Goodwill gestures

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Goodwill gestures

I look after the complaints for an online retailer and I'm looking at our goodwill gesture process currently.

At the moment when something goes wrong, we giving partial refund but I would welcome any other suggestions, I know other companies send flowers etc but I want to think out of the box!

Thank you in advance.

Thank you in advance!


Call Centre Helper

Don't confuse good will with resolution
Generally most people are more interested in getting their problem solved than a partial refund. So make sure that you can get their problem resolved with as much ease as you can.

A partial refund has no great element of surprise about it. It would be better to give them something that that they may value more. It works best if that is tied in to your brand. You have not said what type of retailer you are, so it may be difficult to give suggestions.

As a retailer a free gift may be nice. Perhaps a sample of one of your latest products, or one of you low priced best sellers.

Hi Joe,

I've been the complaints lead for organizations that are compensation heavy (e.g, retail banking) and those that are not, such as my current.

I'd echo that one of the best things you can do in terms of the overall process is that surprise element - this doesn't have to be in the form of compensation, for example, at my current organization I tend to send an acknowledgement to the customer as early as possible (often within an hour of a complaint being raised) - and even the surprise of rapid acknowledgment seems to build a fair amount of trust.

In terms of retail complaints, I'd say that small gestures work really well, if your replacing an item, include a note (ideally handwritten?) and bump their delivery to next day if it isn't already?

In terms of items I have given as a gesture of goodwill in the past, i tend to recommend avoiding alcohol or flowers and instead send small useful items - e.g high quality pens etc.

Hope this helps!


Goodwill Gestures from complaints
Hi Joe

I've had a lot of experience in managing high level escalated complaints in a non retail environment and in the last place I worked at, the company process was to always award a payment to recognise the shortfall in service - somewhere between £50 and £100.

As part of a customer satisfaction study with a face-to-face focus group, we asked about GW payments and all the consumers advised that they didn't want a payment and saw it simply as a pay-off. They each advised that a quick resolution to the issue/problem was appropriate and all that they were looking for.

Some said that if a payment was received, they'd donate it to charity, and they suggested that we should perhaps be proactive in offering a donation of say £20 to their chosen charity.

We no longer proactively offer a GW payment unless we've caused financial hardship as a result of our shortfall.

Interestingly, we've seen a reduction in those 'serial complainers' who have, in the past, raised complaints purely to gain a financial award.

Hope this helps

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