Public complaint: what, why and how to resolve


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Sam Wilson, FRSB

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Public complaint: what, why and how to resolve

  1. 1. The Good, the Bad &the Ugly IoF Face-2-Face Conference 4 December 2012 Sam Wilson, Marketing & Policy Manager Fundraising Standards Board
  2. 2. Content… The Problem Complaints trends Their implications Attrition The Solution How’s my fundraising? The bad & the ugly
  3. 3. FRSB complaints trends – 2011 data Key observations:  9.6 billion donor contacts, just over 30,000 complaints received  Top 50 charities by voluntary income account for 71% of all complaints. However, they also account for 86% of volume.  Direct mail generated the highest number of complaints  Followed by telephone & door to door  Only 15 complaints were escalated to Stage 2 of the FRSB complaints procedure  Three went to a full adjudicationSource: FRSB membership annual returns for period Jan – Dec 2011 (those who have been signed up to self-regulation for longer than 6 months).
  4. 4. Door to door collections (DD) Of particular note in the other category were 23 complaints about targeting the elderly & vulnerable No of complaints 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 Fundraiser Dislike of Timing of call Calling on no Frequency of Other conduct method charity cold approach callers premisesSource: FRSB Members, Annual Complaints Return 2011
  5. 5. Street collections (DD) No of complaints 180 160 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 Fundraiser conduct Dislike of method Frequency of Other approachSource: FRSB Members, Annual Complaints Return 2011
  6. 6. Did you know?  More than half of people now complain all or most of the time if they are unhappy with a product – an increase of 18% in 5 years…and that was in 2006  Just think about PPI misselling & MPs expensesSource: National Complaints Culture Survey, ICS/TMI 2006
  7. 7. The implications?  Of all your unhappy supporters, only 1 in 25 will tell you  ‘Silent complainers’  A happy supporter may tell 2 or 3 people.  An unhappy one will 10. 20% of them will tell 20 more…  Resolve their problems fast and 85% will come back againSource: Profiles International
  8. 8. How many supporters are you losing?  Average annual attrition rate = 10 -20%  Small improvements can make big difference  Has additional benefits:  More efficient marketing spend  Cross sell / up sell  Increased feedback  Word of mouthSource: McGrath 1997; Base: All supporters who make more than one contribution
  9. 9. Don’t forget…It costs at least 5 times as much to gain a new supporter than keep an existing one
  10. 10. So what’s the solution?
  11. 11. How’s my fundraising?  Feedback is a great opportunity  Encourage it, good or bad  But make sure you can deal with it!  Have a process to deal with the negative  Put yourself in their shoes. How would you like to be treated?  Record it all, including the detail  Put it into context  Monitor & review  Learn & improve  Give feedback to your supporter
  12. 12. Words of wisdom from Bluefrog Creative  Tackle the silent complainers  Keep donors happy  Saying thank you is a start  Giving donors a channel to feedback will help you find out what they really think  Sharing their experiences – good & bad – and your answers in a place other donors will see it may help answer complaints from people who don’t have the time or inclination to air them  Learn from your own experiences, and adapt them for your charitySource: Bluefrog Creative, Monday 12 November, How do you answer complaints from donors who don’t complain
  13. 13. The bad & the ugly“An expression of dissatisfaction whether justified or not” (BS8600)
  14. 14. How’s best to do it?  Agree what recording  Agree how recording  Agree who’s going to co-ordinate  Agree communication channels  Establish handling processes  Regular reporting & monitoring  Submit ACR if FRSB member
  15. 15. Why is it important to have a complaints process?  Empower supporters by instilling confidence in your services  Ensures consistency across the organisation  Shows you’re focussing on your supporters’ needs  Shows you have an open, honest and fair approach  Benefit your charity’s development by setting a benchmark for supporter care.  Enhance your charity’s reputation by confirming its commitment to excellence.
  16. 16. What should your process look like?  Must be available in writing or on your website (if you have one)  Must outline how supporters can make a complaint to you.  Must outline clearly defined timeframes  Needs to make reference to the FRSB (if you’re a member)  Designate a complaints co-ordinator (someone primarily responsible for handling complaints)
  17. 17. Top Ten Tips! • Convey thanks • Obtain all the facts • Make it easy • Put yourself in their shoes • Learn from every complaint • Authorize & empower your staff • Ignore at your peril • No two complaints are the same • Train your staff • Say sorry – always apologise
  18. 18. In summary… The –ve you hear about is probably just the tip of the iceberg Resolve their concerns & they’ll keep giving Make sure all staff are aware of the implications of poor supporter care Listen to them…ask them what they think Learn from your own experiences Follow through on promises Be better every time…