A complaint is information wrapped in the complainant's emotion.
The wrapping must be respectfully separated and put aside amidst the eagerness to get to the gift of information inside.
To decide what that information tells you about your Widget.
A Judgment delivered by the Federal Court yesterday affirmed this, namely:
- The organisation gets to decide how to respond to a complaint - not the complainant
- Labelling a complaint as ‘formal’ or ‘informal’ is irrelevant to how its dealt with
As with any gift-once the information has been handed to the organisation, it's the organisation's to use as it sees fit.
One difference between a complaint and the other information that thuds daily onto a decision maker's desk is it has an owner.
That's a good thing. It's healthy for an organisation to deliver a public performance from time to time of its information management and decision-making.
As long as the decision maker remembers:
The complainant may own the complaint.
The organisation owns the outcome.