How a Complaint Log Improves Internal Communication
A company is made up of many interrelated parts that ultimately serve the same purpose: satisfy the customer. In order to do this the flow of communication between departments is very important. To see what makes the customer satisfied there must be a way to capture their voice. In order to capture their voice and find out what makes a customer satisfied, you must find out what makes them dissatisfied. The best way to do this is through a customer complaint log.
A customer complaint log is the gateway to your customers’ voice and more specifically their pain points. Your customers’ pain points are the way a customer says, “Here, I am telling you what I need improved so I can be happy and stay your customer. I am giving you a second chance to do it right.” Fail to listen and fail to act and you run the risk of losing this customer. Effective short term complaint handling will resolve this particular complaint, but how can you make sure this customer will not run into the same problem in the future? This is where communicating the voice of the customer throughout your company is important. So important in fact that a breakdown in communication can lead to ineffective product or service development, a non-adaptive improvement approach, wasted energy on non-impactful issues, wasted improvement effort, a limited scope of what the customer wants, impaired leadership judgment, and insufficient information to improve on the right initiatives.
That is where having a customer complaint log is so important. Not just logging complaints into an Excel spread sheet (or a more sophisticated data capturing tool) and storing it away so no one sees it, but actually developing reports so the departments that are being complained about can improve their processes to make sure these issues do not happen again. A complaint log should not be a way to blame a department or belittle them, but a way to improve in order to make the customer experience better.
If one department is not doing well, the whole company is not doing well. Each department is the face of the company. If servers are treating the customer poorly, that customer thinks that your cooks, dish washers, runners, bus boys, and owners are all treating him or her poorly. A customer does not look at a company by department; they look at a company as a whole. One mistake or poor judgment on the part of one department will lead the customer to believe the whole company runs the same way. Teamwork, an open environment full of trust, open lines of communication, and a company-wide initiative to help each improve and grow will foster a committed company which in turn will foster commitment to the customer.