Driving Profits Via Complaint Handling

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Thursday, December 16, 2010
12:00 PM - 01:00 PM EST
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Most executives view complaint handing as a costly nuisance. As a result, the process is resource starved and gets little respect within the organization.

However, a best practice complaint system not only retains customers and minimizes bad publicity such as the “United Breaks Guitars” video, but can foster Chief Marketing Officer support by producing huge amounts of positive word of mouth and an actionable Voice of the Customer.

The challenge is to improve practices and the executives’ understanding of what complaint handling (CH) does so that it is viewed as a revenue and positive word of mouth generator.  Customers whose complaints are well handled often have loyalty rates that are five to eight percent higher than customers with no problem.

Achieving this change in both operation and perception requires moving from the belief that an enhanced customer experience consists of answering the phone in 20 seconds, to assuring CSRs have empowerment backed by clear believable explanations that allow them to stop throwing money at every problem. It also includes actionable measurement and building linkages between the CH system and the rest of the organization.  By acting as a helpful consultant to the rest of the organization, the CH unit can help prevent at least 30 percent of problems before they ever occur.

In a one-hour webinar, Goodman will present complaint handling best practices and  research that will equip you to identify and cost justify the major improvements needed in your system, along with examples of implementation drawn from a dozen industries ranging from catalog and finance to health care, technology, non-profits and heavy industry.
Goodman will address how to measurably enhance the customer experience by:

  • Understanding the causes of customer dissatisfaction – they usually are NOT caused by front line staff mistakes
  • Using a framework of key complaint handling functions as a guide for building and evaluating your operation
  • Preventing problems and complaints via proactive education and “Psychic Pizza”, that is delivering needed information to the customer just before he asks for it
  • Understanding the barriers to non-complaining and when to start aggressively soliciting complaints
  • Quantifying the bottom line impact of your complaint process in a way that the CFO, CMO and Risk/Regulatory executives will appreciate and get all the resources you need
  • Setting priorities for complaint prevention and moving from firefighting into a preventive, consultative mode of operation
  • Reducing your reps frustration via recognition and feedback on how their input has changed the organization

Goodman will illustrate the above principles using case studies from companies like Toyota, Hyundai, Bath and Body Works, Qualcomm, and the Museum of Modern Art as well as major financial service, airline, technology, travel and leisure and health care companies.


John Goodman
Vice Chairman

John Goodman is considered one of the founding members of the customer experience industry. He has led the evolution of customer service from a cost center for answering consumer questions and complaints to a vital resource that helps organizations improve both operations and revenue. Widely regarded as a thought leader in the industry, Goodman has managed more than 800 separate customer service studies for major organizations (including Tarp's White House-sponsored evaluation of complaint handling practices in government and business and benchmark studies of the use of toll-free service numbers by major corporations, among others). His research has quantified the impact of word of mouth and "word of mouse," as well as the bottom-line impact of consumer education. Goodman is a frequent speaker on topics such as quantifying the impact of customer service, creating an effective Voice of the Customer system and how to best increase customer satisfaction.