This week the National Autistic Society let shoppers in Glasgow experience what it is like to be autistic in a crowded area, using augmented reality glasses.


It's part of a nationwide campaign to raise awareness of life with autism from those with the condition and friends and family who support them.


Lots of unstructured movements and a bewildering array of sounds was how one tester described it – an overload of information, too much to take in.  Frightening and confusing was another description. To see for yourself view the film here.


Without this experience it's tempting to write off children with autism as being 'bad' or disruptive' so this makes technological developments such as virtual reality so important to improve our understanding.


It's often said that you have to walk a mile in someone's shoes to understand them. This was very much the theme for our Future of Complaints webinar this week where 50 professionals shared their experiences about how their organisations are evolving complaints management from an operational hassle to a strategic imperative to inform future strategy and direction.


It is clear that many organisations have transformed their culture of complaints management to one of efficient handling and learning, however it is also clear that those working in regulated environments can be trapped into focussing on correct processing, rather than an empathetic, authentic response.


On the webinar MBNA showcased the developments they have been tirelessly working on to improve their complaints handling and shared some of the insights that earned them ‘Complaints Team of the Year’ in CCA Excellence Awards 2014. Top tips are simple, common sense thoughts but often more difficult to put into practice – understand the importance of resolution and critically, realise the advantage of insight and analysis for ongoing improvement.


The rapid emergence of new intermediary companies like Resolver, who act on the consumer’s behalf, to increased activity from ombudsmen demonstrates that there is a growing trend for consumers to bypass brands if they don't get a swift resolution. 


Becoming known for being fair and efficient in dealing with legitimate complaints, whether they are upheld or not, is vital to any large brand operating in both business to consumer and business to business environments.


This topic has become prominent in many CCA events and our research programme. To register to keep up to date with outputs in this topic click here.


It will be a key focus for our forthcoming Convention on 16 & 17 November and we are delighted to have just recently confirmed that Tesco Bank will be leading a session on 17 November. Find further information on the programme here.


In our sector we don't need augmented reality, with an array of sophisticated analytics we can monitor customer experience real-time and quickly spot the pain barriers for rapid resolution. We are all of course customers and can walk in the shoes of our own customer base by testing our own services - hopefully we won't get too many blisters!



p.s. Talking of blisters… good luck to Sharon Johnston, CCA Head of Membership Services who is running her first marathon in Inverness on Sunday raising money for Parkinson’s UK along the way!