Choosing the Right Complaint Management Solution

For even the best customer service companies—those with droves of highly satisfied customers—customer complaints are just a reality of doing business. In fact, these companies often owe part of their high satisfaction ratings to the strength of their complaint management systems and processes. While it’s true you can’t satisfy every customer every time, there’s no reason not to use those customer touch points as an opportunity to improve.

Complaint management challenges

In today’s business environment, the complaint management process faces several key challenges. Firstly, the systems supporting the complaints process are often outdated, inflexible, and lacking integration. As a result, agents handling customer complaints must navigate multiple systems while trying to reach the best solution in a timely manner.

In addition to this inefficiency, poorly integrated systems create information barriers; essentially blocking the flow of crucial customer and complaint information between those handling the complaints and the management team.

Without the consistent flow of information, companies find it difficult to respond proactively to customer complaint trends. In the end, glaring customer service issues, product flaws, and bad information can go undetected for unacceptably long periods of time. Aside from driving customer dissatisfaction, these open feedback loops will disconnect the company from its customers and eventually lead to a competitive gap.

Lastly, a reliance on ill-fitting technologies often leads to workflow issues where proper procedure is poorly defined or ineffectively communicated to the agents handling customer complaints. Ultimately, agents are left to interpret complaint procedures subjectively, and the customer experience becomes inconsistent and unsatisfying.

Solution elements

To overcome these common customer complaint challenges and turn a potential source of conflict into a competitive advantage, customer service organizations should look to implement a complaint management system with a few core components in mind.

    • Integrated software system: A single interface covering the entire complaint management lifecycle from submission and escalation to resolution and analysis
    • Workflow automation: Configurable workflows and customizable business rules allow you to create easy-to-follow, consistent processes while enforcing compliance to standard procedures
    • Task processing: Capture, classify, and assign complaints to the right department to streamline the complaint management and ensure timely resolution
    • Knowledge management: A searchable repository of product and service information helps drive consistent complaint handling and policy-driven solutions
    • Complete customer view: Robust customer or case histories, including past activity by product, customer, classification, or other key data points better prepare agents to serve individual customer needs
    • Data and reporting: Aggregated customer and complaint data provides a foundation to analyze and identify potential product or service improvements; reporting dashboards enable real-time monitoring of complaints activity
    • Multi-channel support: Track and manage customer complaints through multiple channels, including voice, e-mail, and chat

Features for comparison

The following feature list provides an outline of what your chosen solution should provide in order to deliver the solution elements described above:

  • Alerts
  • Customer complaint tracking
  • Microsoft Office integration
  • Automatic notification
  • Customizable fields
  • Mobile access
  • Communication management
  • Customizable reporting
  • Quality control
  • Complaint classification
  • Dashboard
  • Reporting
  • Compliance management
  • Data import/export
  • Routing options
  • Corrective actions
  • Drag-and-drop interface
  • Software development kit
  • Custom user interface
  • Issue tracking
  • Workflow management
  • Customer analysis


What it’s worth to you?

From your customers’ perspective, the investment in a complaint management system will improve their experience by ensuring their voices are heard and their problems get solved. For your business, effective complaint management creates an opportunity to satisfy displeased customers and win back their trust.

Perhaps most importantly, customer complaints provide valuable data that can be used to improve your business. By understanding the issues frustrating your customers, you gain insight on how to prevent future problems as well as the fuel to ignite further innovation.

As a whole, an effective complain management system will align people, processes, and information to better serve customer needs, while helping businesses maintain a competitive edge.


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