Rethinking complaint forms for a better experience Home Office

An innovative design for a global complaints service increased customer satisfaction from 31% to 63%

The challenge

In 2018, over 2.9 million people were granted visas to visit, work, study or live in the UK. To help meet their needs, we were asked to redevelop UKVI’s existing UK complaints service for global rollout within 6 months.

Following a discovery of the end-to-end service, we identified the following problems to solve:

  • 40% of complaints were enquires or requests for help rather than complaints
  • just 30% of people who used the existing service and gave feedback said they were satisfied
  • submitted complaints often lacked detail, requiring the complaints team to go back for more information

“I have a problem in processing my application payment for more than a week. I want to cancel the application but I can not find any link to do anything. I am stuck and it is because it is a technical issue.” Request for help misdirected to the complaints team

Stakeholders were also frustrated that the large number of general enquiries entering the service inflated complaint statistics in management reports.

Bringing a fresh perspective

We began with a short discovery to gain an understanding of the service’s users. We engaged with 40 internal stakeholders, analysed data from Google Analytics and reviewed 6 months worth of complaints.

Based on the findings our design team proposed a very different approach from the generic complaints form. They designed a triaging service, posing simple questions which routed users to relevant information on GOV.UK or UKVI’s helpline, with an option to continue making a complaint.

The complaint form itself was then redesigned to be clearer for users who speak English as a second language and to encourage more informative responses.

A map of triaging questions
Mapping out how users will be triaged in a sub-section of the service

We tested the service by running a selection of real complaints through it and inviting stakeholders to carry out a robust review.

Providing a better experience

Examples of the questions flow on mobile
Examples of some of the questions asked to help route users to the right information

The new service is clear, easy to use and meets the needs of the department’s customers and case working teams.

Early feedback has shown a substantial increase in customer satisfaction from 31% in 2019 to 63% in 2020. Users no longer have a frustrating online experience compounding their dissatisfaction.


users satisfied

in 2018


users satisfied

in 2020

The service went live worldwide on time and on budget within 6 months of us starting work. The clients have expressed to us how happy they are with our successful delivery.

A page from the new service viewd on mobile
A page from the new service viewd on mobile

Get in touch

Whether you’re ready to start your project now or you just want to talk things through, we’d love to hear from you.

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