Blog: If it's not recorded, it didn't happen...


A common view, but in terms of complaints a bad one. For many, the regulatory and legal requirements to maintain a central record of each complaint (i.e. a complaints log) can be viewed as an unwanted chore to be performed at the end of the day. However, the benefits of keeping, and more importantly, using a complaints log can far outweigh the burden.

Inwardly, your complaints log is your window into what’s going on in your business. It can be used as a tool to identify trends and recurring issues. Reviewed regularly, the data it provides helps to see if there are any service improvements to be made. If complaints aren’t recorded, issues can fall through the cracks and opportunities to fix problems are missed.

One of the other lesser talked about benefits of a complaints log is how they can improve internal communication and learning within a firm. Using the outcomes of complaint findings as a training tool for all staff will help manage risk and drive up service delivery standards. But for this to happen all staff must be aware of the complaints log, how to identify a complaint, and the procedures in place to have a complaint logged. The success of your complaints log depends on the cooperation of everyone in your firm.

Outwardly your complaints log demonstrates that complaints matter to your firm. Complaints matter to your clients - they will want an explanation when things go wrong and what steps have been taken to avoid it happening again.

In addition to be able to provide crucial evidence to your insurers in the event of a claim, a complaints log also promotes accountability and transparency of your business.  The SLCC embraces the idea of robust risk management within a firm, and a complaints log must form part of that. The new Risk Management toolkit launch by Locktons and the Law Society of Scotland gives great insight into the type of information you should be recording. And, if you’re unsure of what your complaints log should look like, the SLCC has a template that you can use as your starting point.

And if all that doesn’t convince you of the benefits, ask yourself can your business afford not to log it?

Jennifer Sinclair is the SLCC's Best Practice Advisor

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