOC programs in place, but they are not letting them perform their purpose- fix the problem of a customer. Knowing that something is not working properly means nothing, if not fixed.

Closing the Loop is exactly this- FIXING the problem. You can do it 2-ways: as a Tactical Closed Loop and as a Strategic Closed Loop.

The Tactical CL is fixing the concrete issue for the concrete customer. So, you get customer´s feedback, analyse the data, fix the problem and call the customer to communicate what you´ve done (otherwise, how will the customer know if and what has been done?!) This Tactical CL functions more or less within companies as part of their VOC procedures. Why less? Because, for sure, they are not functioning all the time- there are tough times where companies do not have resources to fix such issues. But, BE AWARE- if you are gathering customers ´data and not fixing their issues, customers just get aggravated. For the next survey you put on the table, you will hear…why are you asking me what is the problem, if you don´t fix it afterwards?

The Strategic CL is the challenging part and not so often done by companies. Why? Because it means fixing the process that is not working properly. And this is where it gets tough- in order to fix a process, you need to get the entire company on-board- you need to change procedures, marketing, IT, maybe sales or communication. But the entire company does not always resonate with customer´s needs. You can often hear…this is not our problem, this is billing…the pricing model is wrong…or… marketing created a lousy product.

So, in order to really close the loop, you first need to get rid of silos and implement ownership for Customer experience across the company.

Once that is done, CHANGE the lousy process, change the tariff that nobody buys or change the way you communicate.

To get back to the beginning, don’t ask the customer what are his issues if you don´t MEAN IT! And if you don´t mean it, implementing VOC is a waste of time and money.