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Embracing Complaints 900X330

Embracing Complaints And Building Trust

Monday, 27 January 2020

Effective complaint handling in the public sector

Effective complaint handling puts the citizen first and builds trust. How well complaints are handled can be a key determinant of quality in public services.

According to a Digital Trends report, citizens who rate public services as poor state the main reasons for this as slow processes and phone call waiting times.
As technology advances and citizen expectations for communication and service accessibility rise in line with services they encounter in the private sector – such as with digital banking services – public bodies need to evolve to mirror this consumer shift or risk being left behind.

According to a report by the National Audit Office consumers are less likely to complain about a public service than a private service – almost half of users who experience problems do not complain, with the main reason being that they don’t think it is worth the effort (35%).


Many users have problems with public services, and serious detriment can and does occur. If government took the power of redress to improve public services seriously, it would recognize that the present system is incoherent and dissatisfying to users and would show urgency in reforming and rationalising the system.

— Sir Amyas Morse, Head of the National Audit Office

Utilising digital tools to improve complaints management can be the first step in a broader service improvement plan aimed at delivering better services to citizens.

Any investment in complaints management platforms needs to be spent wisely, with accessibility and usability at the fore, as well as an efficient resolution.