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Creating and using complaint forms for better organizational feedback

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You can use customer complaints to improve your business. In fact, it's better to provide a platform for customers to state their grievances than have them voice them publicly. By creating complaint forms, you're giving yourself leverage to change your customers' complaints into praise. 

Similar to a feedback form, a complaint form will be used to give customers a place to voice complaints with a business or other organization. Where other forms may be used when you’re looking for a response, a complaint form will often be left in place for use when someone needs it. 

Providing an online form lets customers and employees know that you care about what they think and that they always have an opportunity to voice their concerns and suggestions.  

Complaint forms help control any negative feedback about your product or services with an opportunity to turn it into positive feedback. They allow you to assess what parts of your organization need improvement and how to create a better customer experience. A complaint form can provide a detailed list of ways to improve your business with the right complaint form template. Complaint forms can often be more valuable than general feedback surveys because customers tell you what's not working for them, serving as a valuable focus group.  

In addition to customer grievances, complaint forms are especially useful for internal operations. Customers and stakeholders should also have a platform to provide feedback about their work environment and overall business operation. Since every business should know what's happening in its company, providing a complaint form may be the most efficient way to get to the core of any company issues. It's also a way to get ahead of any potential problems. 

Here are a few more reasons you might want to use a complaint form:

  • A complaint form gives customers, employees, or other stakeholders an opportunity to give feedback. It offers them a place to channel their concerns without having to voice them to each other.
  • When these stakeholders are unhappy, it can harm your business: Low customer satisfaction means less business. Providing a complaint form streamlines any uncertainty about your business to people who can make improvements.
  • The quicker and more easily you can hear these complaints, the quicker you can respond and fix the situation. Complaint forms allow you to address small issues before they become larger problems requiring more resources. 

Let's go in-depth at how complaint forms are used for businesses regarding employees, customers, and tenants.

An employee complaint form offers a discreet way for employees to address concerns without compromising their workplace relationships with their colleagues and managers. Providing an anonymous online employee complaint form also gives employees the anonymity to freely voice concerns they might not otherwise feel comfortable communicating. And it provides them with an outlet to talk about everyday issues that can affect the larger goals of your business operation. 

Overall, the two takeaways from employee complaint forms are:

  • Having a complaint form in place for employees gives them the ability to address workplace misconduct.
  • This is an essential tool for an HR department, so they can see that workers are safe and happy.

Customer complaint forms are a great opportunity to win back dissatisfied customers. If a customer is taking the time to voice a complaint, you have a chance to make it right with them. Additionally, you can look for patterns in your complaint forms to make larger changes. 

When you're successful in satisfying a dissatisfied customer, they may come back again. It shows them you care about how they feel about your product or service and that you’re willing to make an effort to ensure their satisfaction. In this way, you'll have successfully solved a customer problem while demonstrating exceptional customer service, which can produce referrals and repeat business.

Here are the 3 takeaways from having a customer complaint form: 

  • This allows customers to share feedback based on an experience they might have had with your business.
  • Making this complaint form easily accessible gives you the best chance to address any grievances, and address them ASAP.
  • Moving fast to address these complaints is your best chance of retaining them as customers.

Landlords can benefit from tenant complaint forms because they keep them informed about the condition of their property and the structure of their building. Tenants can inform landlords about plumbing or electrical issues and other safety matters needing immediate attention. Tenant complaint forms can also work as community surveillance for residents to ensure their neighbors abide by renter rules outlined in their lease. 

Here are the 3 takeaways for landlords using a tenant complaint form:  

  • Like employees and customers, tenants need an avenue through which to air their complaints.
  • This ensures that their living arrangements are safe and hospitable.
  • Forms are a great way for landlords or property managers to take feedback and act on issues right away—there are also often legal protection for tenants that must be abided by.

To get the most valuable information from your complaint form, we've provided a short list to reference when customizing your template.

Ask for contact information so you can investigate the issue. The best way to rectify a mistake is to be able to speak to the complainant and get their feedback on whether things have been fixed. This approach is the best way to know if your efforts to correct the problem worked. Complaint forms can start the conversation of having meaningful one-on-one conversations with employees and tenants. Furthermore, it provides an opportunity to gather purposeful insights about your business. 

Be sure to request contact information in your complaint form so that you can reach out to the respondent to get more in-depth information about the complaint. Often, it's a challenge to get a complete understanding of an issue in a complaint form. Collecting the contact information is the first step toward investigating the issue. Ask for an email address, phone number, and physical address.  

In some situations, however, customers or employees may be reluctant to share a complaint with their name attached. Give them the option to submit an anonymous complaint. You might even get more information from anonymous complaints. The challenge with an anonymous complaint is you have to wait to see if your problem is solved. The best practice is to include contact information in your complaint form but don’t make it mandatory. 

Get as much information as possible for a better understanding of the issue.

Include formatted fields that allow those responding to easily include specific information like the date an issue occurred. Remember to ask for other details like the time because they play an important role in investigating complaints.

 Include fields like:

  • Date of complaint/incident
  • Description of incident
  • Time of incident
  • To your knowledge, has this incident happened in the past?

This allows you to have all the specific information needed to respond to the complaint. The more specific your complaint form questions are, the more detailed information you’ll have to resolve the issue. Collecting specific details up front reduces the amount of time spent on solving the issue and prevents you from following up with more questions. 

Make your complaint forms accessible by embedding them into your website.

SurveyMonkey makes it easy to embed a form on your website. Customers, employees, and tenants will likely look for a company website to voice their concerns. Complaint forms need to live in a place on your website that they can easily access. Embedding a survey into a website invites users to easily file their complaints without registering, logging in, or getting transferred to another site. 

This makes it easy for customers and other stakeholders to complete the form and get your feedback quickly. Embedding a complaint form into your website helps you stay on brand with your customers, ensuring their concerns are being directed to someone within the company. You can customize your complaint forms by including your logo and company colors to match your brand with SurveyMonkey templates.

Remember to include a link to the complaint form in an easy-to-find place. In addition to embedding the survey on your website, it's best to include a link to the form to ensure your customers, employees, and tenants have more than one way to access it. In an unforeseen case where you might have a technical issue on your website, you'll still have a link to the complaint form.

TIP: Having trouble creating questions for your survey? Our Question Bank allows you to sample questions and even tailor them to your company’s brand. 

Complaints can come in at any time, so keep your notifications turned on.

A complaint form’s purpose isn’t served if results aren’t being monitored. Unlike a feedback form, complaint forms are different because they can come in at any time. So, it's best to keep your alerts on so you can address any complaints as they come in. 

Ensure you have instant notifications set up, so even if they’re infrequent, you’ll be notified when a complaint has been filed. Waiting too long to address a complaint might result in a delayed response that's unsatisfactory to the customer. Instant notifications allow you to handle each situation as they come. 

Using SurveyMonkey templates can make it easier to get a usable form. Our large bank of survey questions can also help save time when it comes to adding questions. Our survey templates page can help you plug in the right questions to provide you with as much detailed information as needed to investigate your customer, employee, or tenant complaint thoroughly. 

Sign up today to create an account, and then select a SurveyMonkey forms plan so you can use our complaint form templates and customize them to match your brand. 

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