How Does Complaints Handling Affect Customer Satisfaction?

How Does Complaints Handling Affect Customer Satisfaction?

The Institute of Customer Service released their UK Customer Satisfaction Index in January 2023. This bi-annual independent report tracks customer satisfaction in the UK across a range of indicators. In the 2023 report the index score dropped, meaning that customers were less satisfied with the customer service they received in 2022 than they were in 2021. As a provider of complaint-handling software, Workpro takes particular note of what is happening in that dimension of the satisfaction index and we could see that the number of customers experiencing problems with organisations remained high, with 16.5% reporting issues in the past six months. With research showing the high cost of this (more on that below), good complaints management will give companies a competitive edge.

Smiling businessman with headset interacting in his office

How does complaint handling affect customer satisfaction?

Complaint handling is one of 5 dimensions the UKCSI use to measure Customer Satisfaction. When looking at the 50 organisations with the top UKCSI index score vs. other organisations the key differentiators were:

  • Speed of resolving your complaint
  • The handling of the complaint
  • The attitude of staff (complaints)

These complaints metrics even came above price/cost, meaning that excellent complaints handling is key to overall customer satisfaction.

How does complaint handling affect my company?

The UKCSI suggests that complaints handling is costing companies hugely in terms of employee productivity:

“Our research shows employees spend on average, 4.8 working days a month dealing with customer problems. When you consider the ONS puts the average weekly wage of a UK worker at £583, we are looking at an estimated cost of £11.4bn a month to UK business in lost productivity.” Joanna Causen, CEO, The Institute of Customer Service

Individuals and companies alike are feeling the squeeze of the cost-of-living crisis so the need for cost-saving initiatives is more important than ever. Nevertheless, increased productivity is not the only benefit of efficient complaints handling. Companies who are seen to ‘do the right thing’ by their customers will reap the rewards in terms of repeat business and positive brand awareness. We can see these benefits highlighted in the below quote from the UKCSI report:

“Organisations that consistently earn higher levels of satisfaction than others in their sector also tend to achieve stronger levels of ebitda and revenue per employee. An organisation’s customer experience therefore needs to be seen as an asset and a source of value, rather than just as a cost centre.” UKCSI report 2023

Ultimately, complaints management is an extremely important process which affects customer satisfaction, employee productivity and revenue – but what can your business do to improve the way you handle complaints? Take a look at our second blog in the UKCSI series to find out how you can improve the complaints-handling process for your business.

You can also follow this link to learn how Workpro Complaints Management Software transforms the way you deal with customer complaints, giving you complete visibility and control of every part of the process. If implementing complaints-handling software seems like the right solution for you then why not check out our third blog in the UKCSI series which dissects some key considerations when implementing new technology in your complaints-handling process.