The University of Newcastle, Australia

About Us

The Complaints Management Return on Investment (ROI) Research Group is an interdisciplinary team of University of Newcastle researchers whose goal is to improve customer complaint management practice.

The research group works collaboratively with the industry association for Australian complaint management professionals, the Society of Consumer Affairs Professional Australia (SOCAP).The research is guided by a steering committee, comprised of SOCAP members including the Commonwealth Ombudsman, NZ Ombudsman, Ombudsman Energy and Water QLD, NSW Ombudsman, SA Ombudsman, VIC Ombudsman and the WA Ombudsman, as well as industry representatives.

ROI Research Team

Research began in earnest in 2017, with the team working on the first phase of the project which investigated the Return on Investment (ROI) of Effective Customer Complaints Management (CCM) for private organisations.

This research found that the benefits of effective complaints handling is higher than previously thought, and could affect millions of Australians who complain to businesses each year. The greatest benefits included customer satisfaction; customer retention; staff satisfaction; and customer lifetime value as well as product improvements made as a result of feedback.

The second phase of the research, investigating the ROI of effective complaints management in public organisations, was completed in June 2020. This research found that public organisations can generate a significant return on investment when complaints are managed effectively. The research highlighted that these organisations need to take account of social costs and benefits, as well as pecuniary costs and benefits in assessing the effectiveness of their complaints management practices.