Looking for ways to cut costs is understandable. And because the complaint handling function is typically regarded as a cost centre, rather than a profit centre, it is often a target for cutbacks.
However, it could be argued that there has never been a more important time to invest in your complaints handling.
The Huntswood’s Complaints Outlook 2021 found that improving the complaint journey to ensure customers feel valued and listened to helps to build longer and deeper customer relationships.
As the maxim goes: Complaints are Valuable. Handle complaints well and you will increase profit through:
- Better customer retention. 91% of unhappy customers just walk away. Don’t miss a chance to put things right.
- Better customer service. Complaints data can act as an early warning system, helping you to spot trends and address areas of weakness in your products and services.
Things to think about to improve your complaints journey
Huntswood identified 6 areas for improvement in the complaints journey – focussing on complainants’ emotions. Building on these insights, we identified some key ways complaints management software – like our own Workpro – contributes to a better customer experience.
Make it easier for customers to complain
It amazes us how many companies still make it hard to complain. This may stem from the false idea that if it is a time-consuming and difficult process, this will keep complaints and therefore costs down.
13% of unhappy customers will share their complaint with 15 or more people. It is better that your customers complain to you than to other people!
Accept webforms, letters, phone calls, emails, texts, tweets – whatever communication method your customer prefers. Workpro can link to any of these channels, enabling cases to be quickly created and allocated for resolution.
Triage at the frontline
80% of customers are retained when complaints are resolved within the first two days. A complaint can cost anything from say £5, if closed at the frontline in a single phone call, to thousands of pounds if it requires in depth investigation.
Empower staff to resolve and close the complaint as soon as possible. One of our customers reduced their costs by 37%, partly through the introduction of a frontline triage stage – Read the case study.
Workpro has an easy-to-use webform which encourages fast complaint logging at the frontline. The form is fully integrated with the core Workpro system, presenting the same lookup lists for example, to make the complaint handling process clear and consistent. Staff are guided as to which essential information they must capture - which helps with reporting later.
Make escalation smooth and simple
Being bounced from pillar to post and having to repeat themself adds to customer irritation. 84% of consumers report frustration when an agent does not have their information.
An integrated online system like Workpro makes coordination and collaboration on cases so much easier. Staff can see exactly who has done what, when on a case and what needs to happen next. Cases can be escalated through your process stages, or to another member of the team, without any duplication of effort.
By the way, Workpro also allows you to restrict access to cases – you may not want all users to see the most sensitive ones!
Be proactive in keeping customers informed
Customers hate having to chase up their complaint - it is good practice to have response targets. In the financial services sector, for example, the FCA requires a written acknowledgement to be sent to the complainant within five business days.
Workpro provides letter and email templates so your team can quickly and easily send out updates. Automatic correspondence can be generated at appropriate stages, with case details pre-populated for accuracy and speed. Built in targets generate alerts and reminders to prompt action.
Genuinely seek to put things right
It’s not enough to resolve a specific complaint. It’s vital to look at the root causes, to see if there are systemic product, process or people issues that need to be addressed.
The most common problem managers cite with complaints is a lack of good management information. Managers who contact us typically need a clearer picture of the complaints their organisation is getting.
Workpro captures detailed complaints data, categorises it and then gives you the tools you need to analyse it any way you wish. You can see exactly what is going wrong to identify required improvements e.g., staff training. Trends data is important too – highlighting brewing issues so you can fix them before they become a major problem.
Workpro helps you minimise costs and maximise value from complaints
Workpro is a comprehensive complaint management system that optimises the entire complaints journey from logging, investigation through to reporting.
- It will help you streamline your complaints operation to minimise resource costs.
- It will help you extract maximum value from complaints data to feed into business improvement initiatives.
To be confident that your complaints journey is optimised to reduce costs and maximise value, please contact us to learn how we can help.