Complaint Handling by Corporate Executives

A friend of mine tells me a story of how he spoke to an assistant director of a big multinational corporate about his change of address complaint. He told him that there are already two requests with the branch of changing address and the contact center is asking for a password verbally which is not allowed by the law. Instead of listening to my friend, the executive interrupted him by saying that my friend is not his customer. My friend had told him that there are already two requests and nothing is being done. A complaint was converted into a heated argument and eventually a hung up conversation by my friend. After two hours my friend received a call from the contact center asking to verify the telephone pin that he had refused to provide over the telephone verbally. Telephone pin is a different procedure where a user has to punch in the numbers through telephone to verify themselves as an account holder.

The corporate executives, with fancy titles like Vice President (VP), Senior Executive Vice President (SEVP) or Assistant Vice President (AVP), hammer procedures to the customers on the call while the customers have had already implemented that. That’s why they have called a complaint department. If these executives have huge years of corporate experience and may not do the basics of listening to the customer’s then they must not take that position where a customer calls and a call is hung up by a customer.

These executives are hired as a traditional manager trainee rather than starting a career as an agent and then move up the corporate ladder and have no experience of agent level activities. Several executives in Pakistan are not aware of business telephone etiquettes. Some executives have not even travelled internationally for the training or understand how the complaint is handled in other cultures. There are many executives who take business calls as normal house calls. Their “don’t care” attitude doesn’t close the complaint ticket rather it is escalated and the subordinates are being pressurized to do their job and agents are penalize for their KPIs.

Fortunately, customers are very much aware of the complaint handling procedures much better than these corporate executives. If customers know who to approach and how to close their problem, then what is the use of a complaint department in any organization? What is the use of all these managers? How are they managing it?

Complaint handling is very critical these days to either small or big organizations. If any company is not following the First Call Resolution (FCR) or First Email Resolution (FER); the cost goes up on both customer’s and company’s ends. Eventually customer will switch over instantly while companies will lose the competition and so goes the revenue and bonuses. We have to take human as a human and listen to them before implementing a procedure or directing them.