Goodwill Gestures from complaints
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