Complaints processes vary by industry and organisation and can sometimes be very complex. Your organisation may have to deal with multiple types of complaint, all with different data requirements and procedures, using a single piece of software. Your organisation may want or need to include both formal and informal processes, in addition the ability for internal teams to raise a complaint on behalf of a customer, if they believe it is in the interests of the organisation or required by a regulator.
Listening to the customer
LEAP, the low-code platform from FLOvate is the perfect solution to manage all your compliant processing needs. This starts with First Notification (FN), the FN stage is sometimes called the Listening Stage to emphasise the importance of listening to the complainant so you can understand the issue(s) and their preferred path to resolution.
LEAP is able to accept FN via a range of routes, including forms on your website, via an API, email, telephone or by post. Plus, to ensure you capture all the relevant information you can configure a comprehensive FN questionnaire that can either be completed by your call handlers or emailed to the complainant for completion, which will automatically update the complaint record.
At the end of the FN stage it is best practice to formally acknowledge the complaint, usually in writing, setting out the details of the complaint and providing information about your complaints process.
Formal or informal process?
Within both regulated and non-regulated environments, it is usual to offer the complainant a choice between informal and formal routes. The informal route follows a less structured process and enables mutually agreed solution that could be a simple as an apology. Typically, regulators limit the time that the informal route can take, usually 3-5 days. If the complaint cannot be resolved using the informal route, then the more structured formal process takes over.
For the more formal route it is usual to have a point of contact. Within LEAP you can appoint a single point of contact, as well as allowing any number of other roles required by your complaints process.
Investigation and face finding
Best practice for stage two of your complaints process is an assessment stage. What type of complaint has been registered and what is the likely severity? Based on the answers to these questions and the configured workflow, you can determine what investigation needs to be conducted (if any) and what further information needs to be collected before action can be taken.
The next stage is to ask for comments from the team member (or their manager) who originally provided the customer with the service (or product). We typically term this the respondent, however, with flexible configuration you can name all the parties involved with names familiar to your organisation/market place.
This request for comments from the respondent can happen automatically and be chased as defined by your organisation’s guidelines. All of this can be completed electronically within the system or externally via email.
External experts and advisors
Depending on the type and/or severity of the complaint you may need to involve external experts/advisors. LEAP supports sub-processes that allows third parties to be included in the main process. Their interactions can be closely monitored via tasks that are actioned within the systems or separately using email.
You may be a service provider to an external regulated party (e.g. an insurer) and want to record their details of the complaint. LEAP enables you to create external accounts, that allows third parties restricted access to the complaint record during the resolution process. These external accounts are easily configurable and can allow users accessed based on your defined limitations.
Your service levels may vary according to complaint type, severity or what regulated party is involved, within LEAP you can configure the system to make automatic changes to the core workflow based on one of these examples or many others.
Make a decision
After these preliminary stages, you will reach the point of adjudication. Whether you decide to reject the complaint or uphold the complaint either fully or partially, you can use LEAP to produce the necessary correspondence and to manage any resulting sub processes.
If the complaint is upheld, corrective action or compensation may be needed to improve the customer relationship. LEAP can be configured to manage these processes, delegate the work to particular people/teams and authorise payments of credits, when required.
To minimise the risk of the complaint action happening to other customers, best practice is to investigate and assess what needs to be changed in your processes, this investigation is also often mandated by regulators. This may be simple as identifying training needs for people or teams, to a redesign of a product or service. LEAP allows you to manage this prevention as a sub process of your main complaints process.
Timely and effective communication
Regulatory compliance often involves the strict management of timescales during the complaints process. This includes requirements to; formally acknowledge complaints within a set timescale; answer correspondence in a timely manner; and to set a time limit for a mutually agreed resolution to be agreed, after which a referral to the regulator is mandated. You also must signpost the regulator throughout the process. Depending on who the regulator is and how your organisation interprets the rules, you can include all these requirements in the LEAP workflow.
Milestones and timescales are easily managed within LEAP. These can be set at the beginning of the complaints process and configured to allow alerts to escalate to management when a milestone is about to be missed or has been missed (or both). The milestone sub system also provides a valuable audit trail that shows how your organisation performs with respect to the milestones set for the process.
Reports and dashboards
Reporting on the types of complaints received and the resolutions could not be easier with LEAP reports and dashboards. Reports can be scheduled and delivered automatically via emails at preset intervals. Alternatively, dashboards can be configured to provide analytics and information in real time.
To find out how LEAP can help to automate and improve you complaints processes, contact the FLOvate team today.