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Complaint handling: Spreadsheets aren’t good enough!

by Lynne Campbell | Posted in Complaints management solutions | 9 February 2017
Complaint handling: Spreadsheets aren’t good enough!

Relying on spreadsheets or your CRM to handle complaints management could soon end up causing you additional stress and costing you time and money!

As providers of specialist complaint handling software, we admit that we have a vested interest in persuading you to move away from ad hoc systems, but we have seen hundreds of companies fall foul of using spreadsheets or an inappropriate CRM to manage something as important as customer or employee complaints.

In our experience a large number of companies are still using spreadsheets to record complaints, or note them in their CRM. We believe this not the best approach to effective complaints handling, as managing a complaint is more complex than just simply recording. 

Workpro's Ken Naismith says that "Fair complaints resolution comes about from good process consistently applied."

Without a dedicated complaint management system you will miss out on a valuable source of business insight if you don’t analyse complaint outcomes and act on any lessons learned. Complaints are an opportunity to improve your business by learning from any mistakes and improving your systems and processes.

Here are our top five reasons why we believe that you should consider the benefits of dedicated complaint handling software, like Workpro.

1.  It ensures all complaint information is captured

A dedicated complaint management system keeps everything to do with a complaint in one, secure place. This ensures all documentation, activity and outcome information is quickly accessible and manageable from one system…without relying on staff remembering where it is filed! And such systems usually generate an audit trail of every action taken. The full story of a complaint is captured.

 2.  Prompt appropriate action, escalate as needed

Some complaints only require a quick remedy, others need in depth investigation. High risk cases need to be identified early (perhaps a vulnerable person is involved, or a high profile issue). A workflow-based complaints management system can recognise priority and procedure by case type and automatically direct cases to the most appropriate person. In addition, built in alerts and reminders prompt action according to case type and stage so staff know what is needed next, ensuring complaints are handled in a timely manner.

 3.  Improve productivity

A tracking system will be the best friend of your complaints team. A system that allows staff to know exactly what needs to be done, when and by whom, can vastly improve productivity. A workflow based system guides staff to follow correct policy, ensuring customers receive consistent fair treatment, and keeps casework to agreed timescales. Workload and performance management tools support staff and managers, helping them track case progress, and highlighting any developing issues or bottlenecks. 

4.  Better management information

Statistics on the number and types of complaints their organisation is receiving is useful to managers. But that’s recording not managing.  Managing complaints data means monitoring process and outcomes to ensure efficiency and effectiveness in service. Specialist complaints management systems accumulate a wealth of information on complaints, including precedent case information so that previous experience can inform current case handling. They are designed to provide a sophisticated level of reporting, from real-time performance monitoring to monthly and annual reporting.

5.  Learning from complaints

This is where the opportunity lies for your business. Complaint management system give you the ability to look behind the statistics at the root cause of complaints, in order to improve customer service and retention. Is there a common theme or trend? Is there any change to product, service or process that would prevent similar situations in future?

Complaint management is a specialist area. But we also recognise that you may have a significant investment in systems such as CRM. Integrate your existing systems with a dedicated complaint management system like Workpro and benefit from the increased control and productivity…maximise the value of your complaints.

Workpro Complaints is a complaints management system that can record, process and track your complaints, complete with in-depth reporting and analysis tools.

Workpro is available as a cloud-based or in-house system and if you are seeking to improve how you manage repeat complaints, we would be happy to provide a free online demo to show you how you could benefit.

We believe that complaints are an invaluable customer insight tool, an opportunity to do business better. Don’t just fix it, sort it!

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