Closing the loop with surveys. Should we bother? ?

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Anita Toth
Anita Toth Member Posts: 246 Expert
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@Ankesh Agarwal got me thinking about closing the loop from surveys where there isn't an obvious fire to be put out.

I've filled out so many surveys where I've never heard anything back. These were typically the 'help us discover how we can serve you better' surveys. I have no idea if action was taken on my suggestions or if my answers made any difference at all. ?

As a result, my desire to 'help discover' is nearly zero unless I feel the company values me and my opinion.

I'm sure I'm not the only person to feel this way.

I'm wondering if there's some way to close the loop with survey respondents so they feel their input is valued.

Does it makes sense to close the loop with NPS where they're a promoter?

What about if their CSAT or CES score is good?

What if they respond and they write that they're happy or satisfied? 

Am I totally off my rocker here with even thinking this is valuable or desirable? ?   (Yes, feel free to answer this last question too. ?)

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  • BenB
    BenB Member Posts: 76 Expert
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    edited August 2020
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    @Anita Toth - you're off your rocker.  ;)

    If possible I'd say find a way to close loop. We have quick thank you emails sent out by the CSM.  However... we all have a million things we're trying to do at once so its hard to put that at the top of the list.   

    Are the survey results (or fact a survey was completed) sharable with the CSM team.   The CSM could simply send a thank you - or on their next call "wow thanks so much for completing the survey, this feedback is critical part of our yearly planning etc..."    The real benefit of the follow up (for you) is training them to fill out more survey's not less.  Probably worth the effort. 

    ------------------------------
    Ben Bunting
    Director of Retention
    ------------------------------
    -------------------------------------------
    Original Message:
    Sent: 08-12-2020 10:26
    From: Anita Toth
    Subject: Closing the loop with surveys. Should we bother? ?

    @Ankesh Agarwal got me thinking about closing the loop from surveys where there isn't an obvious fire to be put out.

    I've filled out so many surveys where I've never heard anything back. These were typically the 'help us discover how we can serve you better' surveys. I have no idea if action was taken on my suggestions or if my answers made any difference at all. ?

    As a result, my desire to 'help discover' is nearly zero unless I feel the company values me and my opinion.

    I'm sure I'm not the only person to feel this way.

    I'm wondering if there's some way to close the loop with survey respondents so they feel their input is valued.

    Does it makes sense to close the loop with NPS where they're a promoter?

    What about if their CSAT or CES score is good?

    What if they respond and they write that they're happy or satisfied? 

    Am I totally off my rocker here with even thinking this is valuable or desirable? ?   (Yes, feel free to answer this last question too. ?)



    ------------------------------
    Anita Toth
    Customer Retention/Churn Consultant
    ------------------------------
  • Anita Toth
    Anita Toth Member Posts: 246 Expert
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    edited August 2020
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    @Ben Bunting  I had to pick myself up off the floor to read your response. ?

    I've been thinking about this a lot and am wondering if there's a way to do this at scale while still keeping it personal. 

    I'm thinking something where they can compare themselves to what other customers are doing. Something like this:

    "Did you know that 20% of customers are also XXXX?" (XXXX being something related to the survey and relates to the respondent.)

    or

    "Here are some of the top responses we got around XXX survey. We're listening to what you're saying"  And then list 4 or 5 comments customers might be interested in reading.

    I think this approach can work for both high touch and low touch customers. It gives interesting feedback that might overcome that impulse to not respond or only respond with 1 or 2 sentence answers.

    What do you think?

    P.S. I don't believe you finished the last sentence of your post or did you? ?

  • BenB
    BenB Member Posts: 76 Expert
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    edited August 2020
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    I love that idea ! and will share it with our team :)  We are really doubling down on surveys  and part of that mission is driving the bevavior for clients to actually complete them. I really think you're on to something!
  • Anita Toth
    Anita Toth Member Posts: 246 Expert
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    edited August 2020
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    Awesome @Ben Bunting! I have some preliminary data that specific outreach sequencers around 'closing the loop' can increase survey responses. Do you mind if I connect with you about it?
  • Guy Galon
    Guy Galon Member Posts: 26 Expert
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    edited August 2020
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    In previous role, we used to send an email with a short summary and stats for customers who participated in the CSAT.
  • Matt Berg
    Matt Berg Member Posts: 3 Navigator
    edited August 2020
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    My teams are all in on closing the loop.  It is our highest priority task and we have a goal to respond over the phone within 24 hours.  When a customer takes time to engage you have to capture that moment.  You'll be amazed at how much you can learn in the moment and more importantly your customers will be surprised that someone actually called.  

    We close the loop on all surveys and we've seen survey responses increases, along with mitigating more churn.  Most customers do not expect any action or reaction when they submit a survey and that is why historically low numbers of customers ever fill them out.  Once you shift your mindset and make the feedback loop the most important thing, you instantly change the perception of how that customer feels about your product.  

    IMO you're on the right track even thinking about it.
  • Anita Toth
    Anita Toth Member Posts: 246 Expert
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    edited August 2020
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    Guy-- That's fantastic! What was the reaction of the customers when they received those emails given how rare it is to get that kind of feedback after filling out a survey?
  • Anita Toth
    Anita Toth Member Posts: 246 Expert
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    edited August 2020
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    Awesome @Matt Berg!  I truly believe this is an area of opportunity to 'wow' customers and really set apart from the competition. The bar is set so low -- all that needs to be done is to just respond back! ?  
  • Guy Galon
    Guy Galon Member Posts: 26 Expert
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    edited August 2020
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    We rarely received a a 2nd feedback. what we did is to follow up during the following QBR and solicit additional feedback about the summary we sent.
  • Anita Toth
    Anita Toth Member Posts: 246 Expert
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    edited August 2020
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    @Guy Galon Got it. Thanks! ?
  • Markus Siebeneick
    Markus Siebeneick Member Posts: 33 Expert
    edited August 2020
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    Anita,

    Great question.  I am of the mindset that if a customer has bothered to engage with the company, it is a good to follow up on both positive and negative feedback.

    There are few ways that I have seen my team have success.
    1) Responding to anything below the absolute top of the range gives you a chance to learn why the gave the score and if there are areas for improvement
    2) For those top tier scores, this provides you a way to engage with them to see about turning them into a further advocate or coach
    3) If you tailor it properly, you can share additional details that may increase engagement or adoption as you suggested which is also win
  • Warwick Brown
    Warwick Brown Member Posts: 14 Contributor
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    edited August 2020
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    I'm not fond of CSAT/NPS because the focus is out of context with the response rate.  People jump up and down if scores fall but who cares if you're only getting a 2% response rate - hardly statistically valid enough to take action.

    I do believe in closing the loop at a respondent level but it's very time consuming - because it's almost always complaints. Middle of the road scores could be dealt with through automation and outliers - good or bad, should be intervened with by a human - but let a dedicated service team take care of it.  

    It's not something I want CSM's or account managers doing because it's a massive time suck and not scalable for them.  If they focus on getting the client to promote CSAT and encourage more respondents then it just means more and more frequently they have to manage the loop and distracts them from more strategic conversations with the client about optimisation, usage and growth. 

    CSMs should lead the conversation with the client about what trends the survey results reveal and how to act on them, not manage individual responses.

  • David Ellin
    David Ellin Member Posts: 170 Expert
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    edited August 2020
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    @Anita Toth, ABSOLUTELY bother. No question about it. @Ben Bunting is right on!

    If you do surveys and don't close the loop several things will happen:
    1) You'll be just like every other company who shows their customers they really don't give a damn what the customer says
    2) You'll never drive excellence or continuous improvement
    3) Your customers will stop responding to future surveys (less engagement will turn in to.....wait for it....)
    4) Your churn will eventually increase

    As Ben and others pointed out, there are ways to do this at scale. But, for your largest (or most valuable) customers, a personal touch is critical. I made it mandatory for my CS teams to include survey results in QBRs/EBRs: "Here's what you told us...here are the actions we've taken from your feedback....are you seeing change?" What a great way to 1) close the loop, 2) reinforce feedback, 3) show you care and value their insights, 4) build more meaningful engagement.

    For sure, there are companies out there that say they care about customer feedback but really don't. They should stop wasting their time with surveys and just put the money into new logo sales because they'll need to replace all the customers they're going to lose by not caring!
  • Natalie Williams
    Natalie Williams Member Posts: 14 Contributor
    edited August 2020
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    Hi Anita,

    Yes, yes and yes! Agree with all of the responses here. 

    Recommendations to increase higher responses are:
    1. Make feedback easy to submit: No links. Try to embed surveys into email signature, body of your email or marketing campaigns instead. Links reduce response rates in half! More people are likely to complete (not just the angry ones) and it will give you a more holistic understanding of the feedback. 
    2. Keep it short: people hate long surveys. The longer the survey, the less responses.
    3. Make it always available to them to complete. Not just a one time thing.

    NPS is always a great temperature check but it wouldn't be my leading survey question.

    With any feedback, we always make a point to respond timely, and follow up sharing the importance of their feedback (thanking them). We try to do some sort of follow up as well once we take the feedback into account and act on it. We like to share what process improvement or bug fix we've done to make it right.

    SurveyStance is a great customer (and employee feedback) solution that we've seen yield higher completion rates and has been really easy for us to close the loop with customers.

    You are totally on the right track! Happy to talk through our experiences if it would be helpful!
    Natalie
  • Anita Toth
    Anita Toth Member Posts: 246 Expert
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    edited August 2020
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    @Markus S  I agree that they should be acknowledged for giving the one thing they can never get back -- their time.  I think it's such an easy win that I'm surprised more companies don't do it.

    I find closing the loop a great way to increase engagement and also (hopefully!) move them from a passive stance to a more active one. 

    Glad to hear your team is already engaging customers in this way. ?

  • Anita Toth
    Anita Toth Member Posts: 246 Expert
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    edited August 2020
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    @Warwick Brown  Interesting response! I fully agree that CSMs shouldn't be reaching out to every respondent.

    In fact, a lot of closing the loop can be automated. 

    One of my colleagues uses something like "Did you know that 20% of respondents to this survey are [insert some interesting-to-the-customer fact here]?"  or he'll include the top 3 unique responses he's received to a question.

    He has a bank of these and they send automatically.

    I don't think individual responses are necessary unless they situation warrants it otherwise CSMs would never get any other work done. ?



  • Anita Toth
    Anita Toth Member Posts: 246 Expert
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    edited August 2020
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    ? @David Ellin  Woohoo! Love this response.

    I find closing the loop to be such an easy win. I really don't understand why more companies don't do it.

    It's even possible in low touch environments to automate a sequence so that the customer feels acknowledged. My colleague created an automated sequence that over an 18 month period increased response rates from <10% to >80%. It solely focused on closing the loop. 

    What happened was customers started to look forward to the fun facts and interesting data he'd put in his closing the loop emails. So the customers started filling out more surveys as a way to engage at a new level. 
     
    It almost is mind-boggling to think that customers looked forward to receiving their surveys just to see what he would include in his closing the loop emails. 

  • David Ellin
    David Ellin Member Posts: 170 Expert
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    edited August 2020
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    Yes...unfathomable, right? That's the difference between customer fanatical companies and companies that say they're customer-centric but only when it gets them something in the short-term.
  • Anita Toth
    Anita Toth Member Posts: 246 Expert
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    edited August 2020
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    ? @Natalie Williams  Yes!!  

    I love the idea of embedding the survey into the email. Quick and easy. You're so right that it increases response rates.

    You've got me thinking that it can also be possible to add a small closing of the loop to the thank you/landing page post-survey. Why not put some interesting facts there about action that's been taken directly from customer feedback? I'd be curious if that would have an impact. ?  

    Thoughts?

  • Anita Toth
    Anita Toth Member Posts: 246 Expert
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    edited August 2020
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    Which allows for an excellent opportunity for differentiation and setting the bar higher. I love when companies get lazy (or never tried in the first place). It makes creating a great CX so much easier.
  • Natalie Williams
    Natalie Williams Member Posts: 14 Contributor
    edited August 2020
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    Hi Anita,

    The landing pages do that! You can customize the negative responses to have a "Sorry to hear you had a bad experience" title versus "So glad to hear things went well" for positive responses. Attaching infographic to see how it works. It also can promote online reviews for positive reviews. 

    Yes on interesting facts/ specific improvements... we typically recommend sending an email campaign or if its a broader topic, include in newsletter some of the improvements made. Although I still like personalized emails to follow up. I think it really strengthens the relationship with the customer. 

    I realize it can be time consuming so putting some structure around a feedback strategy will help keep it organized and efficient. 

    Natalie
  • Anita Toth
    Anita Toth Member Posts: 246 Expert
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    edited August 2020
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    This is great @Natalie Williams. That looks like a great way to tailor the message based on their choice. Is there anyway to take this one step further? Having something tailored like this depending on what they write and choose in their response?
  • Natalie Williams
    Natalie Williams Member Posts: 14 Contributor
    edited August 2020
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    Hi @Anita Toth, Do you mean on the landing page? Right now, no but definitely something to consider! Love the suggestion! - Natalie