19 June 2017: You said, we did: Complaint management

Together with the Defence Infrastructure Organisation, we’re on the road again speaking to our customers and getting their feedback through a series of workshops across the UK. This follows the success of our 2016 Customer Engagement Forum.

Over the last 12 months we have been working through the feedback we have received, which has helped us shape our services and develop improvements. This article is the first in a series highlighting some of the specific improvements put in place.

At the Customer Engagement Forum last year customers told us that it was difficult to log a complaint and it took too long to process. They also said that we hadn’t delivered on promises and they had little confidence that we would resolve the complaints they were logging.

From this, we created our new Customer Solutions and Insight Department, who have radically improved the timely resolution of complaints. Now, any customer can raise a complaint with one of our dedicated Frontline Complaints Team and if it’s not resolved straight away, it will be passed over to one of our Solutions Managers or Local Advisors. Previously, 45% of our complaints were being resolved within 10 working days, our performance is now at 99%.

We have Customer Solutions Managers resolving complaints centrally, supported by our Local Customer Service Centres across the UK and a mobile team who are out in the field offering face to face support. We hope that this local touch also helps to counter the criticism we received that we were a ‘faceless organisation’.

Stuart Jones, Customer Service Director, said, “I’m really proud of the Customer Solutions and Insight team. Our Front Line Complaints team are resolving up to 30% of complaints on first contact, with the rest being resolved by our specialist teams typically within 10 days. Our insight staff are using complaint data to identify ‘hotspots’ and helping to focus specific operational improvements. It is regrettable that we get any complaints, but I recognise we’ll always get some given the nature of our contract. It’s a must that we deal with complaints efficiently, and learning from the human impact of issues is an opportunity, not only for us, but for our wider community.”

Improving complaint management was just one of the themes emerging from last year’s Customer Experience Forum, we’ve also been working on Accommodation Officer training, better explaining our responsibilities, improving our supply chain performance, and creating a culture of helpfulness at our Customer Service Centre which we’ll cover in this series of articles.