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Customer complaint handling and resolution policies

Expert Don Peppers urges businesses to adopt formal customer compalint handling and resolution policies and work to uncover unvoiced customer complaints.

How important is it for an organization to have a formal complaint-handling policy? How can it be used to analyze customer needs and create customer value?
Every business has customers who have complaints. They complain to you, if they can and they're not too shy to do so, or they complain to others, which is more frequent. Therefore, it's not only vital to have a complaint handling policy, but we think it's important to have a complaint "discovery" policy, as well – that is, a process for actively probing and searching for unvoiced complaints. Martha Rogers and I first wrote about the importance of this in our 1993 book, The One to One Future, and we stand by everything we wrote about it then. It's all still valid.

One of the benefits of uncovering customer complaints, in fact, is that they will frequently give you some insight into the needs of customers. This is not always true, and it is not the primary reason to handle complaints, but every dialogue with a customer is an opportunity to learn not just about that customer but about others similar to that customer.

Hear more in Creating Customer Value, a SearchCRM.com monthly podcast series with Peppers and Rogers.

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