Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Effective Complaint Handling Part 4

  • A system for handling complaints is necessary to ensure:   
    • A standard approach is taken by all employees involved in the process. This is achieved through having a Standard Operating Procedure
    • Consistency in the quality of response
    • Knowledge of the responsibilities and where necessary the escalation process
  • Customers who are complaining want to be dealt with personnel who have an attitude which is
    • Positive
    • Professional
    • Confident
    • Helpful
  • Environment for handling complaints must be such as to be:
    • Supportive of complaint handling activity
    • Adequately resourced
    • Customer focused
  • Complaint handlers must be competent in the following skills:
    • Listening
    • People-focus
    • Organization
    • Communication
    • Networking
    • Persistence
  • Documents need to be managed to ensure that they are
    • Complete
    • Accessible
    • Safe
Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Monday, October 15, 2018

Effective Complaint Handling Part 3

  • Internal & External Customers
    • Complaints may arise from either internal or external customers
    • How internal customer complaints are handled has an impact on how external complaints are handled
    • The complaint-handling system for internal and external complaints may be different, but the end result should be the same:  nsatisfied customers
  • Facts Versus Feelings
    • A fact can be proven
    • A feeling can make a huge difference as to how the fact can be interpreted
    • An opinion is an interpretation of a situation
    • An estimate carries less weight than a fact
  • Typical Complaint Handling Process has three main aspects:
    • Inputs - in this case, complaints
    • Transformation process - the complaint handling procedures and methodology
    • Outputs - learning from the complaint, improvement, retention of customers, profitability, protection etc
Main Components Are:
  • Contact Point
  • Information Capture
  • Investigation Methodology
  • Documentation
  • Communication
  • Resolution
  • Implementation of learning / improvements
  • Building the Process includes:
    • Acknowledging
    • Recording
    • Investigating
    • Solving
    • Reporting
  • Fit with culture of the organization
  • Level of support within the organization
  • Capability of personnel to implement the process
  • Flexibility
  • Speed
  • Accuracy
  • Trust
  • Accessibility
Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Effective Complaint Handling Part 2

  • Some Fast Rules
    • The cost of satisfying a complaining customer is likely to be less than the cost of losing the customer
    • Don’t make promises that you cannot keep
    • Write down what you have agreed to do and then do it
    • Customers – Perspectives, Perceptions & Expectations
  • Reality & The Complaint
    • The complainer may technically be wrong - but their perception is that he/she is right
    •  Deal with facts and not opinions
    • Make sure that you have all the facts before making a decision
    • Understand that resolution is not always a matter of right and wrong
  • Dealing With Perceptions
    • You must understand that the customer's perception of the situation may be much different from yours
    • Perception is closely linked with expectation
    • Perception may have originated from initial contact
      • with the organization
      • with the marketing material
      • with customers
      • with the product
  • Expectations are set up by the customer and depend on:
    • past experience
    • socio-cultural aspects
    • education
  • You cannot assume what an expectation is.  You need to ask questions and listen to determine what exactly it is.
Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Effective Complaint Handling Part 1

A professional approach to the handling of complaints in an organization can deliver benefits in terms of increased customer satisfaction.  How customer complaints are handled reflects on the organization in terms of the value placed on the customer, the ability to support products and services, and the value of the product and service.  There is now a greater focus on how complaints are handled by organizations as focus changes from being product driven to being customer driven.  The business environment has become more competitive.  Service has become the main differentiating factor.

A complaint will arise because a product or service is ‘faulty’ and does not function correctly or a product or service does not meet the expectations of the customer.

  • Complaints handled well may lead to:
    • Maximum customer satisfaction & loyalty
    • Building of customer advocates for the business
    • Opportunity to utilize new learning for improvement of the business processes
    • Increase in loyalty
    • Maintenance of customer base
    • Increase in profitability
  • Handling a complaint badly may lead to:
    • Customers leaving due to dissatisfaction
    • Competitors using the failure against you
    • Loss of revenue / profit
    • Demotivation of personnel involved in the process
    • Loss of an opportunity to learn & improve
  • If a complaint can be handled and resolved at a point of first contact for the customer, several benefits emerge:
    • Customer confidence in the organization is significantly increased
    • Organization benefits through the elimination of additional contacts
    • The responsibility for handling the complaint lies with the first contact
    • The complaint handling time is reduced
Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Aggressive Behavior in the Workplace Part 2

  • Aggression can be triggered by such things as:
    • Lack of self-confidence
    • Bad mood
    • Sudden loss of control
    • Feeling of being manipulated
    • Retaliation for a perceived or actual first strike
    • Reaction to negative situations
    • Poor self-image  
    • Sometimes aggression may be necessary in a particular situation but in a controlled manner
  • The responses elicited by aggression may be:
    • Avoidance in the future of the aggressor or the topic that triggered the aggressive outburst
    • Aggression as retaliation
    • Humor or sarcasm
  • Manipulation is also aggression and may not be obvious.
    • Manipulators "appear" to be winners.
    • Manipulation can lead to:
      • Lack of trust
      • Build-up of resentment
      • Short-term gain only
  • Dealing with Aggressors
    • Usually, neither of these tactics are effective:
      • Fight back and defend yourself
      • Act submissively and remove yourself from the situation
    • Useful techniques
      • Probe for information and get the real facts
      • Start fogging by bouncing back what they are saying
      • Play a broken record
      • Focus on the problem not the person
      • Be assertive
Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Aggressive Behavior in the Workplace Part 1

The success of an organization is dependent upon the interactions of its employees.  This month we will discuss one destructive type of behavior in the workplace - aggression.  Aggressors usually aim to win the interaction and have the other party lose.  
  • Characteristics of aggressive behavior include:
    • Lack of sensitivity
    • Coercion
    • Fault-finding
    • Judgmental
    • Combative
  • Aggressive behavior is "me-centered"
  • Elements of aggressive behavior include:
    • Outbursts of strong or violent emotions
    • Excessive use if ‘I’ statements
    • Use of threats
    • Negative language
    • Confrontational
    • Personalized comments
    • Complete disregard of the thoughts and feelings of the other party
  • Body language associated with aggression includes:
    • Gritted / bared teeth
    • Clenched fists
    • Bulging eyes
    • Pointing / stabbing fingers
    • Movement into the others personal space
    • High color
    • Excessive combative gestures
Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Organizational Structure Part 5

  • Departmentalization by Business Function
    • Advantages
      • Ideally suited to a stable organizational environment
      • Requires less internal coordination
      • Facilitates the development of expertise
      • Not dependent on interpersonal and managerial skills
    • Disadvantages
      • Response time to issues can be slow
      • Bottlenecks occur due to sequential nature of the organizational decision making process
      • Innovation may suffer
      • Strong demand on senior managers to coordinate
      • Conflict emerges from prioritization issues
  • Departmentalization by Product
    • Advantages
      • Ideal for organizations experiencing fast change
      • Clearly Defined Roles & Responsibilities
      • Facilitates High Product Visibility
    • Disadvantages
      • Allocation of resources can become a political battle for priority
      • Coordination of activities can decline
      • Expertise may decline
  • Departmentalization - Matrix
    • Expertise can be realized across the organization to tackle organizational projects
    • Project Teams can be drawn from various Functional Units
    • Project Manager Appointed to Operate a Project
      • Solid lines indicate line of command
      • Dashed lines indicate shared authority between project manager and functional manager
    • Advantages
      • Allocates Expertise Across the Organization
      • Greater Flexibility in Tackling Organizational Issues
      • Realizes Top Management Expertise
      • Develops Employee Skills
    • Disadvantages
      • Encourages Power Struggles
      • Highly dependent on the interpersonal skills of staff
      • Project manager may assume to much authority
      • Project Manager may isolate other members
      • Costly to implement
    • Networks
      • Internal Network
      • Dynamic - Loosely Completed Network
      • Vertical Network
      • Virtual Network:   "The virtual organization is a temporary network of companies that come together quickly to exploit fast-changing opportunities"
      • Virtual
        • Technology
        • Opportunism
        • Trust
        • No Borders
        • Excellence
Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman, SPHR, SHRM-SCP