Guide / Toolkit

How to Design a Complaints Mechanism

Providing guidelines on developing an effective complaints mechanisms system

This toolkit discusses how financial institutions (FIs) can design effective complaints mechanisms which are basically communication channels for collecting, resolving, and responding to client questions and complaints. These complaint mechanisms can also make it possible to use client feedback to improve products and operations. An effective mechanism provides timely response to clients and enables the institution to address both individual and systematic problems. The four sections of this toolkit covers:

  • Introduction to the importance of having an effective complaints mechanism for resolving client questions and grievances. The points raised in this section may be used to convince managers and other stakeholders that a complaint mechanism should be an institutional priority;
  • Five-step process for developing a new complaints mechanism. The steps covered will help ensure that the mechanism is well understood and accepted by staff and clients, making it more likely that both groups will use the mechanism successfully;
  • Elements of an effective mechanism detailing the characteristics that all mechanisms should have with a focus on examples of successful mechanisms;
  • Comparison of seven complaint mechanisms and a discussion of common problems that FIs face with existing mechanisms with a focus on ideas on how to improve the mechanism to address these issues.

About this Publication

By Wardle, L.