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How to Build a Good Complaint Management System?

An effective complaint management system is one of the important aspects for successful business operation. Timely unresolved grievances can have a terrible impact on the brand reputation or distort the inner business workflows. Therefore, each of them should be handled quickly and appropriately.

Often, companies establish complex complaint management systems that involve separate customer and employee dispute resolution sections. If such systems are difficult to operate or if they involve much manual work, the process of claims handling can turn into a real nightmare. In this article, we’ll have a look at how businesses can benefit from complaint management systems and how to build an efficient solution for resolving complaints.

What is A Сomplaint Management System?

A complaint management system is a set of procedures and defined action steps that help businesses get complaints, analyze them, and resolve them in an efficient and timely manner. To facilitate this process, many businesses prefer building complaint management software. It helps significantly alleviate conflict settlement steps by automating manual operations and providing businesses with clear and easy-to-manage workflows.

When building their complaint management systems as software, businesses reap many benefits from that, including:

  • Increased conflict-resolving efficiency – companies can quickly investigate and respond to the complaints applied to the system by their customers, employees, or business partners while keeping the complainants updated on the issue-resolving steps via emails or notifications.
  • Provision of the required levels of safety – for businesses working in highly-regulated industries such as healthcare, consumer goods provision, or chemicals, customer complaints may reveal serious issues in safety or compliance with regulatory requirements. This way, complaint management systems can work as a ground for building effective safety management policies and systems that would ensure that companies follow all the required industry guidelines and normative obligations.
  • Increasing the productivity of customer service teams – well-thought-out complaint management systems can help customer service teams more effectively address and respond to received complaints. Moreover, company managers can simply trace each complaint in the system and evaluate how well the service agents handled the issue. This can provide managers with more insights into how to improve the performance of their teams and optimize their work.

Key Features of a Complaint Management System

When choosing a complaint management system for their business needs, companies should remember that there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Each company may have rather different requirements for its complaint-resolving software. Nevertheless, there are some key functionalities that are present in most such systems. Let’s have a look at some of them.

  • A complaint intake mechanism. It allows collecting complaints from customers or employees via different channels from cloud-based web forms, to email-to-case forms, to hotlines. Apart from allowing complaints, these mechanisms can be anonymous if they concern collecting some subtle complaints related to interpersonal relationships between colleagues.
  • Guided workflow. This is an essential part of any complaint management system. It helps support agents handle complaints and efficiently keep on track with the investigation process even when they receive multiple issues at a time. A good complaint management system should include such procedures as instant case assignment, notifications during an investigation and on the issue resolution, case prioritization, role-based system access, quick info on each complaint, overall analytics on complaint management, and more.
  • Workflow management tools. These can be the tools that help complaint managers to adjust complaint management workflows as well as automatic ticket management mechanisms that have various distribution models, and more.
  • Collaboration tools. These tools can be of great help when there are complex issues that require the expertise of several participants. These can be employees at different positions in one company. If a large and multi-stage issue involves several employees, they require a shared environment to quickly address it. This can be live chats, video calls, remote computer access software, and more.
  • Monitoring and analytics tools. With monitoring tools, complaint managers can easily evaluate the performance of their support teams and how well the complaint-handling processes are performed in the company. Monitoring and analytics tools can involve visible and quickly accessible dashboards as well as detailed statistical reports.

Steps To Build a Complaint Management System

Complaint management systems can take many forms. These can be inner workflow issue-resolving platforms, customer complaint management applications, or even complaint management software as a part of a larger platform such as a supply chain management system. Due to such a great diversity of complaint management systems, many companies prefer building their own solutions rather than opting for off-the-shelf software. This way, they ensure that the developed application entirely matches their business demands.

If you’re also considering building a solid complaint management system for your business, here are some important steps to take.

Requirements Preparation

Any software implementation starts with the understanding of its purpose and which issues it will be aiming to solve. Here are some questions that can help you decide what kind of complaint management system you need and which features to include in it.

  • What category of users is the system aiming at? Should it be a customer-focused solution, an application for resolving issues for your employees, or something else?
  • What steps should your system follow to resolve an issue?
  • How many support agents will work with the system?
  • Do you need any collaborative tools such as video conferencing, remote access, etc. in your solution?
  • Which channels do you want to use to gather complaints?
  • Which channels do you want to use to notify the complainants about the issue-handling steps or complaint resolution?
  • Do you need role-based access to your system? In case several departments should be involved in complaint handling or you need to provide access to the third parties to your system.

Upon answering these questions, it’ll be much easier for you to understand what type of complaint-handling system you’re looking for.

Choosing a Ready-Made Solution or Custom Developed

It may happen that you’ll find a ready-made solution that fits into your requirements which you could put into operation right away, and that’s great news. However, before choosing this option, you might consider further perspectives on your business development.

Off-the-shelf solutions are great as they don’t require any development time and are much cheaper to implement at the start. However, they can come to be a rather expensive solution in the long run. That’s because the companies t