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Complaint Handling Software: Benefits Beyond the Complaints Team
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Complaint Handling Software: Benefits Beyond the Complaints Team
Jan 10, 2024Eric Brown
Customer complaints are no longer just the domain of your dedicated complaints team. From front-line customer service staff to compliance officers, there are many teams involved in the complaint handling process. In addition, the effects of poor complaint management are far-reaching and can have serious consequences across your organization—from cumbersome processes and inefficiency to poor customer retention and regulatory compliance issues.
On the other hand, good complaint handling can have a positive impact throughout your organization and help your business create world-class customer service. For these reasons, it's vital for all stakeholders to have a full understanding of the benefits to be reaped with the right complaint handling software.
In this blog, we'll explore the benefits of an effective complaint handling system for each group of stakeholders, both internal and external, and explain what complaint management system features you should look for in order to ensure these benefits are realized.
So, whether you're creating a business case for new customer complaint handling software or demonstrating the value a new system can bring to secure full staff adoption, we've got you covered. Let's dive in to find out how the right complaint management software can improve the processes and outcomes for everyone in your end-to-end complaint journey.
Front Line Customer Service Teams
Let’s start at the beginning. The main point of ingress for complaints is often your first point-of-contact (FPOC) customer service teams. Staff in these teams are busy handling a wide range of customer enquiries, across a variety of channels, so complaint capture isn’t their only role. As a result, there can be some nerves or uncertainty about the required processes and best practices. Not only does this add undue pressure for your staff, but it can also lead to poorer complaints outcomes and reduce customer satisfaction.
Therefore, it’s imperative that any complaint handling software you implement is intuitive and sets your teams up for success. The best systems will guide your FPOC teams through both capture and resolution steps, without the need for comprehensive complaints expertise or experience.
Striving to resolve the majority of your complaints at FPOC can be both the cost-effective option and offer superior customer experience. But, you cannot achieve these results without empowering your FPOC teams with a forward-thinking complaint management solution.
Advanced functionality such as model cases and smart suggestions help give FPOC team members confidence that their resolutions are not only consistent with best practice and company policy, but compliant with relevant industry standards too. With the right solution in place, it’s possible for more cases to be resolved at the FPOC, reducing the number of cases that enter the formal complaint handling process and freeing-up other team members to focus on more complex cases.
Let’s now move downstream in the customer journey to your complaint professionals. These are the people who’ll be using the solution, day-in, day-out to resolve those complaints that require more specialist skills. Here, the right system helps to increase the efficiency, consistency and speed of complaint handling management for this group.
The most effective complaint handling software will streamline the entire complaint management process, using industry-specific templates alongside customizable, intelligent workflows and easy-to-use dashboards to help complaint professionals reach good, fair resolutions quickly. Even seasoned complaint professionals can use a helping hand; capabilities that improve outcome consistency, define systemic trends clearly and support fair levels of redress and compensation are a must have today.
Premier complaint handling software acts as a central repository for all complaint-related customer information. The best solutions represent a single version of the truth, boosting efficiency and consistency further still, meaning that whoever communicates with the customer has access to the same information. The right tools and information are crucial and the best complaint management solutions equip complaints professionals with the systems and templates that are needed to underpin swift, effective resolutions.
On to your complaint team leads, those people who are responsible for overseeing effective complaint management. The visibility afforded to team leaders by the right complaint handling software is vital to maximizing resources and securing the best outcomes.
Customizable dashboards offer dynamic charts, tables and trackers that provide at-a-glance visibility into the information that matters most—from case pipelines and outstanding tasks to performance metrics. It’s this depth and breadth of information that enables team leaders to truly guide teams, easily identifying and training low performers whilst rewarding and better deploying high-performing employees.
Additionally, quality complaint handling software will offer inherent automated management information (MI) capabilities, specifically around exception reporting. So, instead of team leaders having to pro-actively look for data issues, the system will do this for them, sending automated reports on a scheduled basis. This in turn frees up team leaders to focus on more value-add tasks while helping to ensure quality of data and reduce the number of escalations to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS). As well, intelligent workflows help to streamline employee training, leaving team leaders more time to concentrate on other areas of their job role.
Quality Assurance Team
An essential part of good complaint management is effective quality assurance (QA). Whether this is overseen by a dedicated complaints QA team or a business-wide QA team, the needs are the same—to ensure robust QA processes are in place to underpin good complaint management.
QA checks should be driven by a risk-based approach, as opposed to a simple percentage model. Therefore, the right complaint handling system will provide risk-based, real-time quality assurance and retrospective quality control, allowing the monitoring of case handling practices and helping to identify areas for improvement. This approach enables your QA resource to focus on the higher risk areas, meaning that the more skilled and experienced complaint handlers have to undergo fewer reviews, spending more time resolving complaints, and therefore improving response rates and boosting customer satisfaction.
Proactive QA checks and balances can also stop mistakes from happening in the first place, preventing errors reaching complainants and speeding-up time to resolution. The best solutions offer “dynamic” QA meaning QA processes which can step-up (or back) as needed, in-line with how staff are performing.
Finally, complaint handling software boosts quality assurance by facilitating the recording of recurring themes and instances, with specific codes for certain issues, making the identification of wider issues and problems both quicker and easier. And, accessible, intuitive dashboards deliver the insights you needed to inform not only tactical decisions but continuous improvements, too.
Meeting regulatory demands is a non-negotiable for your business. Whether you’re managing compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), or adhering to standards set out by bodies such as the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, your software is crucial to helping you avoid penalties and protect your business.
By putting in place the right combination of processes, workflows and controls, tailored to suit the particular needs of your business, the best complaint management solutions can help you achieve full compliance, however stringent the requirements. And, by choosing a future-proof system from an committed vendor, you can be sure the software will continue to support you as the ever-changing landscape of regulatory compliance evolves.
Through a combination of robust system controls, the system can help your compliance teams demonstrate and evidence how your business meets a whole host of regulatory demands. Full auditability and in-depth reporting functionality, alongside comprehensive visibility across your entire customer journey gives you the confidence that you’re achieving the highest level of compliance with the latest regulatory and legal requirements.
The true value of complaints is increasingly recognized by executive teams, with more interest paid to the vital data that can be extracted from the complaint function. The right complaint handling software can furnish your C-Suite with insights that can’t be found elsewhere in the organization—helping to improve risk mitigation, reduce costs, enhance customer satisfaction and ultimately, increase revenue.
For example, industry-specific templates, real-model cases and smart suggestions help to reassure your executive team that complaint management and complaint responses are consistent with company policies. With the right complaint management solution in place, concise, accessible and insightful management reports can be delivered direct to the C-Suite, furnishing the executive team with an important overview of not only complaint management performance, but any business-wide issues that the complaints data has highlighted. In addition, the most effective complaint management solutions will offer the ability to easily export complaints data to apply additional business intelligence (BI) and advanced analytics capabilities.
In short, with the right software, your C-Suite can ensure your complaints function is no longer just a responsive necessary evil, but a vehicle for change and driver of company-wide improvements.
Continuous Improvement Teams
Speaking of organizational enhancement, let’s take a look at how an advanced complaint management system generates actionable insights for your continuous improvement teams.
Robust root cause analysis (RCA) functionality is imperative here, enabling your teams to use real complaints data to identify underlying issues. Understanding the reasons behind each complaint allows you to fix any problems and prevent such issues arising again—thus reducing the potential for additional customer complaints. To this end, facilitating effective RCA is a must-have capability for a complaint management solution, helping your teams not only identify the often-systemic issues that cause complaints, but to take the necessary steps to eradicate these problems.
Good complaint handling software will underpin you’re your comprehensive RCA capability, acting as a real driver and informer of continuous organizational improvements. Because customer feedback is critical for measuring the success of an organization, complaint management solutions that enable your teams to easily carry out engaging, context-sensitive surveys that provide insight into the complainant’s experience are very useful. They ensure that the complaint journey isn’t exasperating for the complainant, instead adding in customer recovery and longevity.
Perhaps the most important stakeholder when it comes to choosing the right complaint management system is the customer. Addressing customers’ concerns quickly, accurately and fairly is critical in maintaining customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Customers who are satisfied with your complaint process are often more loyal to your brand than those who did not have a problem in the first place. And, they're more likely to become advocates, telling their friends, families and colleagues about how pleased they are that your company addressed their complaint. If their complaint was resolved satisfactorily, they’re prone to tell even more people than if they had simply received good service in the first place. So, a complaint handling software that facilitates good and fair outcomes with straightforward and customer-friendly procedures, is simply a must-have for your business.
In particular, the best complaint management solutions on the market, allow you to offer loyalty-inspiring, customer service excellence, no matter how high your volumes are. Whether it’s with step-by-step processes that deliver consistency end to end, streamlined communications to ensure customers are kept updated, or survey tools that allow them to feel heard and provide feedback for future improvements, your complaint handling software must deliver customer experience functionality out of the box.
For vulnerable customers in particular, an effective complaint management solution is imperative. Not only can the right solution help to identify vulnerability in the first place, with vulnerability detection functionality able to scan inbound customer communications for signs of potential vulnerability, but built-in capabilities help ensure vulnerable customers are treated fairly throughout the complaints process.
For example, intelligent workflows help to ensure the right course of action is taken by the complaint handler to provide the correct level of support dependent on the vulnerability in question. It’s this additional functionality that helps to ensure vulnerable customers are treated with the appropriate care and correspondence suited to their individual needs.
Choosing a Solution to Benefit All Stakeholders
As we’ve seen, choosing the right complaints management system can simplify your complaint handling process while providing a comprehensive platform for enhancing customer interactions, accelerating case resolutions and improving outcomes. The most effective systems go far beyond this, reaping benefits for not only all those involved in the complaints journey, but the wider organization, too.
By improving processes, outcomes and quality of insight, the right complaint handling software has the potential to drive up the value of your entire complaints function, enabling it to take its rightful place at the heart of your business.
That’s where Aptean Respond comes in. Our advanced complaints management software has deep and innovative functionality to help your teams respond faster, smarter and more confidently to complaints—raising the bar on customer satisfaction while streamlining your internal processes to ensure efficiency and compliance. With stand out features, such as our remediation tools and first-of-its-kind vulnerability detection feature, Aptean Respond is ready to deliver complaints process transformation as standard.
What’s more, we strive to be a long-term, by-your-side partner to each of our customers. Our dedicated in-house teams work to understand the challenges your business faces to best deliver solutions that provide value now and into the future as your industry evolves and your business grows.
To learn more about how our complaint management system, Aptean Respond, can underpin claims handling excellence, get in touch with our team of complaints experts today.
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