Complaints Outlook 2019 – The human element: getting the focus on delivering excellence

Posted: 23rd October 2019

On the 12th September, we invited industry-leading complaints and customer experience experts, as well as other contributors to the Complaints Outlook 2019, to the report's launch event in London.

Attendees listened to a series of keynote speeches and enlightening panel sessions in which our speakers broke down the core findings of the Complaints Outlook and added their own valuable insight. We’re sure all those in the audience walked away with an even deeper understanding of current and future complaints trends and will be using this knowledge to improve the experiences of their customers.

If you couldn’t make the event, however, don’t worry. We were able to record the speeches and have compiled these here to give you an overview of the key takeaways from the day.


As she herself admits in her speech, Liz Barclay is a professional with a truly impressive bio. As a consumer champion, broadcaster, producer, writer and speaker (just to name a few), Liz has been at the forefront of challenging businesses to do more for customers.

In her speech, Liz makes a strong case for developing interpersonal skills in complaint handlers. She suggests that, as in counselling, the first question in any complaints process is "not the real question". What the customers says will not always be interpreted by the complaint handler in the way that was intended and will probably not reveal the true, root cause issue they are facing. Complainants will always need to build trust in their case handler before they really open themselves up.

It is vitally important, then that frontline customer service staff are given the training and resources they need to be able to prove their trustworthiness, capability and empathy. After all, speed of resolution is key to a positive complaints experience, and issues can only be resolved if staff know what the issue is.