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Complaint Management #NCSW16

Posted on: 04/10/2016

Customer complaints are often seen as a problem but they are an instant barometer for us to gauge the levels of customer service we are providing on a day to day basis. I have always held the view that responding to complaints quickly and putting any issues right is the most effective way of dealing with them.

We don’t get things right all the time but where we make mistakes it’s important that we aim to resolve things for our customers as soon as we possibly can.

Our current approach is focused on resolving over 85% of our complaints within one day (D+1) of receiving them and I have been really pleased with the response from all our colleagues after we’ve adopted this approach.

We have overcome some initial challenges and it’s great to see quick resolutions to issues agreed with our customers to allow the complaints to be closed.

National Customer Service Week is a great opportunity for us all to take a step back and consider the part we can all play in anticipating and resolving customer complaints and issues, whether we sit in a traditional customer-facing role or not.

What is clear from recent independent research into the customer experience across a range of sectors is that it’s no longer just the delivery of the service that results in a positive outcome for the customer, it’s the manner in how it gets done that is seen as being most important.

For complaints this is particularly significant. We have to handle them sensitively with understanding and in a personal way. We may deal with several complaints a day but for those customers making the complaints, it’s a really big issue, probably the biggest issue in their day and they want to get a response as quickly as possible.

Our performance in this area has improved significantly from just over 50% resolution within D+1 last year to over 80% this year, this is a great performance and one we can continue to improve going forward.

We have also improved the letters and leaflets we send to our customers to make sure the information we give them is what they need and is easy to understand.  We are also planning to launch an online live chat facility and overhauling our connections internet portal within the next 12 months.

I believe the customer service culture we’ve developed, supported by our company values, places us in a great position to continue our success. I’m confident we can continue to provide our customers with the level of service they deserve. Whilst I know people can’t choose their gas network, I’d like to think that if they could, they would choose us.

I hope you’ve found this overview of our approach to complaint management and resolution of interest. If you’ve got any comments or questions, leave a comment below and I’ll try my best to answer them.

Mark

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Mark Oliver

Wales & West Utilities Director of Business Services