For systematic planning of the complaint processing it is first necessary to identify the relevant process types. Depending on the extent of responsibility for the operative complaint processing, three basic types can be differentiated: independent processes, cooperative processes and transfer processes. A second classification based on the criterion of reaction urgency distinguishes between routine and non-routine processes.
The analysis of all current complaint processing procedures must be performed from the company’s perspective as well as from the customers’ perspective in order to achieve both efficiency and complaint satisfaction among customers. On the basis of this analysis the logical sequence of processing steps must be defined and the responsibilities in each step determined. There are three types of responsibility: the “process owner” for the entire management process, the “complaint owner” for the individual case processing, and the “task owner” for the individual phases of complaint processing.
Furthermore, it is necessary to determine clear deadlines for all identified complaint processing procedures as well as for their sub-processes and processing steps. Compliance with the deadlines must be monitored by an employee-oriented reminder system and an associated escalation system, that can extend over several hierarchical levels. With regard to the communication in cross-departmental processes, it is important to determine which information is to be delivered between which units involved, on which paths and within which time limits. The individual processing steps must be documented in the complaint-processing history as well as in the customer-contact and complaint history.
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