NPS Closed Loop Keeps the Dialog Open

Closing the Loop

NPS Closed Loop
Keeps the Dialog Open

key takeaway

The NPS closed loop offers an important way to improve the customer relationship and encourage ongoing feedback. It should encompass all types of customer feedback, not just NPS responses.

Best Practice

The concept behind NPS programs is a simple one: Customers speak… the business listens… the business acts. It’s critical that customers understand that you are listening and taking action.

The first level of taking action on NPS feedback (or other survey responses) is “closing the loop,” which means getting back to customers in response to their feedback. Doing so gives you a chance to learn more, solve problems, prevent bad outcomes, and demonstrate your good faith.

We encourage you to think about your closed loop strategy in terms of opportunities:

  • To recover customers at risk of churning
  • To mitigate risk of negative word of mouth
  • To grow through identifying additional sales opportunities
  • To leverage and build relationships; to identify advocates for your brand
  • To compete through a consistent, robust process that distinguishes you from your competition
  • To evolve as an organization where closed loop learnings feed into improvements across teams, processes and systems.

The most successful programs we see exercise what we call 100% closed loop, meaning they follow up with all respondents. Of course, different kinds of conversations are needed with different customers.

Design your process to be specific to the survey and the type of response. Be sure to provide training to those responsible for following up with customers. Most survey tools have the capability to automate a closed loop alert which notifies a pre-determined designated person that a response has been received from a customer that requires a follow up.

Build the following components into your closed loop process:

  • Definition of alert type, e.g. an NPS of 0-6 indicating a Detractor
  • Designated owner: For relationship survey follow up this would ideally be someone who is familiar to the customer and has an ownership stake in the relationship; for transactional follow up someone familiar with the department, e.g. support, delivery, is appropriate. A dispatch method of dispersing alerts can also be effective if a designated owner is not feasible in your organization.
  • Additional individuals who should receive a notification; an FYI that the response has come in, but no action is required of them.
  • Expected time frame for follow up to occur
  • Method of follow up
  • Documentation required
  • Process oversight owner

Train those responding to customer feedback to consider the type of feedback received. For example, for responses to Detractors (on an NPS survey) or those with negative experiences, the focus should be on what went wrong and how you can fix and/or avoid a reoccurrence. In speaking with Passives or mildly negative respondents, spend time reviewing comments, particularly around suggested improvements. Ask open ended questions. Remember that even Promoters and Passives may have some areas of low satisfaction by attribute which you need to better understand.

Conversations with Promoters or those with positive feedback are a great opportunity to strengthen relationships and leverage those relationships to secure testimonials and references. As Promoters can be a great source of ideas for innovation and testing, consider extending them an invitation to join an advisory group.


Source: Closed Loop Workflow Example, OCX Cognition.

go beyond taking action with nps data

A strong program based on these fundamental NPS best practices will have robust follow up and clear plans for acting on insights, but your follow up and actions are only as good as the data set you have. Plan now to take your program to the next level by expanding your data set so that you have reliable insight on the complete customer base. For that, you’ll need predictive scoring, or Spectrum NPS. To get there, download our guide, take our comprehensive training course, or read about the future of NPS.


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CX Program


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OCX Cognition delivers the future of NPS. We ensure customer experience success by combining technology and data science with programmatic consulting. In our Insights section, we present a comprehensive and evolving collection of resources based on our research and expertise, collected for CX leaders committed to delivering business outcomes.