It is not unusual for a company to set an objective to reduce the number of customer complaints that they receive. No one wants complaints therefore if you can eliminate them this must be a good thing. However, it is hard to get people to raise an issue as a complaint in the first place as they don’t recognise what is a complaint due to a lack of a workable definition.
Therefore, the objective to reduce the number of complaints is easy to achieve. Don’t raise them! Deal with the immediate issue and get on with your work. Done! No complaints! However, no action is taken to stop the issue from recurring and the same issue recurs.
A better approach is to set an objective to increase the number of customer complaints raised, ensure that these are dealt with effectively to keep the customer happy and take corrective action to stop them from happening again.
This requires training to enable a complaint to be recognised, a quick and easy way for the complaint to be raised and responsibility to be assigned for investigation, action and closure.
To help with this a broader definition of what should be considered as a complaint is used rather than only considering that a complaint is one where a customer writes in or is obviously annoyed whilst on the phone. The principle to use is;
If a customer has to contact a company because something has gone wrong (product or service) or not happened as expected or promised then that is a complaint. No matter what.
Yes, this quickly increases the quantity of complaints raised some of which can seem quite petty. But as these issues are addressed the benefit to the company of not having to correct recurring issues is worth the effort.
If you are interested in implementing a system to raise and effectively close customer complaints please call us on 01434 230580.
SG Quality Engineering are based north of Hexham, Northumberland. We cover Tyne and Wear, Northumberland, Durham, Cumbria.