The Hard Truth about Closing the Loop
November 3, 2014 § Leave a comment
By Sabrina Bozek, Waypoint Group
Collecting customer feedback for B2B companies requires a much different methodology than that used by a traditional consumer-oriented company. For one, B2C survey respondents are kept anonymous to allow for candidness and “honesty”. However, for B2B surveys, this doesn’t really work because relationships are at the crux of recurring revenue. To foster a strong relationship, Customer Success Managers needs to follow up with respondents and dig deeper to solve potential issues or even just say, “Thanks.” Acting on customer feedback is arguably more important than deploying the survey, since expectations are set by sending the request for feedback, and not acting can actually do more harm than good.
But this is all much easier said than done, and that’s the hard truth that most B2B companies face with closing the loop. It takes a bit of extra effort for someone in the team to set time to make phone calls or hand-write (what?) a Thank You note. You’ve got to find the right shipping address to send a little Thank You item or card. And how about those work-from-home-folks who aren’t in the same office as everyone else — someone has to look up these details. And you may not have an intern all the time to handle these “small” tasks.
But the thing is, it’s worth the time investment. Eventually, it will pay off. And using what are now considered “old-school” methods, like picking up a phone or hand-writing a snail mail note, are the best ways to make a splash. Chances are your competitors aren’t doing it—or they are and the experience will be enough to convert their business.
For example, we at Waypoint Group always tell our clients about the need to actively recruit survey respondents so that 1) responses come from all the right people and provide an accurate summation of your business model, and 2) make closing the loop easier post-survey.
While difficult, we’ve had several clients do this well and see great benefits including this example below. Out of 800 Account Managers (AMs) who actively recruited contacts within their accounts to be sure that they had the correct email information, not only were new people identified as part of the account, but new opportunities were discovered for upsell and cross-sell. Relationships became stronger as a result and some customers were able to resolve an existing issue – something that certainly would cause delight and possibly convert a Detractor or Passive.
With a third of these AMs uncovering new leads, it’s results like these that make closing the loop worth it. Do you have a proper strategy for doing so? It’s not too late to make one.