Customer Complaint Handling Introduction
- Service & Complaints Guides
- A Practical Guide to Handling Consumer Complaints
- Best Practices in Handling Customer Complaints
- A Guide for Consumer Complaints Management
- 6 Steps to Achieve Customer Service Excellence
It is hard to imagine a customer transaction not vulnerable to problems and complaints, be it buying groceries, connecting to cable service, purchasing a car or having a home repair done. Nor is it hard to see why businesses benefit from making concerted efforts to prevent and respond to customer complaints.
Research shows, in fact, that companies attract and keep customers when they follow customer service standards and policies that prevent problems from arising, and are honest, fair and responsive when things go wrong. Customer complaint management (CCM) encompasses techniques, processes and systems that lessen the chance of customers having problems and allow businesses to respond fairly, efficiently and effectively when complaints arise.
Although many firms and industry sectors already carry out some form of customer complaints management, surveys suggest that many Canadian customers are not satisfied with how businesses respond to customer problems.
The immediate objective of this Guide is to increase awareness among businesses, customer organizations and governments of existing Customer Compliant Management initiatives, and to provide suggestions for developing effective programs. The long-term objective is to improve business practices in the marketplace by providing practical information about responsive Customer Compliant Management initiatives that can serve as benchmarks for effective complaints management. It is clear that individual firms and industry associations are usually in a leadership position in creating good market-based complaints management initiatives. But customer organizations can also take the lead in developing such initiatives and help industry with its work in this area. For governments, effective Customer Compliant Management initiatives increase the likelihood that customer problems will be resolved at the source, allowing governments to concentrate their efforts on “bad actors.”
The Guide discusses Customer Compliant Management initiatives developed by individual firms as well as sector-wide programs, in both the conventional and online marketplaces. Rather than providing a comprehensive digest of Customer Compliant Management initiatives and being a detailed how-to manual, the Guide is designed to be a point of departure.
The first part of the Guide describes various types of Customer Compliant Management initiatives, provides examples of these initiatives, and discusses their strengths, weaknesses and other characteristics, and the conditions in which they are successful. The second part of the Guide outlines eight steps for developing and implementing effective complaints management initiatives. The Guide is the culmination of research and consultation to prepare case studies of existing complaints management initiatives and research papers, as well as a workshop that discussed the findings in these papers. To keep the Guide as concise as possible, only brief references are made to the underlying research.
Readers should not interpret the mention of any particular Customer Compliant Management initiative as endorsement of the firms or initiatives by federal, provincial or territorial governments, or by those who prepared the Guide.
- Market-based Customer Complaints Handling Initiatives
- Preventive Customer Complaint Handling Initiatives
- Internal Complaints Handling Initiatives
- External Private Dispute Resolution Initiatives
- Comprehensive Complaints Handling Systems
- Characteristics of Effective Online Trustmark Programs
- Online Redress
- The Need for Effective Customer Complaint Handling Initiatives
- Customer Complaint Handling Initiatives and the Law
- Developing and Implementing Complaint Handling Initiatives
- Elements of Successful Customer Complaint Handling Initiatives
- Where Can I Get More Help?