How managing a customer’s complaint effectively can lessen the risk

Written by Wade Robertson
28 Mar 2023

Losing contact with a customer is a painful experience for both the supplier and customer. It usually occurs when a supplier has invested a lot of effort into trying to reach a customer about their complaint being resolved and they have had no response. Unfortunately, in many cases the customers issue will not be resolved which may lead to further problems for suppliers during the process.

Once a supplier has explored all available avenues to resolve a customer’s complaint they will begin their no contact process, where the complaint is closed without the agreement of the customer. In some instances, the customer will be happy with the action that’s been taken, but do not formally confirm this.

What are the problems?

Analysis has shown, that in many instances, suppliers losing contact with customers is largely unavoidable. However, the impact of a supplier not being able to contact the customer should not be underestimated. For example, complaints could be closed without a customer’s consent causing a risk of complaints being re-opened, or with complaints ageing it provides a further risk that the complaint could tip over the 56-day mark and potentially go to the Ombudsman.

Therefore, you should be continually seeking to review and improve your complaint journey approach to reduce your ‘closed no contact’ rate accordingly.

What are the solutions?

Staying in touch with customers throughout their complaint journey is paramount to not losing contact. In our experience following these tips to reduce a ‘closed no contact’ rate with a customer will prove beneficial:

  • Pre-agree where possible - agreeing up front what’s needed means the customer only needs confirmation once those actions are completed, resulting in no further communications with the customer
  • Obtain all the information you will require on the first call to avoid contacting the customer again to ask for extra information. These calls are unplanned and reduce the probability of the customer answering
  • Always agree call back dates and times to increase the chance of the customer answering
  • Keep to your promises and only contact the customer again when you stated
  • Use SMS and e-mail to remind the customer of your next contact
  • Signpost the number you will be calling from, a strange number calling reduces the chance of it being answered

There are more ways to reduce the number and impact of complaints which will be covered later in this series of articles. Keep an eye on our LinkedIn page for our last article in the series entitled ‘How to prevent a customer going to the Ombudsman with a complaint’. This article assesses how many customer complaints reach the Ombudsman, why they took that route, the win ratio and what else can be learnt to ensure more resolutions are delivered.

If you’d like to find out more about our complaints consultancy service, contact Joseph Cooper, Wade Robertson, or Ian Barker.

Wade Robertson

Wade specialises in Transformation, Value Creation and Project Management, helping clients to identify and deliver on opportunities of significant value.

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