The Case for Closing the Loop Using Online Communities (MROC’s)

We’ve all been there. We take a few minutes at the end of a call or the completion of a transaction and we fill out a survey. While doing so most of us have probably asked ourselves, “Is anyone actually reading this?” None of us should have to wonder.

Cue “closing the loop.” To close the loop is to share research results with the people that provided the insights, and it has many benefits. We have seen this firsthand when our clients share results with members and close the loop of a research project.

We encourage our clients to close the loop with respondents for a few reasons:

  • It portrays them as customer-centric.
  • It illustrates that they value their customers’ time and effort.
  • It shows they appreciate members’ opinions and take time to listen to what respondents are saying and how they are feeling.

Closing the loop yields benefits for the respondent as well. It communicates the actions that have been taken based on their feedback, reassuring them that their feedback isn’t languishing in a database somewhere. It is being read and more importantly applied. Not only does sharing results show consumers, customers, and employees that companies are willing to listen to their thoughts and feelings, but it can give them a sense of community.

  • It gives them a chance to see where they fall within a group.
  • It gives them insight into what others are feeling/ doing/ buying.
  • It makes them feel like part of a community, not just the MROC but in the sense of a social group of people with similar interests and behaviors.
  • It makes them feel less alone, especially in the current challenging landscape.
  • Overall it enhances the customer experience.

Right now, many of us are craving connection, socialization and community. Sure, there are zoom happy hours and social distance get togethers. But when you hear that someone else has similar experiences and feelings, not only can it be validating, it can be comforting at a time when many people are feeling alone and isolated.

Recently some of our clients have shared with their online insights community members findings from research topics such as purchasing behaviors, shopping experiences, consumption habits, and general emotions.

What they heard back was, in part, thanks for sharing, thanks for listening, and it’s nice to know I’m not alone… Others are in the same boat. Doing the same things. Feeling the same way.

Closing the loop is one of the many benefits of an online insights community. Having a proprietary online community allows companies to reach back out to those who provided input. This communication loop fosters a stronger relationship and innovation partnership. It is an intrinsic incentive and keeps them coming back to share more insights.

When we survey our clients’ members on their satisfaction and experience with our communities, we find that learning how their feedback is implemented is a top incentive to why they participate and what could be done to get them to engage even more.

When given the chance, close the loop and share back with consumers, customers, and employees how their input influenced a new business innovation (anything from an enhanced service or an updated message to a newly designed product). It will make them feel valued, heard, and even less alone. There is a trend towards brands that care and showing consumers they are valued and heard drives brand loyalty. Especially in today’s climate, anything to make someone feel heard and less alone can be impactful. It’s a win-win. No longer will respondents have to wonder if anyone is reading their feedback.