Welcoming Complaints

Fostering a positive attitude toward complaints allows complaints to be managed most effectively. Your business should be open to receiving complaints and should ensure that it is not difficult for customers to complain if they need to.

 

Some recommendations for creating a positive and open culture toward complaints include:
Having a publicly available, clear and simple message about how to com-plain on a sign or on a brochure, notice or invoice and your business’ com-plaint management policy should be accessible on your website or at your front counter. (Standards Australia, 2014). This information should include:

  • how to make a complaint and provide feedback;
  • where to make the complaint;
  • when to make the complaint;
  • the information the complainants should provide;
  • the methods of handling complaints;
  • the various time periods associated with the complaint process;
  • options for review and redress; and
  • how the complainant can obtain feedback on the status of their complaint.

People who complain give the organisation a chance to put things right. Often people who do not complain tell others of their bad experience. Encouraging complaints helps your business!
An appropriately skilled person is assigned the responsibility and authority in relation to the complaints. With the increase in social media and the impact on complaints – you also need to make sure that your business leaders have a policy and response guidelines available so that they can respond appropriately and quickly.
All of your staff are trained, resourced and supported to receive complaints.

Key points

  • Remember that complaints are a good way to learn about how to improve your business and your bottom line.
  • Getting this information from customers is important, and statistics show that sometimes people don’t complain because they don’t know how to complain. If you make it clear and easy for them, you will benefit from their feedback.

 

Have a clear Complaints Process

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Key points

  • Make it easy for customers to complain by providing them with all the information they need to make a complaint – you would rather hear directly from them than have them spread bad publicity about you to others.
  • Ensure that you create specific documentation (with relevant headings) or website pages which clearly relate to complaints, rather than just providing your contact details