According to the Harvard Business Review, it is less important to “delight” customers than it is to make doing business with you as easy as possible. This doesn’t mean that you won’t have to handle complaints, but it does mean that you have to make your complaints process as easy as possible for the complainant. This is not an easy task for complex complaints that require more than an on-script phone call to fix.
“Getting an accurate overview of your complaints handling is tough with the wrong tools. It is hard to know where you are against your complaints KPIs, and it is likely to be impossible to spot complaints patterns. KPIs are particularly important for regulated industries, but all organisations should monitor complaints objectives since they impact your bottom line.” Lynne Campbell, Workpro product manager
We have all been there, passed from department to department, struggling to get your problem solved because it veers off the standard script, having to call repeatedly because nobody gets back to you. Many organisations struggle to deal with complex complaints. But it is simply a case of having the right tool for the job.
Complaints management software helps you handle complaints – even those off-script complex ones you aren’t expecting – and that means making your customers’ lives easier.
All of this is even more important if you are in a regulated industry where not dealing with complaints correctly and in a timely manner can result in fines.
What are the wrong tools?
Spreadsheets, ticketing software and CRM systems were never designed to manage complaints. Even some of the more simplistic complaints software on the market was only designed to deal with straightforward issues and scripted calls & chats. When called upon to manage the various tasks and process steps associated with off-script or complex complaints, they all flounder.
Such complaints generally require some degree of investigation and can involve correspondence with multiple parties – with the wrong tools these cases can carry on for much longer than they should.
Why does it matter?
People are a lot more forgiving about issues taking time if you keep in contact, and they will be a lot happier if they don’t have to chase you.
Therefore, making sure everyone involved in a case has easy access to the information they need is important. You don’t want your customers to have to repeatedly explain their issues (and waste your time as well as theirs).
It is also important to make sure customers are dealt with in a consistent and fair manner. You want to make sure processes and communications are standardised. You also want a record of how you handled the case – especially if your industry is regulated.
Difficult for you = difficult for customers
If staff are using the wrong tools, it makes their job harder. They may, for example, have to look in multiple places for information related to complaints and rely on emails to find out who is looking after which task. This is even harder if staff are working from home and can’t ask their colleagues next to them. All that wasted time, spent labouring through a cumbersome process, affects your profitability.
It also makes life more difficult for your customers. If they spend too much time on their complaint and find it difficult to navigate your process, no matter what the result of that particular complaint, you are in danger of losing their loyalty and future custom. Worst case scenario, they may even take their complaint to the press or the regulator, risking bad PR and potential fines.
Impact on the bottom line
Getting an accurate overview of your complaints handling is tough with the wrong tools. It is hard to know where you are against your complaints KPIs, and it is likely to be impossible to spot complaints patterns. KPIs are particularly important for regulated industries, but all organisations should monitor complaints objectives since they impact your bottom line.
By spotting complaints patterns, you may learn about common issues that you can fix or even amend that standard script and processes to help customers quickly when they first contact you.
Make your customers lives easier
- A good complaints management system will help you deliver better complaints resolutions – more quickly - to your customers, no matter how complex their issue:
- Stay proactive rather than waiting for customers to contact you. Easily set tasks and reminders for team members, with traffic light indicators to show whether things are on track.
- Avoid complainants having to repeatedly explain their issue (wasting your time as well as theirs). Store all case-related documents and communications securely in one online system, with real-time case data accessible to all authorised staff.
- Keep in contact with complainants consistently and professionally, with letter and email templates that make it easier and quicker to generate and send personalised correspondence.
Make your management’s lives easier too
- Quickly and easily keep on top of what stage cases and tasks are at with real-time dashboards and status reports. With alerts highlighting cases that are not on track, you can take remedial action as necessary.
- Monitor performance against KPIs and even spot complaints patterns. Standard and ad-hoc reporting tools allow you to look behind the data to inform business improvement planning.
- Be able to restrict who sees what. If you are handling sensitive information, only those who are given access can see it. You also have an audit trail of who did what, should you need it.
Easy for you = easy for customers
If you want to protect or improve profitability by enhancing the ease of doing business with you, you need specialist complaints management software.