Winning complaint handling behaviours

With complaint handling strategies rising up the agenda for customer-focused companies, our panel has reviewed three winning entries from the UK Complaint Handling Awards ’17 to identify how profits are boosted through a listen and fix attitude. 

AnalysingThree UK’s, TNT’s (‘Complaint team of the year’ winners 2017) and Your Golf’s (‘Pro-active complaint handling’ winners 2017) entries, our panel has pinpointedfundamental themes to transform your business through effective complaint handling strategies:

Resolving the root cause

It may sounds obvious however many companies still hide from complaints, putting their heads in the sand. Our award-winners have taken a positive approach to negative customer feedback as a tool to improve. By listening to the root cause of complaints, Three UK introduced new initiatives to reduce paint points for their customers including: 

  • Out of Bundle Policy- to allow customersmore transparency and control over their spend.
  • Coverage Policy - to overcome limited indoor coverage with Three in Touch, an app designed to keep customers connected using WIFI.
  • Easy to Complain – introducing a multi-skilled web chat team, allowing customers to complain in a more convenient way.

By focusing on fixing complaints, Three UK has improved customer experience in many critical areas and has seen strong growth in profitability, a year on year increase of 74%.

Empowering your people

Enforcing rigid policies when it comes to complaint handling is a sure way to frustrate your customers. Often, complaint handling teams refer to generic scripts and procedures that do not consider the context of a complaint. 

To combat this frustration TNT established a dedicated, trained and easily accessible specialist team. Previously complaints were handled by any individual who happened to receivean incoming query resulting in inconsistent and limited responses. So the Customer Resolutions team was born - a dedicated team of professionals who are empowered with all the tools they need to resolve complaints quickly and deliver a positive experience. 

These professionals are not only trained with the world renowned Mary Goberprogramme on tone of voice and positive CS outcomes, but also map the root cause of commonly occurring problems.

As a result of this empowered team, TNT’s Net Promoter Score has nearly doubled from 9% in 2014 to 17.9% by Q3 of 2016.

Making complaining easy

Companies can shy away from encouraging customer complaints, afraid to open the doors to negative feedback. However one of the most common frustrations for customers when complaining is the difficulty in doing so. 

Looking at complaints as a way to improve your consumers’ brand perception and welcoming complaints through easy to access channels can ensure your customers have a positive experience. 

Due to rapid growth,leisure and holiday specialist golf travel business, Your Golf, were under-resourced and the company actively discouraged customers to complain by refusing to take phone calls and instead asking for complaints in writing. 

With poor reviews on social media, the company felt their approach lacked integrity and didn’t reflect how much they cared about their customers’ experience. So deciding to make a difference, they now operate a 24/7 support line including out of hours cover. Realising the power of complaints to positively impact a business, customers can now make complaints via phone, email, post, social media, review sites and online chat and are guaranteed a reply 24 hours a day. 

Since this cultural shift, Your Golf’sTrustpilot review score has improved from 1 and 2 star reviews to 4 and 5 star reviews.

With complaint handling strategies continuously evolving, our panel are keen to read all about the latest initiatives at this year’s UK Complaint Handling Awards. If your company is embracing the power of complaints, take a look at the categories here