Don’t resource complaints

Never trust an organisation that has a complaints team. If it has decided to allocate resources to handling complaints then it expects a high volume of complaints about its products or service. Instead of dealing with the reasons why customers complain it has opted to tackle the aftermath.

I once worked for a complaints team. Most complaints were about delay. The main cause of the delay was insufficient staff on the front line. There were eight staff in my team and at least ten other complaints team in the organisation. That’s eighty staff who could have been redeployed on the front line to prevent complaints, instead of responding to them.

Prevention remains better than cure.  Many customers don’t have the time or inclination to follow an organisation’s complaints process, unless it offers a financial incentive. Some post their negative comments on social media or consumer websites. Others don’t say anything but take their business elsewhere. If enough of them depart the organisation suffers, without ever knowing the reason why.


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