What is Complaint Management?
As someone in charge of managing customer complaints, your workload looks different every day. Whether you’re reaching out to customers via phone, email or social media, communicating between departments to escalate when needed, investigating data trends or building reports for management, there’s a lot to keep track of.
Even at the most successful companies, things can’t always run smoothly; it’s only natural that mistakes happen from time to time, whether it’s related to manufacturing, provisioning, customer service, delivery or other departments of your business.
As indicated by the See-Through Economy, if you don’t provide customers with accessible feedback inputs within your organization, they are liable to air these grievances elsewhere. Even worse, in a forum where you can’t effectively respond or remediate. That’s why having a centralized outlet for customer feedback and a formalized Complaint Management process at your organization is so powerful; it ensures transparency, good customer rapport and consistent improvements.
What are the Benefits of a Customer Complaint Management System?
Complaints that are handled well increase customer loyalty and provide a competitive advantage. For example, one customer might report a problem with her funds availability, while another customer might report being hit with an overdraft fee even though he has more than enough money in his account. These appear to be different issues, but when the organization considers them together, management discovers a technical issue similar to the application glitch addressed by one major investor management company.
While not all complaints can be resolved in a few hours, having a customer complaint management system in place provides an efficient way to keep track of an issue over time. Complaint management tools should provide users with the ability to assign ownership to certain complaints, build out workflows for the remediation process, and provide status updates on where the incident is in the pipeline. Automated systems like this reduce the amount of resources spent on manual processes so the company can focus on improving customer satisfaction as a whole.
Throughout the remediation process, keeping the customer in the loop is important to maintaining the relationship. Customers have the ability to just as quickly report directly to regulators, which they may do if a problem is not being handled quickly enough. Something as simple as a notification that the complaint has been processed can be enough to assure a customer they’re being cared for.
Complaint Management Risks
We live in a See-Through Economy, where reviews and reputation carry more weight than they ever have before. Consumers are empowered to share their opinions – good and bad – of the businesses they interact with and their voices are amplified on platforms like Yelp, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more. With that in mind, a customer complaint or disgruntled employee review left unaddressed can quickly give prospects and current customers a poor impression of your company. This can directly lead to a decrease in sales and ultimately a substantial impact on your bottom line.
Another important risk to consider is regulatory risk. Many industries are required by regulations like Fair Lending and UDAAP to have a formal Complaint Management program in place and may be penalized on those laws should certain types of complaints be filed. If you’re not able to provide an audit trail or the reports necessary to show the actions you’ve taken to internally satisfy said complaints, you could face serious civil or criminal penalties.