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Can we use our CRM to manage complaints?

by Lynne Campbell | Posted in Complaints management solutions | 20 March 2019
Can we use our CRM to manage complaints?

Can we use our CRM to manage complaints?

It depends on the kind of complaints you typically get – how complex they tend to be.

Some CRM systems have service modules that will cope fine with fast turnaround, low complexity issues, however more complex, in-depth cases (especially in regulated markets) require a more sophisticated case management system.

It also depends on the consequences of non-compliance with agreed process – how much risk in terms of cost and reputation would poor complaint handling expose you to?

A couple of questions to consider are:

How complex is your product and service offering?

Complexity is more likely to lead to complaints that are multi-faceted, with everything from evidence, correspondence and reports to multiple stakeholders to be coordinated.  And complaint handling processes often require multiple escalation stages e.g. first complain to frontline staff, escalate to investigations team, then to Senior Management or an external Ombudsman.

CRM systems are ‘contact-centric’ which can lead to problems, for example when a case involves more than one party – which contact record do you attach evidence to? Some require separate tickets to be created for each stage of the process, making it harder to track a complaint.

A case management system is ‘case-centric’ - pulling everything to do with a case together in one place. All case documentation and correspondence are stored within the case record. Unique case reference numbers and various monitoring views allow cases to be easily tracked at every stage, including reasons for escalation. Some systems (like our own Workpro) also include the ability to see all complaints logged under an individual or organisation, so that you can still have a "total customer view".

Does your complaint handling come under the scrutiny of a regulator or consumer watchdog?

Regulated complaint cases are often more complex than routine consumer complaints. These cases typically have key targets and process stages a complaint must go through and compliance may need to be proven. On the other hand, their very complexity means they can be unpredictable, so caseworkers need some flexibility when conducting investigations. 

CRM systems are typically designed to deal with high volume, more standardised scenarios. Any workflows, approvals and routing (if they do exist) tend to be more rigid which can impact the productivity and effectiveness of skilled caseworkers.

Dedicated complaint management systems have clear workflow stages, with appropriate validation rules, alerts and reminders - so caseworkers (and managers) know they will be kept right with key process steps and deadlines - but also enable them to use their knowledge and experience to resolve a case (e.g. link cases, go back a stage, ‘stop the clock’ if authorised etc.).

These are just two of the reasons why you should consider a specialised case management system to manage your complaints.

We present further arguments in a two page whitepaper you can access here.

Workpro Complaints helps an organisation to improve the quality of its complaints handling and reporting - while reducing associated costs and risks. It efficiently manages all complaints and enquiries in one integrated system. FOI, EIR, DP, SAR cases can be managed in the same system, and other case types can be added. For more information visit: Workpro Complaints 

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