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Time to give birth to Customer Grievance Management (CGM)

By Richy Yati Mishra

Today (date: 13th July 2012) if we search customer grievance management in Wikipedia then surprisingly there is no page developed for this. My first thought was to assume maybe producers or consumers have not given enough importance, but on further pondering it seems that grievance is treated under a service/post sales service category.

Recently, I was annoyed with one of the leading electronic brand and thought of registering a case in consumer court. I logged to consumer court's online forum. To my surprise, the problem which I am facing is faced by many people earlier. The way feedbacks and experiences are mentioned, for a moment I wondered if this is about the same leading brand. Same repetitive issues and company is doing nothing? Where is the customer service?
This anxiety took me to go through other companies cases and again to my surprise I found similar issues there. Then I realized it's not the issue with single company rather with each and every company. Now companies are defining CRM with their presence in Social Medias but after reading the experience of customers I felt the CRM of many companies have disregarded their customer complaints. This led me to read further and here are few of my analysis:

1. Establish a formal channel: One of the parameter to judge best customer service is by providing more and easier ways for customers to reach the companies when they face any issues. Very minimal proactive measures from companies to reach customers after sales.

2. First customer facing group (customer service representatives) is not empowered for many companies. This is leading to dissatisfaction for many customers in their first call itself.

3. Companies have hired/outsourced their service departments to 3rd party local vendors. Many a times the culture/vision/ethics of the parent company is not passed well to the outsourced company.

4. With increase in customer base it's difficult to track and satisfy all. Sometimes company is not ready and there is already a high demand for their product. And in turn company is not ready for post sales service.

These are the few points which immediately came to mind while reading the experience of customers in consumer court forum. And this is making me to believe that this is not an easy thing to solve and we need to build some process/ redefine few processes.

For example: Many customers in consumer forum are complaining after purchasing the product company people are not coming for demo or installation in time (problem).

Probable Reason:  Products are sold from 3rd party vendors and might be tracking system for the installation/demo user is not efficient. Or lots of request and staffing is not correct.

Solution: we can develop a mechanism where once a product is sold; retailor (including 3rd party) will inform the customer service team (via e-mail or text message) of that company. After this a dedicated team will follow up with the customers and the service providers.
Definitely as mentioned here it's not that easy but definitely we need to develop some process to handle this. Similarly coming to IT after every release/solution we provide a support of 2 to 4 weeks. Can we start interacting with the end user during this period? Can proactively we catch their issues? Can we create some mechanism to collect the end user issues and rather going through lengthy project management cycle can we solve that immediately? Can we create some process for this?

With this I am leaving a thought to think is this the time for Customer Grievance Management (CGM) to take birth?


About the Author: Richy Yati Mishra is a Senior Associate Consultant working for CRM domain; focus on go-to-market CRM solutions. He has more than 3 years of experience in IT industry.

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