TRADE LEADER’S GUIDE: The complaint  path- recommendations for traders Part 1

Complaints are an integral part of working with clients of a trade company and it is very useful. In a series of publications from the section Traders' Leader Guide, titled TRADE LEADER’S GUIDE: Are Customer Complaints a Good Thing and How Much Does an Underrated Complaint Cost - Part 1 (, PART 2 and PART 3 we explained why.

We are now embarking on the task of guiding traders on the right path to a complaint, so that there are a minimum of negative consequences for both parties and maximum satisfaction of their interests. In order to fulfill this task, it is necessary for the company to have a well-developed policy and procedure for accepting customer complaints. What you should not miss to bet in it:

Clear and accurate information on your website about the possibility and manner of filing complaints.

To prevent losing customers, reporting to the CPC, or initiating lawsuits by disgruntled consumers, you need to have a clear, well-described complaint procedure on your site. All online stores operating on the Bulgarian market are required to have a description of the possibility of conducting out-of-court dispute resolution procedures with customers. It is necessary to indicate links to:

  • EU ODR platform.
  • The websites of the ADR bodies, namely for the ADR Center of NAIS and / or the conciliation commissions of the CPC.

If you are an associate member of NAIS, you should mention this and direct your clients to the website of NAIS for filing complaints or seeking assistance from the body in pursue of agreement between you and your customers. Cross-border disputes, i.e. those in which your client is located in another EU country, are resolved in the EU ODR platform. There you need to choose NAIS as the body to resolve each specific dispute.

Important! If you are a Bulgarian company, although you may have a very well-developed own channel for filing complaints, NAIS recommends that you indicate on your website that your clients can also file complaints on the NAIS online platform to prevent losing customers or filing a complaint with the CPC.

If the customer's complaint is duplicated in both channels, this can very easily be checked in the complaints screen in your account in the NAIS online system, so that you can continue to negotiate with the user in your own communication channel.

Complaints channels diversification

You need to provide information about the channels through which you receive customer complaints. The complaints can be done orally or in writing, in your own or an outsourced channel. In the case of an oral complaint, the company's own voice channel is a better option - telephone, voice connection via an internet platform, present in a store.

Advantages: This form is best suited for quick problems. The contact is direct, it is easier to capture the client's emotions and, accordingly, they can be more easily and quickly mastered by an experienced employee.

Disadvantages: The problem is that in larger companies, the voice channel is easily overloaded and with a long wait, the emotions of the already irritated customer escalate. A call-center, especially if it is an outsourced one, may not be able to resolve a more complicated dispute. The presence of an angry customer in the store is also not very pleasant, both for the employees themselves and for the other customers. The complainants  themselves may also feel frustrated by the need to visit the company's location, instead of contacting it quickly and easily from any point and time convenient to them.

The written form can be chat, a complaint on paper, by e-mail, in an electronic platform. It can be submitted in its own or external partner channel, such as the online platform of NAIS-

Advantages of own channel: Practice shows that a well-developed electronic form or well-organized chat helps the complainants to quickly and easily formulate their complaint, their request, as well as the basic information on the case.

Disadvantages of own channel: The free form used on the e-mail or paper channel does not allow for good structuring of all the details of the complaint.

Chat with a live person also takes the company's resources and client time, but is suitable for more basic problems that are solved quickly. The chatbot, on the other hand, even if well organized, could deceive the customer that there is a person on the other end, but the moment they find out that it is software, the they may abandon the request.

Not all companies have their own electronic complaint form. The investment is not small, and most traders believe that it is enough to just have a contact form, email, contact phone.

Bulgarian traders can use as an external channel two electronic platforms designed to describe complaints in a way that is convenient and easy for the complainants. These are the platforms of NAIS and the EU.

Advantages of the external channel: The online platform of NAIS has an electronic form that is intuitive and at the same time exhausts all the information needed to solve the case. Within a day, the application is considered eligible and forwarded to the company to the email address provided by the client. The electronic  form of the European Union's online platform, to which all online stores are required to link on their websites, is also very user friendly and accompanied by elaborative texts about consumers rights.

Another important advantage is that this type of channel is preferred by customers who are reluctant to express their dissatisfaction with the company directly due to mistrust they're already feeling for it. They either stop buying from such a trader or express their dissatisfaction in another public way, which tarnishes its image.

The disadvantage of such an external channel is that the company can ignore the complaint received on it. Therefore, traders should educate themselves first, in detail, with the capabilities of both platforms and include them in the description of the complaint procedure on their website.

Even if the company has its own well-developed channel for filing complaints to it, the external channel will provide feedback from a flow of customers who have already lost confidence in it.

In the next publication we will tell what other advantages the online ADR platforms of NAIS and EU have.

Follow the next publications from this series, dedicated to the best practices in dealing with complaints, from the section "Trade Leaders' Guide" on the NEWS page of, as well as in the profiles of NAIS on LinkedIn and Facebook. In the next publication we will look at the problems related to technical systems, process management and the delegation of rights and responsibilities, or in short, problems related to the internal organization.

Published on 24.09.2021 Back to news