New LeO complaints service ‘working well’

The pilot that the Legal Ombudsman (LeO) is running on a new way of handling complaints is said to be delivering better quality and greater efficiencies according to the Office for Legal Complaints (OLC) which supervises LeO.

In analysing the results of the pilot, which started in April 2018, the OLC said that more work was done right first time and that involving a supervising ombudsman throughout a case had improved quality, case progression and timeliness.

The model was also found to encourage agreed outcomes rather than ombudsman decisions, to reduce the time spent by an experienced ombudsman reviewing and reworking cases, and had improved the rate of closures per investigator.

However, LeO said there were “risks and constraints” if the model was extended, such as the need to improve the capability of ombudsmen to supervise, while maintaining sufficient support for new starters.

Staff morale could also be a factor, as the ‘supervision model’ could be viewed “negatively as micro-management”, particularly because of its name.

There might also be a negative impact on high complexity cases, which needed high levels of involvement from ombudsmen.
LeO concluded that the findings of the evaluation were “sufficiently compelling” for it to introduce a new ‘quality and feedback’ model in the new financial year, based on an enhanced version of the ‘supervision model’, with greater resources for new starters.

Legal Eye is hopeful that the changes will lead to the quicker resolution of complaints, which can many months to resolve on occasion, and to outcomes that are agreed with the client rather than imposed by the ombudsman.
Legal Eye offers a complaints handling service which is an effective and efficient way for your firm to deal with any complaints.

Contact [email protected] for more information.

Outsourced complaints handling

Some Legal Eye clients fully outsource complaint handling to Legal Eye whilst others use the service on a ‘per complaint/one off’ basis. The service includes:

• An independent review of the client’s complaints.
• Preparation of a response following a review of the client’s file, alongside consideration of the Legal Ombudsman Scheme Rules.
• The review can take place either onsite or offsite by remote access to the case management systems.
• Provide suggested areas of improvement to combat the reoccurrence of a complaint of a similar nature.
• Provide monthly, quarterly or annual reports on complaints investigated, including trends and root cause analysis. This in turn allows firms to improve efficiency and productivity.

Our ‘Complaint Handling Tool Kit’ includes further documentation to help you to effectively manage complaints:
• Review/Draft Complaint policy for clients.
• Review/Draft Internal complaints handling procedure.
• Provision of an agenda for a quarterly review meeting and of a tool to record the minutes.
• Provide an effective recording function to capture; the detail, provide a reporting function and pull together trends.

We also offer face-to-face training for your team covering:
• Complaint handling the process, recording, reporting and monitoring
• The psychology of a complaint …why do people complain?
• The importance of brand and reputational management – focus on social media and client retention
• The difference between a ‘grumble’ and a ‘complaint’ – the value in responding to and recording both.
• Engaging in service recovery active listening, managing expectations, managing difficult conversations.

Bespoke training modules can also be created to cater to your particular requirements.

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