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Creating and using complaint forms for better organisational feedback

Improve your business by requesting feedback. SurveyMonkey’s form service makes it simple.

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 organisation. 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 and provide an opportunity to turn it into positive feedback. They allow you to assess which parts of your organisation require improvement and how to create a better customer experience. A complaint form can provide a detailed list of ways in which 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, thus serving as a valuable focus group.  

In addition to customer grievances, complaint forms are especially useful for internal operations. Employees 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 why you may 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 helps clarify any concerns about your business directly to the people who can make the necessary improvements.
  • The quicker and more easily you can hear these complaints, the quicker you can respond and resolve the situation. Complaint forms allow you to address minor issues before they become more major problems requiring more resources. 

Let's take an in-depth look at how businesses can use complaint forms with their 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. It provides them with an outlet to raise legitimate concerns that can affect the broader goals of your business operation. 

Overall, the two takeaways from employee complaint forms are as follows:

  • 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 as it allows them to see whether 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 put things right with them. Additionally, you can look for patterns in your complaint forms to make bigger changes. 

If you manage to satisfy a dissatisfied customer, they may come back again. It shows them that 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 resolved a customer problem while demonstrating exceptional customer service, which can result in referrals and repeat business.

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

  • It allows customers to share feedback based on an experience that they may have had with your business.
  • Making this complaint form easily accessible gives you the best chance to address any grievances as soon as possible.
  • Taking swift action 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 act as community surveillance for residents to ensure that their neighbours abide by tenant rules outlined in their lease. 

Here are the three 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 receive feedback and act on issues straight away. There is also often legal protection for tenants that must be upheld.

To get the most valuable information from your complaint form, we've provided a short list that you can reference when you're customising your template.

Ask for contact information to follow up and gather feedback on issue resolution. This would ensure that problems are addressed effectively and provide insights for ongoing improvement. Complaint forms can start the conversation of having meaningful one-on-one conversations with employees and tenants. Furthermore, they provide an opportunity to gather purposeful insights about your business. 

Make sure you request contact information in your complaint form so that you can get in touch with the respondent for more in-depth information about the complaint. Often, it's a challenge to get the full picture of an issue in a complaint form. Collecting contact information is the first step towards investigating the issue, so ask for an email address, phone number and physical address.  

In some situations, however, customers or employees may be reluctant to share a complaint that also includes their name. So give them the option to submit an anonymous complaint. You may even receive more information from anonymous complaints. The challenge with an anonymous complaint is you have to wait to see whether the problem is resolved. The best practice is to include contact information in your complaint form but not make it mandatory. 

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

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

 Include fields such as:

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

This will give you all the specific information you need to be able to respond to the complaint. The more specific your complaint form questions are, the more detailed information you’ll have available to resolve the issue. Collecting specific details upfront reduces the amount of time spent on resolving the issue and prevents you from having to follow up with more questions. 

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

SurveyMonkey makes it easy to embed a form on your website. It's likely that customers, employees and tenants will look for a company website in order to voice their concerns. Complaint forms need to live in a place on your website where they can be easily accessed. Embedding a complaint form on a website allows users to file their complaints easily, without having to register, log in or be transferred to another site. 

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

Remember to include a link to the complaint form in an easy-to-find place. While embedding the form on your website is beneficial, providing a separate link ensures accessibility. In the unforeseen event of you experiencing a technical issue with your website, this would mean that you'd still have a link to the complaint form.

TIP: Having trouble creating questions for your complaint form? 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 isn't serving its purpose if results aren’t being monitored. Unlike feedback, complaints must be dealt with in a timely manner. Therefore, it's best to keep your alerts on so you can address any complaints as they come in. 

Ensure that you have instant notifications set up so that, even if they’re infrequent, you’ll be notified when a complaint has been filed. We know that delayed responses can lead to customer dissatisfaction, but having instant notifications enabled allows you to handle each situation as soon as it's flagged. 

Using SurveyMonkey templates can make it easier to create 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 add the right questions to provide you with as much detailed information as necessary 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 customise them to suit your brand.