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Complaints - develop an action plan

Once you have researched the history of a complaint and collected all the relevant data, it is time to start planning a resolution.

Having a plan ensures that you have covered all the issues involved. You may even have more than one option available - the plan lets you see and compare your options when you discuss them with specialist staff and the customer.

You should never contact a customer without having an action plan already developed.

Planning ensures that you offer a solution that is: bullet point.

Remember that complaint resolution is also about finding ways to prevent problems happening again.

You may need to let your team leader know if you spot an underlying problem that might give rise to a number of complaints.

Options for resolving a complaint

When dealing with a complex complaint, it is common to have more than one option available to resolve it. When offering a solution to a customer you should consider the following: bullet point.

Here are some different options to consider:

A simple explanation of how Bushland Blooms policy affects the resolution of the complaint.

Opening quotation mark  I'm sorry but we cannot provide a replacement product until the original has been returned to Bushland Blooms. Closing quotation mark

An apology for the inconvenience caused.

Opening quotation mark I would like to apologise for any inconvenience this incident has caused you. Closing quotation mark

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Remember that you should not make an apology to the customer about the subject of their complaint, as this would be an admission of legal liability.

A goodwill gesture such as discount vouchers for future use, or a free product or service.

Opening quotation mark Mr Han, we have looked into your complaint and would like to offer you a $20 voucher for use in any of our stores, as compensation for the inconvenience caused. Closing quotation mark

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Remember not to go above your discretionary limit (see the Sales principles entry in this Agent support manual for more information about these limits).

Another product to replace one that has failed to give satisfaction. You can find more information about this under Our products and Our services on the Intranet.

Opening quotation mark Mrs Kim, we would like to offer you another Mother's day rose to replace the one that has died. Closing quotation mark

Compensation should only be offered as a last resort. You should escalate all claims for compensation to the Complaints manager. You can find more information about this under Sales principles in this Agent support manual.

Opening quotation mark I'm sorry but I will not be able to deal with this myself. I will have to escalate your call to the Complaints manager, Ms Abib. Closing quotation mark

Consult with specialist staff and colleagues

When you are dealing with a complex complaint, you may find it useful to discuss any issues you have with your colleagues and specialist or expert staff, such as: bullet point.

You may want to: bullet point.

You may find, when you're discussing the action plan options with colleagues, that they have suggestions that could improve the plan, or provide better options for the customer. You should always include your colleagues and their input when going through the complaints resolution process.

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You will find an organisational chart listing the departments and staff responsibilities at Bushland Blooms under Staff on the Intranet.

Identify and review policy

You need to be aware of company policy when handling complaints. Reviewing your knowledge of Bushland Blooms policy will help you understand the boundaries you will operate within, and the steps you need to take.

At Bushland Blooms, you will need to be familiar with the following entries found in the Agent Support Manual: bullet point.

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To make sure you are aware of all guarantees, warranties and service conditions, you should also be familiar with Our services on the Intranet.

Creating your plan

Your next step is to draw up a plan. Your plan is all about you being prepared. There is no point contacting the customer if you have not done your research as to how Bushland Blooms can help the customer, and what you can offer.

Your plan should provide a way of comparing your options for resolving the complaint. It will also give you more than one option when you begin to negotiate with your customer.

Have a look at the Complaint action plan under Forms on the Intranet, which will give you some guidance in what you should consider.

Some useful tips when developing plans for resolving complex complaints

Where possible, offer the simplest resolution first. If the customer is still not satisfied, then offer another option.

Use your discretion, and remember your discretionary limit!

For product faults or service problems, always check to see whether the product or call out service is covered by a warranty or service guarantee.

Your resolution of the complaint may simply involve reminding the customer that they are covered by the warranty/guarantee, and organising the appropriate fulfilment.

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