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Aftercare in Complaints Management: Complaints Working Group December 2023

Aftercare in Complaints Management: Complaints Working Group December 2023


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Aftercare in Complaints Management: Complaints Working Group December 2023

Dec 18, 2023

Martin Canwell
Toy cars on top of calculator resembling car accident.

In December 2023, our ever-popular Aptean Respond Complaints Working Group (CWG) brought together a host of professionals from across the complaints industry to discuss the issues keeping them awake at night—the chief focus being the role of aftercare in complaints management.

How Can Aftercare Help with Complaints?

We were joined by members of the complaints team at Hastings Direct, a home and auto insurer, who explained how the business has implemented a specific aftercare process when it comes to claims repairs. In particular, the team sought to answer the question: ”How do we deliver on our promises to customers provided in their complaint responses?”

The team discussed why a specific aftercare process was needed to support customers whose vehicles were being repaired and who had raised a complaint; thereby, optimizing processes and supporting customers by way of higher-level, single-case ownership and post-complaint resolutions. By implementing a more proactive approach to claims handling, the complaints team wanted to take ownership of the repairs aftercare to provide an altogether improved customer experience.

What Does Good Aftercare Look Like?

The complaints team at Hastings Direct already ensured repairs were on track as part of the standard complaints process, but the team recognized that there was an opportunity to take ownership of repairs aftercare, too. This approach takes the shape of informing and updating customers on the status of their repairs, be it any changes to expected completion dates (ECD), problems or delays to repairs, or checking the customer was satisfied post-repair. This process is completed by a single point-of-contact within the complaints team, ensuring consistency of contact throughout the end-to-end complaints process.

A quick poll of the CWG participants showed that around two-thirds had no aftercare process in place, with some others mentioning that aftercare is handled by a distinct aftercare team, separate from the complaints team.

The Hastings Direct team went on to explain how our complaints management solution, Aptean Respond, was used to formalize the new aftercare process, using tasks and templates to build this new approach into everyday operations for the frontline complaint handlers.

  • If a complaint is resolved but there are still repairs outstanding, it’s the responsibility of the complaint handler to continue to update the customer.

  • Aptean Respond tasks complaint handlers with contacting the relevant garages a few days before the ECD for an update on the repairs and they are then tasked with updating the customer accordingly.

  • A day after repairs are completed, the platform then tasks complaint handlers to follow-up with the customer again.


After implementing changes to the aftercare process, the number of complaints that are reopened has decreased by over 60%.

Impact of Aftercare on Complaint Handler Workload

One of the participants raised the important question of what impact this approach to aftercare has had on the workload of the Hastings Direct complaint handlers. The team explained how a great many of the complaint handlers had actually been doing this type of follow-up activity as part of their resolution delivery but it was being done informally, so via email or calendar tasks.

By formalizing the process in Aptean Respond, embedding it right across the complaints team, it’s proved to be less work than before, thanks to a more intuitive, smarter process. And, in the experience of the Hastings Direct team, the complaint handlers were more accepting of these small but impactful changes than expected.

Another contributor discussed how in their business, aftercare tasks within Aptean Respond were allocated to people outside of the complaints team but this was still dependent on the case handler setting this task individually, not something that was baked-in to the set process.

Quality Assured Aftercare

The Hastings Direct team went on to discuss how they had created a separate quality assurance (QA) model for aftercare, defining a timeframe for the process. This approach has proved to be a good way of highlighting where some team members need support with the new aftercare process, as well as ensuring consistency to the formal process, which wasn’t feasible with the more informal approach Hastings Direct used previously.

Impressive Aftercare Results

After hearing about how the Hastings Direct team had implemented this change to the aftercare process, all the CWG participants were keen to learn what the impact had been.

The team relayed the following improvements to their business:

  • Referrals to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) have been halved for repair complaints

  • The number of complaints that are reopened has decreased by over 60%

  • Noticeable improvement in CX scores

  • Aftercare QA process fully embedded

  • Over 40 complaint handlers upskilled in-line with the new process

The Hastings Direct team mentioned that many of the frontline complaint handlers were initially skeptical about the changes but, having seen the results achieved and how their workload hasn’t increased, they have welcomed the changes.

The team went on to explain to all attendees exactly how they’d worked within Aptean Respond to implement the changes, outlining the considerations that needed to be considered and any challenges they faced. This proved to be an insightful discussion, shining the spotlight on how the flexible functionality of the system and its ease of configurability enabled the Hastings Direct team to formalize the entire aftercare process, bringing new levels of efficiency and consistency to the task in hand and achieving such impressive results.

So ended a very thought-provoking session, which could have carried on long past its allotted time, and we didn’t even have time to discuss any other issues. We’re already looking forward to the next Complaints Working Group in 2024. We hope to see more of you there.

For more information on how Aptean Respond can provide the functionality to help your business optimize aftercare in the complaints management process or to get involved in our next Complaints Working Group, contact our group of complaints management professionals today.

The Heart of the UK Complaints Community

This eBook shares insights from the Complaints Coffee Club. A platform from the Collaboration Network, supported by Aptean, with the purpose of creating open dialogue within the UK complaints community.

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