The Life Cycle of a Complaint

Jan 26, 2017 1:55:49 PM / by Sarah Spangler

Organizations facing customer complaints have a choice to make: Either handle those issues one by one using inefficient legacy processes or leverage a powerful software platform to guide each issue to a positive outcome. This choice has an impact on both how long the complaint remains active within the organization and on the path it takes to resolution. You don't want your issues to age with your company - better if they can disappear as quickly as they arrive.

The right software solution shortens an issue's life cycle by organizing, automating and prioritizing action items. Let's examine how your organization can use that platform to minimize a complaint's impact at every turn.

Make it easier to log a complaint

It seems counterintuitive - why would a company want to empower its customers to complain more? But by making it easier for customers to log complaints, you're streamlining the entire process. When there is a designated entry point for complaints, you can keep track of them more easily and also improve the customer experience. In other words - don't make your complaints process something your customers will want to complain about!

Tag each complaint

When a complaint comes into existence, you need to be able to identify it at any time, know how close it is to resolution, flag it with the appropriate parties when necessary and offer customer feedback as needed. This is critical: If you can't track your complaints, at least some will linger in the system unchecked and forgotten, growing more and more problematic the longer they survive. Additionally, strong issue tracking software makes it easy to visualize complaints by providing an internal dashboard your team can use to find what it needs at any time. That also helps the team keep the customer in the loop when they move closer to resolution - helping to build trust with the client.

Follow through to close it out

After a customer complaint has reached a quick and satisfactory resolution, the final stage for its life cycle is to reflect - could anything have been improved upon? Is the customer happy? Is everyone involved looped in on the results? Issue tracking software makes this last step automatic by creating and delivering reports and helping compile data that can be used for trend analysis.

Here's what the best-case scenario looks like for a customer complaint:

  • The customer knows exactly where to go to log a complaint and has no issue doing so.
  • That complaint is immediately tagged and an alert goes out to the parties involved in its resolution.
  • As different stakeholders work on the issue, the software platform updates the complaint's status and provides easy insight.
  • Once resolved, the team responds to the customer and the software creates a report.

To get a better idea of what the ideal customer complaint life cycle looks like, check out the graphic below.

Topics: Complaint Management, Issue Tracking

Sarah Spangler

Written by Sarah Spangler