Mistakes, errors, issues occur everyday in the business world and as a result complaints generally follow. It is, therefore, important to understand that no matter how big or small the complaints, this “feedback” is an indicator that something is wrong within the company. No one likes a complaint and no one individual relishes being complained about, yet as the old saying goes “it’s not personal, it’s business “.
So how exactly does the complaint make your company better?
1. Show your client that you have a mechanism to deal with complaints. This is not a “red rag to a bull”, this illustrates professionalism. Within the Lettings industry all letting agents are required by Law to be a member of a Redress Scheme. This means that the consumer has a point of reference once the complaint has been dealt with by the Letting Agent and the outcome for the complainant is not satisfactory.
2. Receive the complaint with grace. The default is to become defensive. Don’t. Train your team to be gracious rather than angry when a customer puts in a complaint. Face the complaint with understanding, ask and find out as much information as you can. Remember- we are all consumers.
Whether the complaint is in writing or over the telephone, you MUST ensure that there is a strong foundation and understanding throughout your organisation of how complaints are to be dealt with and why they benefit your company.
For Letting Agents, the process is straightforward because ALL letting agents are part of one of two Redress Schemes. The mechanism is in place, be sure your team understand it.
3. Ask the complainant how they feel changes can improve their customer experience for the better. Sometimes the client does have the answer.
4. Use complaints to measure and benchmark service levels. Corporates have the resource and systems to analyse complaints, use them to benefit the organisation and therefore improve systems, processes, customer service and customer care. They do not always get it right. The bigger the company, the more complaints they tend to have.
Managing complaints, providing the customer with a solution is the aim. It’s not always about compensation, the objective is to find common ground that will restore the customers’ faith in your company.
Susie Crolla CEO