Customer Complaint Systems

FairWay can help you design and implement a customer complaints management system that deals with complaints quickly, informally, consistently and with maximum flexibility.

An effective customer complaints system can enhance your reputation as a customer-focussed and trusted organisation. It can be run in-house or outsourced to FairWay. Customer complaints systems can be a valuable source of market research that with our analytical support, can be a critical business improvement tool.

What is the value of a customer complaints management system to your organisation?

Customer complaints systems improve customers’ experiences of dealing with your organisation and reduce the risk of reputational damage from a customer who does not believe they have been dealt with fairly. In today’s world of social media, one customer’s complaint can trigger a viral reaction that can be difficult to contain.

Customer complaints are a source of ‘free’ market research, where analysis of complaint themes can be used to better align your products/services to customers’ interests and services.

British research has found that customers who have a positive experience with a complaint management system have a more positive view of the company than those who have not complained. A good quality, well designed, complaint management system can improve customer loyalty.

An effective complaint management system saves time and money by quickly resolving complaints before they snowball into large full-blown disputes that are costly and distracting.

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What does a customer complaints system include?

Customer complaint systems can be as simple or comprehensive as your organisation needs. For instance, a sole practitioner who is a member of an external dispute resolution scheme may need only a process for receiving, acknowledging, and deciding an outcome before handing an unresolved complaint over the external scheme.

Larger organisations, or those whose good reputation with consumers is critical, may require a system of conflict management interventions. Those interventions may include training for all frontline staff in techniques for early resolution of conflict, a well-designed and documented internal complaints process, triage rules, an end-to-end case management system, dispute escalation protocols, and root cause analysis of complaint data.

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What are the options for outsourced customer complaints systems?

Many organisations choose to run their customer complaints systems in-house. This requires a commitment of resources in developing skills, systems and capacity, but gives you complete control over the process. Alternatively you can outsource your end-to-end customer complaints handling to FairWay to manage under your brand.

Organisations that outsource their customer complaints systems to FairWay usually want to provide consumers with confidence about the independence of the complaints reviewer, or for cost effectiveness. Outsourced customer complaints systems can be configured in any way that suits your organisation, but usually includes a single telephone and email gateway for complaint enquiries, triage of complaints, and case management of complaints from inception to completion. We manage response times at each step of the process to ensure the customer’s complaint is dealt with quickly so they can move on with their relationship with your organisation.

Our triage centre will register the complaint, guide the complainant on how to write a complaint (including interpretation and translation if necessary) and refer the complainant back to the appropriate person within your organisation to deal with. A professionally-run triage centre ensures that complainants will have easy access to a process to redress the issues they have with your organisation and ensures your staff effectively manage complaints that affect them. It also provides a level of pastoral support - a ‘centre of care’ to support complainants throughout the complaints process.

A triage centre also seeks an early resolution of complaints to avoid them escalating to time-consuming and stressful disputes that are costly for all parties. Outsourced customer complaints systems help increase customers’ confidence in your commitment to fair dispute resolution.

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How can we help you develop a customer complaints system?

FairWay has the breadth of capability to help you:

  • design complaints management systems
  • develop staff skills in complaint handling through training and coaching
  • review standard documents related to complaint management
  • provide case management technology to improve and standardise workflows
  • design standard reports, and
  • provide expert dispute resolution on a case-by-case basis

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Who provides our customer complaints system services?

As the largest company in New Zealand specialising in conflict management, we have significant experience advising on and operating customer complaints schemes. The complaints management system team includes experienced consumer complaints Sheme Director, Jennifer Mahony, Business Director & Technical Lead, Bernard Lock, Senior Resolution Practitioner, Denise Evans and General Manager: Service Delivery, Hannes Strydom.

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