Is Saying 'sorry' Good For Business?
Peter Judge, Head of Legal Services and Procurement and Group Secretary, One North East
The article examines business complaints and how they escalate through bad management and failure to address customer fears. It covers the practical complaints handling techniques employed by our business and mechanisms for managing complaints to maximise business benefit and reduce or avoid litigation. The techniques include considering complaints as an opportunity for the business rather than a threat. The article discusses the opportunity to identify and address the customer’s needs and interests in order to resolve a dispute, with the aim of retaining the customer and strengthening the business.
Management techniques will be covered in particular when mistakes have been made and litigation results. It also explores the effect of an apology in complaints management and litigation. It discusses experiences reported in medical and other fields which suggest that good complaint management and apologising, where appropriate, can both limit claims and the size of legal awards.
Practical suggestions for use in business will be offered and the article invites the reader to consider their own complaint management practices in light of some recent developments in this area.
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