Proper complaints management can provide a major financial boost for NSW businesses according to a new report released today, Minister for Better Regulation Matt Kean said.
The report – released to coincide with World Consumer Rights Day today – was produced by the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals (SOCAP), and the University of Newcastle.
Mr Kean said the report found businesses which took consumer complaints seriously could reap a benefit of more than $10 for every $1 invested.
“In today’s world, word-of-mouth is no longer restricted to a circle of friends but can be online and around the globe in minutes,” Mr Kean said.
“A stronger complaints handling system will maintain the goodwill of customers and ensure traders remain accountable and transparent if things do go wrong.
“This is about making sure consumers are put first, and, if there are any shonky business practises happening that they’re quickly raised by the customer, and properly addressed.”
The report found that, while many companies have dedicated resources for complaints handling, they often don’t consider how these systems can have a significant impact on company reputation or profitability.
“The report found that very few organisations understand, or even consider, how their complaints systems and processes can influence their reputation or profitability,” SOCAP chief executive officer Fiona Brown said.
While previous studies have measured customer retention, repurchase value and stock returns, this report is the first to explore customer advocacy including positive word-of- mouth, staff retention, and process, service and people improvements.
“The report outlines what companies can do to resolve issues immediately; however, NSW Fair Trading is of course always available for consumers who are unable to resolve complaints directly with the trader,” Mr Kean said.
For more information about the report go to http://socap.org.au/