Principles of Complaint Management
The overall goal of complaint management is to increase the competitiveness and profit of the company. This overall goal can be broken down into sub-goals that can be assigned to the areas of customer relationship management and quality management. Furthermore, there is the requirement of productive task fulfillment. Primary sub-goals with respect to customer relationships are to prevent customer churn and to achieve positive effects on revenues, corporate image and word-of-mouth communication. To what extent these customer relationship-related targets are achieved can be determined by means of the following key performance indicators: articulation rate/non-articulation rate, registration rate/non-registration rate, proportion of convinced/disappointed complainants, recommendation rate/warning rate and repurchase rate/churn rate.
With regard to quality management, complaint management aims to improve the product quality and to reduce failure costs by the use of the information contained in complaints. The quality-related relevant key performance indicators are: defect rate, annoyance rate, warranty rate and guarantee rate.
Regarding the complaint management tasks, it is useful to distinguish between the direct and the indirect complaint management processes. The tasks of the direct complaint management process include direct contacts with customers, and these primarily serve the customer relationship-related sub-goals: complaint stimulation, complaint acceptance, complaint processing and complaint reaction. Tasks that can be performed without customer contact, belong to the indirect complaint management process and aim to achieve the quality-related sub-goals: complaint evaluation, complaint-management controlling, complaint reporting and utilization of complaint information.
Optimal fulfillment of the tasks requires an appropriate design of the human resources, and of the organizational and technological framework.
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