Complaint Management: Digital in the CRM System

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

How do you design complaints management correctly to ultimately increase customer satisfaction and also use it to optimize your processes and measures? It's simple!

Frau erklärt Reklamationsmanagement am Computer
| 5 Min. Read time

Möchten Sie mehr wissen? Vereinbaren Sie ein Beratungsgespräch!

| 5 Min. Read time

Short and sweet

Customer complaints should always be taken seriously and seen as an opportunity to improve your customer service. It is important not to view complaints as a sign of failure, but as an opportunity to optimize processes and products.

Through effective and well-structured complaints' management, you can ensure the satisfaction of your customers, even if they decide against your products. This promotes customer loyalty in the long term and has an impact on your company's market position.

Skillful handling of complaints is an important part of good customer service and sets you apart from the competition. By fully digitizing and integrating your complaints' management, you can achieve efficient workflows and make the most of the potential.

What is complaint management?

Complaint management is part of complaint management, with the aim of ensuring customer satisfaction with your company following negative customer experience. As a rule, the customer service department is responsible for handling complaints.

One definition can be summarized as follows:

Complaint management describes all processes and measures for handling a customer's complaint.

So don't regard a complaint as a mere expression of your customers' dissatisfaction, but as an opportunity to incorporate their direct feedback into your processes and products.

Why is complaints management so important?

Even if it may seem paradoxical at first glance: good complaints' management can contribute to high customer satisfaction! After all, the way in which a complaint is handled by the manufacturer also has a major influence on the overall impression it leaves with customers. It is therefore important to turn the initially negative experience into a positive impression of the company. In this way, you can prevent dissatisfied customers from damaging your company's image, for example, through a negative evaluation.

Complaints and reclamations provide your customer service with direct feedback from consumers, which not only contributes to process optimization, but can also be directly incorporated into product development. In this way, you benefit from well-planned complaint management and can adapt your products and processes even better to your customers.

With a professional and clearly structured complaints process, you can:

Achieve high customer satisfaction

  • Strengthen customer loyalty despite negative experiences

  • Positively influence recommendation rate

  • Preserve corporate reputation

  • Avoid damage to image

  • Reduce complaint rate in the long term

  • Control the perception of a product or brand

  • Provide excellent customer service

  • Identify own errors and weak points

Process flow

A clearly structured process is required to ensure that every complaint can be processed quickly and without complications. To this end, a plan of measures is drawn up that regulates all customer service complaints. Each stage in the process should be planned in detail. Basically, you should always respond to customers promptly and keep them informed. Even if it is not possible to investigate a complaint immediately, you should at least acknowledge receipt quickly. Thanks to a well-structured process, complaints processing should take no more than a week. The process flow can be planned according to the following steps:

Step 1: Acceptance & confirmation of the complaint 

In the manufacturing industry, customers submit their complaints either in writing, by phone, in person, or by returning the product within the specified period. When the complaint is accepted, all relevant data is recorded: Who complains about which product, when, by what means and for what reason? Have there been complaints from the same customer before? Where and in what condition are the goods? The receipt of the complaint is then confirmed as quickly as possible to give customers the feeling that their concerns are being taken seriously.

Step 2: Checking the complaint 

The next step is to determine the exact circumstances of the complaint. For this purpose, it must be clarified to what extent the product complained about does not correspond to the target condition or what other errors are present. The employees must decide here whether the complaint is justified at all. If not, this must be communicated to the customer as professionally and sensitively as possible. If the complaint is justified, the next step is to decide what action to take.

3. measures & compensation 

In the form of immediate measures, you can now offer the customer various options to respond to his bad experience with the product. Common options are, for example, a price reduction or discount, rectification or replacement of the product that is the subject of the complaint. You should also consider any wishes that the customer may have expressed during his or her complaint.

4. customer contact 

Then, share your offer with customers and offer them the opportunity to comment on the proposed action to best address their needs. Provide a positive experience and increase the chance of referral. The choice of communication channel depends on previous customer contact and known preferences.

5. determine shutdown measures 

By identifying the underlying error or problem through the completed complaint, you can take appropriate corrective action to prevent this from happening in the future. In this way, you can use customer feedback to optimize your products and processes. Here, a so-called 8D report can be very helpful in analyzing the feedback even more precisely and solving the problem as quickly and professionally as possible. In this process, eight steps or disciplines are carefully processed and documented in a fixed sequence, thus regulating the exchange in the context of a complaint both internally and between customers and suppliers. By running the entire process of the 8D report completely digitally, e.g. as part of your CRM system or corresponding software, you give your employees access to the current status and all relevant processes at any time and save them a lot of administrative effort. This allows them to use their time more efficiently and concentrate fully on contact with customers or on optimizing future measures and processes.

Which software is suitable for complaint management?

In principle, the processes of the complaints' procedure can also be regulated with simple programs such as Excel. However, it is advisable to use specialized software for professional and convincing complaint management. On the one hand, this guarantees optimal service for customers, and on the other hand, it creates an efficient working basis for your employees. Depending on your own requirements and the necessary scope of the complaint management, there are various options to choose from:

  • Simple data processing software

     like Excel (only suitable for rough planning and simple monitoring)

  • Free freeware

     like ClickUP (only usable with very limited functions and possibilities in the free basic version)

  • Specialized software

     like CWA (for professionalized complaint management without integration into your CRM)

  • Integrated module directly in the CRM system

     as in the Service Cloud from Salesforce (as a professionalized tool with direct integration)

By using software for your complaint management, you enable solution-oriented and cross-departmental collaboration with a standardized process, useful templates, and the ability to analyze complaints and draw interesting lessons for the future. 

Complaint management in Salesforce

In Salesforce, the digital Complaint process as a module from Salesfive can be easily implemented in the Service Cloud. Thanks to a fully comprehensive 8D report or an individually created process, you can create the optimal working basis for your customer service. All processes are stored centrally in Salesforce, processed efficiently with the help of standardization and automations, and finally evaluated.

Workshops are held to familiarize you with all the functions so that you can optimize your complaints processes. This means that your employees only have to work through the previously defined guidelines and can concentrate fully on the wishes of the customers. In addition, it is easy to work across departments and necessary measures can be initiated immediately.

With the "Complaint Management in Salesforce" module from Salesfive, you benefit from numerous advantages:

  • Simple and intuitive use

  • Standardized and guided process

  • Access directly via Salesforce

  • Transparent collaboration between office and field staff

  • Optimized customer service

  • Regular updates

  • Flexible extensions

Why are templates and a guided process so important?

In principle, it is always advisable to digitalize complaints management. This is the only way to ensure an orderly and efficient process for all employees. Standardized templates that all customer service employees can use are helpful here. With clearly structured guidelines or checklists, every complaint can be processed quickly and without great effort. Customer service knows exactly when to react with which measure and can concentrate even better on customer contact.

Optimally, you work with an active complaints' management system that is fully integrated into your company and can thus be organized particularly efficiently. With a tool like the 8D Report, it is easier to identify sources of errors and problems and take appropriate measures to improve processes in the future. In this way, you create more efficiency in your team and can increase customer satisfaction at the same time.


Complaints may appear to be a nuisance at first glance, but if handled correctly they actually offer a real opportunity for valuable knowledge gains in the manufacturing industry that can contribute directly to future success. To achieve this, however, it is necessary to understand complaints management as an important process that must be well-structured to bring the desired benefits. It is crucial to transform the customer's negative experience with your product into a positive customer experience. You can achieve this by working through the process of all your complaints using fixed templates or even specialized software. Through helpful analyses, you can then use the findings for future decisions and optimizations. Would you like to test our digital complaint process module in Salesforce or learn more about it? Contact us today and we'll show you what's possible.

Ready for the next project? Let's talk!

We will be happy to assist you in an initial consultation.

Was this article helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Haben Sie noch Fragen zu Salesforce oder sind Sie bereit, die Digitalisierung zu starten?

Contact form

An expert will then contact you to discuss your request. We look forward to hearing from you.

Your contact for all inquiries relating to digitization

Florian Gehring

Managing Director & Co-Founder