Product Team’s Guide to Closed-loop Feedback

Picture this: customers who feel truly heard are not just passive participants but enthusiastic advocates for your brand. They engage more, they stay longer, and they actively promote your products (this is especially true for customers on mobile!). Closed-loop feedback is the key to building this level of loyalty and trust—but why do so many product teams struggle with closing the loop?   

What is Closed-loop Feedback? 

Product School defines closing the feedback loop as using feedback to enhance your product and informing users about next steps. 

We define closed-loop feedback as capturing, analyzing, acting on, and following up on customer feedback. Demonstrating to your customers that you value their voices is most effectively achieved by closing the feedback loop, fostering deeper relationships. This, in turn, enhances retention, advocacy, adoption, and growth.  

Why do brands struggle with closing the loop? 

Proving to your customers that their voice drove impactful product improvements is a powerful way to build loyalty and reduce churn. But many companies struggle with closed-loop feedback and are unable to follow up on their customer’s specific feedback in a personalized way. Of the 95% of companies who collect customer feedback, only 10% use the feedback to improve, and only 5% tell customers how they responded to the feedback provided. 

 Why is closed-loop feedback a struggle for so many brands?  

  1. Lack of Feedback & Action: Feedback must first be collected, disseminated, and acted upon. Alchemer research indicates that a majority of companies fail to reliably act on feedback they collect. 
  1. Lack of Resources: Traditional approaches to closing the loop require a commitment in time and people, which tend to scale poorly. 
  1. Lacking the Right Tools and Technology: Most tools are geared toward feedback collection at scale—with little or no ability to segment or respond similarly at scale. 
why-brands-struggle-with-closed-loop-feedback-diagram

The four-step closed-loop feedback process 

Capture Feedback  

The first step to fostering a continuous feedback loop is to start collecting feedback. While this might sound like a no-brainer, many assume customers will offer feedback without prompting them. In fact, most brands hear from less than one percent of their customers. We’ve found that proactively gathering feedback is the key to collecting useful feedback from the largest sample size possible. 

Data also shows that customers expect interaction, and these interactions heavily influence retention rates. Our research shows that 51 percent of consumers expect companies to ask them for feedback directly, which may explain why the volume of feedback is low for companies who don’t bother asking. 

Surveys, in-app reviews, and two-way messaging channels are all great ways to collect customer feedback. Hint: we can help you with these feedback channels and more! 

do-you-love-our-company-collecting-customer-feedback-example

Analyze and Share Insights  

This step might also seem obvious, but far too many businesses collect customer feedback and then let it sit. To leverage feedback effectively, analyze it critically to understand what customers truly desire for your business to progress. Every business analyzes feedback differently based on the questions asked and the collection methods used. But regardless of the what and the where, the feedback you collect is only as good as what you do with it.  

Take Action  

Brands don’t always take action on the feedback their customers provide. A lack of communication and implementation of customer feedback can affect brand loyalty and a customer’s willingness to provide feedback in the future.  

But what does action look like for product teams? Let customer feedback guide the direction of your product roadmap!  

By leveraging feedback, product teams gain access to pre-validated ideas for enhancing or resolving customer experiences. These invaluable insights should shape your product roadmap, serving as a unifying focal point for your development team: the voice of the customer. 

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Close the Feedback Loop  

Once a customer provides feedback, inform them that you’ve heard it and have taken action.  This demonstrates to them that we value their voice and that we do not disregard their feedback. Regardless of whether the feedback is positive or negative, recognize it for what it is—a gift.  

With Alchemer Digital, Prompts are the core way we help our customers close the loop with their digital customers. Alchemer Prompts assist you in various ways. Prompts notify your customers about new features and provide updates regarding your products. Additionally, it prompts customers to participate in surveys and promote both in-person and virtual events. Most importantly, they help in closing the loop with customers. 

Below you can see a few examples of what closing the loop with Prompts looks like: 

closing-the-loop-with-prompts-examples

The importance of interaction response targeting 

The key ingredient to these examples is interaction response targeting. With Alchemer Digital, you can use every response to a survey or prompt as targeting criteria for future interactions. Quickly identify subsegments you want to reach. These may include those who have requested specific features, are most engaged, or are most at risk of churn. Follow up with a tailored Survey or Prompt in response.  

Why closed-loop feedback matters for Product Teams  

For product teams, implementing a personalized, yet scalable, approach to closing the feedback loop is crucial. Closing the loop also proves to improve customer retention. Our research saw companies that closed the loop increase retention rates by 10%.   

By actively communicating with customers to acknowledge their feedback and demonstrate how it directly influences product improvements, you continue or restore a strong sense of shared ownership and loyalty towards your brand. 

The process of closing the loop is continuous for product teams, providing ongoing opportunities for engagement with customers. Research shows that each successful closure reinforces the next interaction, making customers more inclined to participate in future surveys when their feedback has been addressed.

CONCLUSION 

Let me guess, you’re probably realizing just how crucial closed-loop feedback is for your own product team? If you’re eager to get going, then integrating Alchemer Digital into your mobile-app or website is the place to start.  Request a product demo today

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