Complaints Management Best Practice

August 21, 2011

A press release on 15 August 2011 from CDC Software and Mathew James Customer Care Solutions (described as the independent customer service consultancy) announced “the need for a common set of customer complaint and feedback management processes to provide a benchmark for all customer-facing businesses”.

CDC is one of a number of solutions that I had originally tracked down when looking for National Indicator 14 (NI14) and customer satisfaction applications and appears on the list I compiled of companies that supply such.

I would still argue that successful delivery of services can only be done if all channels are monitored for effectiveness and the press release lists out the code of six proposed best practices:

“1) Culture. Look at customer complaints as highly targeted business intelligence and use root cause analysis to improve the business, increase brand value, reduce complaint volume and to cross-sell products and services.

2) KPIs. Understand that badly set KPIs hamper the quality of complaint resolution. Good complaints management is about the quality and effective resolution of each complaint, not, for example, the number of calls handled.

3) Technology. The right technology will revolutionise customer service. An intuitive, easy-to-use and informative customer management platform will “listen” to the customer and “tell” the business what it is doing right and where it is going wrong!

4) People. Customer service personnel are the face of the business. They form customer opinions. It is vital to have the right people in place and they must be trained and empowered.

5) Trends. Monitor trends to ensure the root cause of repetitive complaints is established and processes put in place, or new services developed, to avoid unnecessary customer complaints and ensure future customer satisfaction.

6) Social media. Businesses need to understand the speed and breadth of information flow and be pro-active. Monitor activity, anticipate issues and pro-actively communicate using the preferred channel of each customer group.”

These were all lessons from my own research and I welcome and encourage their use as best practice.