Summary of Complaint Management

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When companies implement Customer Relationship Management (CRM), they often find that their number of complaints shoots up. Bernd Stauss and Wolfgang Seidel candidly explain that often, companies actively discourage complaints with processes that are so barrier-ridden that consumers switch to another company’s products rather than negotiate the maze. As an alternative, Stauss and Seidel present a CRM-based complaint management system that, for enlightened corporate citizens, can become a strategic asset and even an indirect revenue source. Occasionally, they get a little carried away with their "consultantese" and terms like "process owner" and "complaint owner." Nevertheless, the seven-page complaint-management checklist at the end of the book is particularly valuable. strongly recommends this book to CRM managers who want to know what their customers really think.

About the Authors

Dr. Bernd Stauss holds the first German chair for services management at the Ingolstadt School of Management. An author of more than 150 articles, he researches customer satisfaction, complaining behavior and complaint management. Wolfgang Seidel is a frequent speaker and founder of "servMark," which analyzes complaint management systems and CRM execution.



Before...Wishing away Complaints

Like everyone in business, you probably wish complaints would go away. Many major corporations engage in a cycle of self-deception. They erect barriers to filing complaints, such as routing unhappy customers through voice-mail hell or insisting that they write letters. Customers eventually switch to another company’s product rather than try to register complaints against such opposition, so complaints level out or even drop. The company thinks things are fine but customers are suffering in silence or switching to the competition.

Such silence certainly does not imply consent. Getting few complaints may mean that your customers are leaving in droves. If you do business this way you are missing an opportunity to gain the strategic advantages of a sound Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.

...And After: Inviting Complaints

CRM can transform your relationships with your customers. Managing complaints is the core of CRM. Modern information technology enables you to provide CRM efficiently, restoring dissatisfied customers’ trust in your company and transforming them into loyal supporters.

Retaining customers...

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