Complaint Management Specification requirements
Your complaint management philosophy should be open and encourage customers to complain when
things go wrong or their expectations are not being met..
Your organisation needs a culture of ‘accepting responsibility’ and ‘getting things right’. Your complaint
process should be visible and easily accessible to customers who want to complain in person, by
phone, in writing, by email or any other contact method they prefer to use.
Avis has a Minicom service for the deaf that allows them easy access to Avis whenever they need it –
24 hours a day.
You need to widely publicise information about how to complain in places such as:
- Retail locations and offices
- Renewal notifications
- Product literature
- Right-to-cancel notices
- Call centres
Also, subject to regulatory requirements around contractual language, you will need to provide help to
customers with limited literacy skills and those requiring support in languages other than the normal
operating language of your organisation. This might be achieved by directing them to organisations
that can help them to complain.
Good practice checklist
Look for indicators of dissatisfaction before complaints occur and pre-empt them. Examples are
early settlement enquiries or requests for the name of the Chief Executive.
Encourage an ‘open and responsive’ attitude to complaints when they occur.
A well-known automotive organisation assessed that for the 30,000 complaints that were being
received at Corporate Customer Relations, there were actually 6 million problem experiences annually
among their customer base. Many customers were failing to complain at all – instead just going to the
competition at the next opportunity.
Have a clear and wide definition of a complaint so that all staff know when to deal with customer
contact using your complaint management process.
Use consumer ‘education’ practices to reduce the number of unjustified complaints.
A consumer services company analysed the ‘root cause’ of over 50,000 complaints. Less than 30%
were due to a physical service failure or product shortcoming. More than 70% were due to a mismatch
between what consumers thought they were buying into and what they actually got. After further
analysis half of this misunderstanding was due the customer-facing staff (including sales people) not
being clear on what the organisation was promising to consumers.
Provide easy access to your complaints process - on every contact method you use to deal with
customers and prospects.
An organisation carried out an analysis of how comprehensive its complaint process was. It found that
for each complaint that went through its formal head office complaint management process it could
identify 28 indicators of dissatisfaction in its day-to-day dealings with customers. Half of these had
NO COPYING WITHOUT BSI PERMISSION EXCEPT AS PERMITTED BY COPYRIGHT LAW