What is Customer Complaint Management? A Crucial Customer Service Function Explained

The practice of managing, reacting to, and reporting on complaints received through various channels

What is Customer Complaint Management? A Crucial Customer Service Function Explained
Voice of the CustomerInsights

Published: July 1, 2022

CX Today Team

In 2020, The Wall Street Journey conducted a study that revealed that two-thirds of customers filed complaints that year, 57 percent more than in 2017.

While such statistics evoke a sense of doom and gloom, complaints contain many incredible insights that help detect product/service issues, isolate customer journey bottlenecks, and better understand customers.

Customer complaint management is critical to maximize this potential further. Here is how to get started.

What Is Customer Complaint Management? Definition and Steps

Customer complaint management involves managing, reacting to, and reporting on complaints received through various channels.

Of course, not every consumer will be satisfied each time. Yet, it is essential to determine the cause of this unhappiness and consider trends.

Also, it is critical to remember that without appropriate complaint handling systems, dissatisfied consumers will continue to consider a brand in a negative light.

For this reason, and to simplify complaint management, it is best practice to break it down into steps such as the following:

Collecting and Storing Complaints: Do not only record the complaint, but note down who made it, why, the agent that received the complaint, and perhaps the steps already taken to resolve the issue. Remember, complaints are an excellent method of collecting customer information to store in the CRM.

Classifying Complaints: Sorting complaints into categories provides a bigger picture of how customers view a business and shines a light on worrying trends. Companies can categorize complaints based on many features, including complaint reasons, customer demographic data, and date.

Identifying the Root Causes: It is ideal to have a complaint management system that filters comments and sifts through vast volumes of data to discover the fundamental reasons behind a problem. Such a system will likely harness text analytics to spot particular keywords.

● Consolidating Results: Once a business assesses its complaints, it may develop a practical and effective strategy to overcome common concerns. Such a strategy will likely include specific actions to address an individual complaint or bulk actions, like product recalls or bug fixes.

● Alerting Relevant Departments: After gathering all complaint details, communicate them with the relevant departments, which can add insights and carry out the plan. In some instances, it is also crucial to notify legal teams.

● Encouraging Self-Service: Creating a robust FAQ system or knowledge base may help businesses minimize customer complaints and ticket traffic. Doing so also empowers customers by enabling them to find relevant assistance autonomously.

Companies will benefit from a well-articulated customer complaints management system to ensure that all this happens smoothly.

Critical Components of a Customer Complaint Management System

Building on the steps above, companies often create customer complaint management systems. It is best practice for such a system to include the following components.

1. Policies

Companies should address complaints by adhering to clearly defined policies and processes. They guarantee that the company offers a compliant, consistent, and non-discriminatory channel for customer issue resolution.

2. Communication Channels

Customers need an accessible route for submitting reviews and concerns. Establishing specialized email addresses, online forms, or telephone lines is sometimes advantageous to accept customer feedback and handle issues.

3. An Investigation Process

It is crucial to precisely articulate a method for handling customer complaints that consists of recording customer conversations and storing written correspondence in which the customer recounts the issue.
Additionally, companies must compare the complaint to existing best practices, policies, and processes – as well as all applicable laws and regulations – to best determine what went wrong.

4. A Response Mechanism

After the business investigates the complaint, settle the case in writing. When doing so, it is critical to conform to regulatory requirements (depending on the sector), guaranteeing that the company will correctly document details of the resolution process.

5. Corrective Action

A firm must consider swift remedial action if a consumer complaint reveals unlawful, discriminatory, unfair, or otherwise improper conduct.
In some instances, this may necessitate revisions to existing rules and processes, product modifications, personnel training and supervision, system upgrades, or reworking printed and online content.

6. Data Retention

There is a need for a mechanism to record customer concerns accurately. Once assembled, this data is an excellent source of knowledge that will enable companies to understand consumer patterns, identify risk areas, detect compliance infractions, and detect present CX shortcomings. However, companies must not store this data indefinitely and instead comply with their region’s and industry’s data retention laws.

7. Employee Education

Employees must feel confident in handling and recording customer concerns. Those who address client complaints must receive the necessary training.

Using Complaint Management Software to Streamline the Process

Complaint management software enables businesses to respond to consumer comments, provide consistent service, and deal with complaints efficiently. Generally, such software comes with CRM systems and may incorporate ticket management features.

For example, Freshdesk enables organizations to manage complaint tickets, establish ticket response deadlines, transform emails into tickets, and communicate with consumers in real-time.

Jira Service Desk is another popular choice for monitoring customer complaints. It has an intuitive help center that teams may use to organize client interactions, compile customer satisfaction ratings, and route problems to relevant departments, among other features.

The Purpose of Customer Complaint Management

Complaint management serves two critical objectives: quality assurance and improving customer satisfaction.

Moreover, a business might establish a competitive edge by studying unfavorable comments and complaints. After all, complaint management allows organizations to enhance the quality of products and services by evaluating the most genuine of reviews.

Further, by responding to customer complaints quickly, companies can reduce the level of dissatisfaction that customers experience, perhaps while establishing long-term customer relationships and cementing loyalty.

Looking to learn more reasons why customer complaint management is such a valuable exercise? Then, read our article: The Importance of Customer Complaints




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