When we first came up with this online academy, we started from the notion that although a process can look amazing on paper, actually often it’s not working as well as it could. The people that will know this are your front line staff, your managers and your customers. Everyone but you basically, so why aren’t you hearing about it?
Well, for a huge number of reasons, chief amongst them people are reluctant to give senior leaders bad news about a process, when the fixes aren’t easy or obvious to those that don’t work within its constraints. That’s a tough message to hear, but that’s the reality.
Some of this is a cultural issue. When people feel that they’re unable to flag things up for fear of being seen negative, or even being a trouble maker, it stifles innovation.
I mean there is only so many solutions you can come up with if you’re a senior leader. You’ll have data, you’ll have a sense of things coming back up the line, but these will never give you the full picture. If anything it’ll the equivalent of looking the wrong way down a set of binoculars.
That’s why at some level, looking at the process in isolation won’t be enough to entirely fix the issue, if there is a problem with feedback coming back up the line. But, looking at the process yourself, could go some way to you showing that you’re willing to listen to some of the issues, and leading from the front.
Some of the issues we’ve seen from businesses have ranged from simple things that have been overlooked, like invisible complaints pages on a website, to having to work with a system that doesn’t help, but hinders a member of staff’s ability to help a customer. But, equally they can be far more complex, like the wrong people sitting in the wrong positions for them.
None of these are necessarily issues that sit within the complaints handling function, but they nevertheless cause a direct impact on it’s ability to work properly. No customer needs to know about these issues, but they soon will if they are on the receiving end of something frustrating, that hinders their ability to do something simple, like log a complaint with you.
But, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, because we think there needs to be some groundwork before we get to that phase. That involves walking through your process from the perspective of your customers and your front line staff, to understand things from their view.
How do you do that? It can involve asking for 360 feedback, it could be going out to sit with your frontline staff and seeing what they are experiencing, but it’s also about taking a step back to review the process, from the very start to the finish to spot the issues, and that’s where our online academy can help you do that.
In our Senior Leader Online Academy we cover everything you need to take the objective review of your complaints handling process from start to finish: