Insights and Resources

    Can You Relate to the Daily Challenges of Managing Complaints?

    12 Mar 2020

    When we suffer a perceived injustice at the hands of an organisation one of our first instincts is to complain. When regaling tales of wrongdoing to peers the first question often asked is ‘Did you make a complaint?’ 

    However, complaining can be so much more than therapy to complainants, and as we have previously written about, can be used as a catalyst for change for organisations.


    In the Public Sector


    If you work in the public sector, you will know that complaints and the broader management of them means different things to different people, depending on their role. The basis for an effective complaint management process remain the same throughout though –a transparent, logical process that captures the requirements of each stakeholder involved with a view to delivering a fair resolution to the complainant. Today, more and more organisations are looking to technology to handle their complaints process, and in turn are deriving tangible benefits as a result.


    If you haven’t already evaluated your complaint management system, now is the time to assess whether your organisation could benefit from a digital complaints platform as part of your broader digital transformation strategy.


    Whether you are a Customer Service Manager, an IT manager or even in the Marketing and Communication department, your role in the complaint management process will differ. So how does a technology led solution cover every stakeholder’s requirements?


    For the Customer Services/Complaint Manager


    Customer service managers and complaint managers are never far from the front line of citizen interaction. Dealing with customers and citizens on a day to day basis gives them an unadulterated view of ongoing or recurring issues. Some of the challenges include:


    • An increase in the volume of complaints can lead to slower response times, and an unavailability of staff to deal directly with citizens.
    • Many still using paper based complaint handling methods, or at best excel/word.
    • Complaints coming from direct and indirect channels i.e. via social media


    How a technology led platform can help


    A digital platform can revolutionise complaint management departments. By embracing features such as automation, complaints can be automatically categorised, assigned, and automated communications can be set up to send updates to complainants, immediately freeing time up away from administrative responsibilities and in to value added duties.


    For IT/Digital Services Managers


    The responsibilities of IT and Digital Services Managers are broad and varied. Any new or enhanced complaint management platform will fall under an IT departments remit, whether this be costing, implementation or maintenance.


    This area perhaps faces the most critical challenges of all:


    • Finance – a main driver in any public sector body is budget. Can suitable money be signed off to make investments in digital infrastructure?
    • How does a new system adapt and integrate with third party integrations?
    • Is the system user friendly and how easy is it to deploy?


    How a technology led platform can help


    Although complaints may only form part of a broader digital strategy of public bodies, case management principals can be mirrored across other areas of the organisation, for example by providing a single citizen view.


    By deploying a complaint management solution built on Microsoft Dynamics 365 for example, public bodies can leverage existing IT architecture they have bought into - in this case Microsoft licenses - resulting in an extremely cost effective solution, that integrates well with third party software, on a familiar user interface, minimising training required.


    For Marketing and Communication Department


    In the public sector, the main currency when it comes to marketing and communicating to citizens is reputation. The day to day management of social media channels opens the department up to citizen interaction, often in the form of complaints.


    What challenges are there?


    • Often on the front line however can be last to see issues that come in through other departments.
    • Marketing is also responsibility for brand and PR and social media complaints are not being dealt with as quickly and effectively as they should


    How a technology led platform can help


    How do you know what citizens are saying about your organisation behind your back? As technology progresses so does its ability to find what people are saying, even indirectly. By automatically finding any comments your organisation is mentioned in, you can proactively deal with concerns, bringing indirect complaints in to your platform with a view to increase customer satisfaction. Your system can be used to analyse complaints, spot trends and take permanent preventative action, all via complaints you otherwise may have known nothing about (we wrote in depth on this here).


    As you can see, complaints and the management of them means different things from the different stakeholders within organisations. The digitalisation of this process can not only make the jobs of each area easier, it can enhance the overall complaints process, internally and externally, providing added value to citizens. Public bodies also benefit from clearer reporting and analysis, helping the organisation make improvements along the way.


    Equiniti work in partnership with organisation to develop complaint management platforms that work for them. Request a free demo of our software to find out more.



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