When considering how to best handle your customer complaints, it's important to assess the kind of complaints you typically get and how complex they tend to be.
Should you buy a dedicated complaints management system? Could you add a module to an existing CRM system? What are the pro's and con's?
CRM systems have service modules that will cope fine with fast turnaround, low complexity issues and enquiries. However more complex, in-depth complaints require a more sophisticated case management system.
How complex is your product and service offering?
Complexity leads to complaints that are multi-faceted, with everything from evidence, correspondence and reports to multiple stakeholders to be coordinated. Multiple escalation stages are typically required 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. When a case involves more than one party, which contact record do you attach evidence to? And some even require separate tickets to be created for each stage of the process, making it harder to track a complaint.
Stores all case documentation and correspondence within the case record
Allocates every case a unique reference number
Tracks cases through every stage from various monitoring views
Records reasons for escalation
Includes ability to see all complaints logged under an individual or organisation, for a "total customer view".
Does your complaint handling come under the scrutiny of a regulator or consumer watchdog?
Regulated complaint cases are typically more complex than routine consumer complaints:
Key targets and process stages are often mandatory
Compliance may need to be proven.
Their 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.
Workpro has clear but flexible workflow stages. Caseworkers (and managers) are kept right with key process steps and deadlines but are also able to use their knowledge and experience to resolve a case (e.g. link cases, go back a stage, ‘stop the clock’ if authorised etc.). This reduces frustration and ensures more appropriate outcomes, without being forced down a less suitable path.
Workpro is specifically designed for complaints management. It allows for flexibility in case handling, but within pre-agreed constraints.