The Inner Loop
The Inner Loop
Hearing direct and immediate NPS® feedback offers powerful motivation for employees.
The “inner loop” of the Net Promoter System promotes individual learning. It lets frontline employees and teams hear both positive and constructive customer feedback directly and immediately. The inner loop empowers them to implement whatever changes they can make on their own.
Net Promoter® companies ask their customers for feedback regularly. They may do so after an individual transaction, after a series of interactions or simply once every so often. They ask not only how likely the customer would be to recommend the company or its products but also that all-important second question: Why? The feedback thus provides both quantitative ratings and qualitative comments.
Companies channel the feedback to every employee who affected a given customer’s experience. It may go to the call-center rep or warehouse worker who served that customer. It may also go to product designers, pricing analysts and anybody else whose decisions and actions are relevant.
Net Promoter feedback has to be both granular and timely, and it has to lead to effective follow-up.
The system’s feedback focuses on individual events in the customer’s experience, allowing employees to learn from their actions, try something different and observe the outcome.
The request for feedback must go out while the experience is still fresh in the customer’s mind. It must flow to the relevant employees immediately, so that they can remember the interaction and apply what they learned.
Once feedback is received, the employee or supervisor closes the loop with an informal call to the customer. Customers must come away feeling better about the company, and the company must learn more about the customer.
Supervisors or knowledgeable peers can serve as a sounding board for the employee’s interpretation of the feedback and ideas about what to do differently. They broaden the list of alternatives under consideration and describe practices that have worked for others in similar situations. Employees can then try out new behaviors or new ways of doing things and report the results back to their coaches and fellow team members.
One of a coach’s tasks is to help employees respond appropriately, separating the vast majority of customers who offer constructive feedback from the small minority who should really be encouraged to take their business elsewhere. The objective of the Net Promoter System’s inner loop isn’t to satisfy the customer at all costs; the objective is to create profitable promoters.