Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 27, 2018


An overhaul of how complaints are dealt with has earned mobile provider Giffgaff a UK Complaint Handling Award along with the firm’s outsourced contact centre provider Firstsource.

The companies were finalists in the Best Personal Entertainment & Telecoms category, where they faced stiff competition from EE and BT Business and Public Sector Complaints.

In their presentation to judges at the gala awards event in London this month, Giffgaff and Firstsource delegates discussed a “game changing strategy” that transformed how the complaints team communicated with the wider frontline staff.

New techniques introduced included a two-way feedback system to help “nip complaints in the bud” before they were categorised as such.

A Giffgaff/Firstsource spokesperson said of the changes:

“It’s a best-practise approach that’s clearly worked. In a recent survey, 100 percent of frontline staff agreed that the complaint team is excellent at collaborating with hem, with this result inevitably contributing to the new record low that Giffgaff is now witnessing in its complaint volumes and Ombudsman referrals.”

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 27, 2018


Thomas Cook are used to taking customers on journeys to holiday destinations across the globe, so when the firm embarked on a “transformation journey to deliver a Centre of Excellence for complaint handling”, they knew exactly how to go about it.

That delivery has now won the travel giants a UK Complaint Handling Award, which they collected at the recent gala event in London’s Park Plaza Riverbank hotel.

The company entered the Best Hospitality/Leisure/Transport & Travel category and gave a presentation on how an average complaint handling time of 48 days, and low First Contact Resolution (FCR) and Customer Experience Scores of 35 percent, prompted an “end-to-end” overhaul in attitudes to complaint handling.

Over a period of 18 months, complaint handling was revamped within Thomas Cook, to the point where it is now “embedded in the DNA” of the firm.

A spokesperson explained:

“The entire function was transformed, ensuring customers are at the heart of decisions. We used customer and colleague feedback from focus groups to deliver a three-month programme of training with development of evidence and empowerment toolkits to support FCR and speedier resolution.”

The initiative has since led to FCR scores rising to 52 percent, and CX scores as high as 90 percent, while complaint resolution costs have been reduced by 15 percent.

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 7, 2018


Online complaint tool Resolver has become a partner of the 2018 UK Complaint Handling Awards, which takes place later this month.

The daytime event, hosted by Awards International, is being held in London’s Park Plaza Riverbank hotel on Thursday February 22, and will see finalists from across the UK compete in 19 categories.

This year, the categories include Best Contact Centre, Most Improved Complaint Handling, and Best Banking & Investment. From these winners, an Overall Winner will be selected by the judges.

Finalists presenting at the event include household name brands keen to earn recognition for their efforts in the ever-more competitive field of complaint handling. These include Virgin Money, Thomas Cook, EE, Thames Water, Co-Op, and many more.

Presentations from the finalists will be judged via a robust and transparent process, with valuable feedback provided afterwards.

The judging panel features a host of industry experts, including Lauren Hutchinson, Director of Lemon Tree Business Consulting; David Lewis, Head of Customer Relations at Barclays; and Tracey Roberts, Business Development Director at Capita.

Joining Customer Experience Magazine in partnering the awards is Resolver, which since its conception in 2014 has grown to become the premier online complaint portal in the UK, offering a seamless complaints journey for over a million consumers, dealing with everything from flight delays to issues over private parking tickets.

Speaking about the exciting new partnership, Resolver CEO and Founder James Walker said:

“In the future, successful firms will be defined by how well they treat their customers. Increasingly, businesses across the spectrum are realising the importance of listening to what the people who use their services are saying and learning and evolving in response.
That’s why I’m thrilled to be working in partnership with Awards International to recognise these awesome businesses that are getting in right. And I’m looking forward to celebrating the winners of the future.”

Awards International CEO Neil Skehel said:

“We are delighted to welcome Resolver on board as our partner for the 2018 UK Complaint Handling Awards. As any one of the million-plus consumers who used Resolver to successfully lodge a complaint – either directly to a firm or through an ombudsman – will tell you, their service makes the entire process as quick as possible.
No longer are people being put off complaining because of a long, laborious process. Thanks to Resolver, the consumer is more powerful than they have ever been before, and the onus is now on businesses to prove they are able to handle complaints more effectively than ever before. These awards will celebrate those who are doing just that, and I would like to congratulate all those who have reached the finals.”

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthFebruary 7, 2018


With the 2018 UK Complaint Handling Awards just around the corner, CXM spoke with James Walker, the CEO of awards partner Resolver, the online complaints portal that helps consumers raise and resolve issues quickly and effectively. In our exclusive interview, he outlines best practise for dealing with customer complaints in the digital age, where customers hold more power than ever before thanks to social media platforms…


Tell us about Resolver and the idea behind the organisation

It sounds clichéd, but Resolver really was founded by consumers, for consumers.

I started Resolver after having an issue with my boiler insurance policy and finding that it was inexplicably hard to resolve my problem. I saw that submitting a complaint was a time-consuming activity, and that consumers had to do some serious research to figure out where they stood when it came to their rights.

Resolver is a single, awesome resource that provides consumers with quick and easy access to the tools and knowledge they need to raise their issues efficiently – for free.

We believe that the best way to help consumers is by educating them about their rights and working with businesses to improve their services. To this end, we try to remain impartial wherever possible and bridge the gap between consumers and businesses.

We stick to a strong ethical code – we’re always going to be free to consumers, we don’t feature adverts, we don’t sell on our users’ personal data. Overall, we aim to be a guiding force that people can trust, building better markets for both businesses and consumers.  When someone complains, what do we do? We listen, and gather the details of their bad experience. We then explain what we are going to do to resolve it.

Do you think the UK has previously lacked an effective complaint handling culture?

While the various ombudsmen and regulators have all operated to the best of their capacity, the problem is that consumers faced a convoluted nightmare of differing rules, regulations, and powers that made for a highly inconsistent system of complaint handling.

Things are definitely getting better, but some industries are more focused on learning from consumers than others. The response to Resolver has been fantastic – we’ve been visited for guidance and advice by over 37 percent of UK households; had over 1.2 million cases raised in 2017; and seen the average consumer satisfaction score of our top 20 companies rise to 7.12 – up from 5.68 in 2016.

All signs that Resolver is delivering a massive improvement to the way the UK looks at complaints.

Why is complaint handling so important in the digital age?

It’s a simple fact that it’s getting a lot cheaper to keep existing customers than it is to find new ones. Firms only have a finite marketing budget, and there’s no point forking out a fortune on pulling in new customers if you’re haemorrhaging existing ones left, right, and centre.

The thing is, building a loyal base of customers previously demanded that businesses commit a certain amount of resources to customer services – difficult to do when businesses are already committed to other areas of growth. This is why efficient complaint handling is so important: businesses can commit less to customer service, build customer loyalty, and improve customer retention.

What are some of the basic skills a business requires to placate frustrated and angry customers?

It sounds so simple, but I can’t emphasise this enough – listen to your customers.

We believe that good customer service is about more than just papering over the cracks, and that complaints offer businesses a chance to make crucial improvements.

What most people want is pretty simple: we want to see that our comments have been listened too and addressed, even if we disagree with the response.

We want to feel like we’re being spoken to by a human being, not a cut-and-paste or auto-generated response. And increasingly we want our complaint addressed quickly. This speed in resolving an issue is also beneficial to the business in question.

What are some of the advances you foresee in Resolver and other digital platforms in this field?

It’s all about the data! At Resolver, we encrypt and keep our user’s data protected. We don’t sell it on or monetise it in any way. Resolver remains a free service.

But our experience with helping millions of people resolve complaints means we can use that knowledge to help businesses learn from the complaints they receive.

We can design software tailored to their individual needs that enables them to spot trends in complaints and act quickly. We can predict with increasing accuracy the complaints that can be resolved quickly and those that are likely to escalate to an ombudsman or the courts.

And we can help businesses navigate the legal and compliance requirements that come with regulation.

Speaking to businesses across a range of sectors, it’s clear from what they tell me that this will be invaluable in helping them improve the service they offer to consumers, and will make things quicker and simpler for everyone involved.

Similarly, as we make our data do more for consumers and businesses, we hope to work on automating certain sections of the complaints process. We want to make it as easy as possible for consumers to raise their issues – and as simple as possible for businesses to resolve them.

Paul AinsworthPaul AinsworthJanuary 23, 2018


The firm behind the Customer Experience Awards, Awards International, has joined forces with online complaints platform Resolver  to announce an exciting new partnership which aims to promote effective complaint handling in the UK.

Awards International also host the upcoming UK Complaint Handling Awards, which take place on February 22 with live finalists presentations in the morning, followed by a gala lunch and award ceremony in the afternoon.

Resolver, meanwhile, was created to provide a highly effective free tool that enables consumers to raise and resolve issues. With a goal to help make complaining to companies quick and easy, Resolver guides its users throughout the complaints process allowing them to keep track of their complaint and store all relevant information securely in one place.

The new partnership aims to bring more awareness and transparency to complaint handling through the Resolver tool, while working to celebrate high-quality customer service initiatives via the UK Complaint Handling Awards.

Neil Skehel, CEO of Awards International, said:

“We are delighted to join with Resolver as a leading expert in complaint management to promote and reward the many diligent teams of contact centre staff through the upcoming UK Complaint Handling Awards 2018. This partnership will not only give companies the recognition they deserve for managing customer complaints effectively, but enhances the great work Resolver does in providing a straightforward customer service process.”

James Walker, founder of Resolver, added:

“Being part of the UK Complaint Handling Awards with Awards International is totally awesome. When I created Resolver three years ago, I wanted to help businesses be better – not just through answering individual complaints, but by giving them the opportunity to learn from what their customers were saying. 1.5 million cases later, we’re seeing businesses from across the full spectrum of industries making a real commitment to their customers – and being part of the Complaint Handling Awards gives us a fantastic opportunity to recognise and celebrate those who go the extra distance.”

Inform. Inspire. Include.
A free way to improve your business.

Customer Experience Magazine is the online magazine packed full of industry news, blogs, features, reports, case studies, video bites and international stories all focusing on customer experience.



Contact Information

For article submissions:
Paul Ainsworth

For general inquiries, advertising and partnership information:
Tel: 0207 1932 428

For Masterclass enquiries:
Tel: 0207 1937 483

Customer Experience Magazine Limited
Acacia Farm, Lower Road,
Royston, Herts, SG8 0EE
Company number: 7511106