The vast majority of councils have Complaints, Compliments and Comments procedures in place, but how effective are these processes?
Every organisation expects to get complaints at some point and while it’s important to minimise these, it’s also important to handle them in a consistent, fair and timely manner.
From council housing and parking tickets to policies or procurement procedures, complaints across a council are varied. Many of these processes rely on information being captured, circulated and then tracked around the organisation via email. Dealing with complaints can often be laborious, time consuming and difficult to report on across the council.
When thinking about the procedures and processes for handling complaints there are some basic questions that need to be addressed and agreed upon:
- What is the simplest and most effective way for customers to raise a complaint?
- What channels will be available for customers to raise complaints – face to face, phone, letter, email, web form, social media etc.?
- Are all complaints taken seriously and dealt with in a fair and consistent manner?
- Are customers given a comprehensive response within a given timescale and kept informed of the status of their complaint?
- Are any delays or hold ups explained and documented?
- How will you ensure complaints are quickly routed through to the correct person or department?
- What is the escalation procedure if the customer is not satisfied?
It’s critical to have a defined process with various checks along the way to make sure that the complaint has been recorded and is being dealt with appropriately. Using technology to create a series of forms and workflows makes it easier to record, track and report ongoing and historical complaints.
To keep costs down, you may look to shift channels away from expensive face-to-face and telephone interactions to an online self-service model, for example, an interactive web portal. The customer is able to record all the required information and workflow engines do the rest, automatically routing the complaint through to the right person/department and managing it through to resolution.
This, in addition to creating ‘template’ forms and workflows that can be used across multiple devices both externally and internally, saves time and money and leads to an increase in consistency and improved productivity.
When deciding which solution best suits your council’s needs, you may look for something that offers:
- Ease of use - for both customers and agents
- Full flexibility - a system that can be quickly and easily changed if the need arises
- Streamlined and automated processes - to save time and money
- Excellent reporting - to track against KPIs
- Council-wide application - for more than just complaints procedures e.g. offering full case management capabilities.
Find out more about how our Liberty CXM case management solution can help you manage your complaints procedures along with many other council processes while improving customer experiences.