Australian Newsagency Blog

A blog on issues affecting Australia's newsagents, media and small business generally.

How we manage our newsagencies #5: handling a complaint

Mark Fletcher
July 11th, 2014 · 1 Comment

Every business needs a complaint handling process – one that is structured, clear and understood. A good complain handling process will give the complainant confidence and the recipient clarity on what to do with the complaint. A good process will also help you diffuse a complaint that is noise for the sake of noise.

  1. Document your customer complaint handling process.
  2. Consider having a complaint form to bring structure from the outset.
  3. Make escalation lines clear, document them.
  4. Involve those directly engaged with the customer.
  5. Commit to a response time to the customer and stick to your commitment.
  6. Once you have the facts act – apologise or refund or compensate or advise there is nothing further to do. Have an explanation for your decision.

This week I am looking at everyday management of the typical newsagency business – to open discussion among people here about what they do in the area of I cover and to help others to look at their own processes.

Footnote: a colleague mentioned to me yesterday that the our in the title is misleading as these posts could be about all newsagents. That’s what I meant. The our is not personal about my business but rather about all newsagencies.


Category: Management tip · Newsagency management

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 KMC // Jul 11, 2014 at 7:36 AM

    Theres’s no argument that there needs to be a clear process for handling genuine complaints, and this one looks clear enough. The problem in our line of business is that so many complaints are so utterly trivial, but none the less virulently expressed by the customer. One has to question if any investment of time or resources in complaint management of these is worthwhile. You really have to do a quick value analyses on whether it is worthwhile trying to keep some of these customers. There are a few where we have assessed that hanging on to them detracts from the value of our business. For example the minute someone yells or swears they’re politely asked to leave the store, and no further attention is paid to them.


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