4 August 2015
BSI, the business standards company, has published BS 8543:2015 Complaint handling in organizations. It is the first new standard in this area for some years and sets out good practice for a complaint-handling process, including planning, design, operation, maintenance and improvement.
No organization wants to receive complaints. In today’s world making a complaint, however small, is easier than ever, particularly through social media. A research survey published by BSI in 2014 showed that over 20% of people had used social media to complain about service and around one third (33.1%) of respondents had changed service provider due to poor handling of complaints.
Therefore organizations need a process by which to manage complaints and deal with them efficiently and effectively in order to benefit the organization, its customers and the complainants.
In recent years the spotlight has been on the mishandling of customer complaints and the fines levied, particularly in the energy and banking sectors. As such, any customer-facing organization can benefit from having an effective and efficient procedure in place reflecting the needs of both the organizations supplying products and services, and the recipients of those products and services.
The new British Standard, BS 8543, provides a specification for the design and implementation of an effective and efficient complaint-handling process for all types of commercial or non-commercial activities.
Dan Palmer, Head of Market Development for Manufacturing and Services at BSI, said:“Complaints can be a great thing for a business because they provide them with the opportunity to step over the threshold from being mediocre, to becoming excellent. They can help businesses identify and rectify specific problems with their existing systems or product(s) and make room for improvement. Increased growth and enhanced reputation are just some of the benefits of having a sound complaints handling procedure in place, and the implementation of BS 8543 can ultimately help customer and provider establish a mutually beneficial relationship.”
The new standard will be of value to all service providers including local authorities, banks, the NHS, utility companies, retailers, etc.
Using BS 8543 can:
- Create a customer-focused approach to resolving complaints
- Encourage personnel to improve their skills in working with customers
- Improve an organization’s reputation
- Build customer loyalty
- Enhance customer satisfaction
- Enable customer retention
BS 8543 was developed using a collaborative consensus-based approach utilizing the expertise of individuals from the complaints management and utilities industries, as well as consumer groups, and such organizations as the Land Registry, Direct Line and RBS.