Have you closed your feedback loop?

Have you closed your feedback loop?

What do you do with customer feedback? If it’s anything at all, you’re in the minority. Most organizations don’t use feedback from their customers to improve. It’s one of agents’ biggest dissatisfiers. Because they’re the ones who pass on customer complaints (which, if you think about it, are free recommendations for improvement) and compliments. If management disregard these, they’re really ignoring their own employees. And that creates a negative vicious cycle that’s difficult to break free from. Neither employees nor customers are happy.

So here’s a fair — and highly relevant — question: Have you closed the feedback loop?

Want to promote employee happiness? Improve the customer experience!

Today, talent is scarce — and, therefore, in demand. Now more than ever, it’s crucial to attract and retain skilled employees. That means you should actively work on improving employee happiness. First and foremost, you need to listen to them. But that’s not just a passive act. Those who truly listen take action after hearing employees out.

Why is this important? Put yourself in an agent’s shoes for a second. Suppose a customer files a complaint with you. Being a motivated, proactive employee, you pass it on to management. Then, another customer reports a similar complaint. And then another one; and another one; and so on. You keep informing management, but nothing changes.

How would you feel? Like a lone voice in the wilderness, right? You want the company to do something with feedback.

There are different ways to use feedback for optimization purposes. What’s important, though, is to involve employees in the process. Integrating feedback into your Visual Management strategy is a significant step in the right direction. You can, for example, visualize the feedback customers have provided, including the complaints you’ve handled in a qualitative and quantitative way. This will also enable employees to provide customers with concrete information regarding a recurring complaint — which brings us to another essential element to employee happiness: employee empowerment.

The real meaning of empowerment: stay out of the ivory tower

In this day and age, employees want to make independent decisions on the work floor. To facilitate that, you should provide them with actionable, real-time information and the right tools (which requires a well thought-out information sharing strategy).

But decision-making doesn’t end there. Management should also allow employees to co-decide on improvements to be made. In other words, they need to stay out of their ivory tower and join forces with people who are in direct contact with customers every day. These employees can often pinpoint why the company keeps getting the same complaint and contribute ideas for solutions based on practical experience.

It’s a win-win situation: improvements will be more effective and employees will feel more empowered, which makes them — and customers — happier!

Want to explore your Visual Management opportunities? Please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be happy to perform a Quick Scan and discuss your information sharing strategy.

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