Handling Customer Complaints

Why is it important to correctly manage Customer Complaints?

 

Customer service staff are the front line of all interaction between our clients and our business.  This means you will be “the business” for many of our clients- no other aspect of the business will be more important to the client.

 

How do I handle a Customer Complaint?

 

COMPLAINTS HANDLING – GUIDING PRINCIPLES BASED ON AUSTRALIAN and INTERNATIONAL STANDARDS

 

1.            VISIBILITY

Information about how and where to complain should be, freely given, well publicised to customers, personnel and other interested parties.

 

2.            ACCESSIBILITY  

The complaints handling process should be easily accessible to all complainants. This includes readily accessible information about the process, flexibility in the methods of making complaints and special arrangements and/or support for complainants with specific needs (including interpreters in the case they are needed).

 

 3.            RESPONSIVENESS  

Receipt of each complaint should be acknowledged to the complainant immediately, with a due date provided. Complaints should be addressed promptly, complainants should be treated courteously and kept informed of the progress of their complaint through the complaints handling process.

 

4.            OBJECTIVITY  

Each complaint should be addressed in an equitable, objective and unbiased manner through the complaints handling process.

 

5.            CHARGES  

Access to the complaints handling process should be free of charge to the complainant.

 

6.            CONFIDENTIALITY  

Personally identifiable information concerning the complainant should be available where needed, but only for the purposes of addressing the complaint within the organisation and should be actively protected from disclosure, unless the customer or complainant expressly consents to its disclosure.

 

7.            INVESTIGATION OF COMPLAINTS  

Every reasonable effort should be made to investigate all the relevant circumstances and information surrounding a complaint.

 

8.            CUSTOMER-FOCUSED APPROACH   The organisation should adopt a customer-focused approach, be open to feedback including complaints, and should show commitment to resolving complaints by its actions.

 

9.            RESOLUTION OF COMPLAINT

Following an appropriate investigation, the organisation should offer a response, for example, correct the problem and prevent it happening in the future. The decision or action taken regarding the complaint should be communicated to the complainant as soon as the decision or action is taken.

 

10.         ACCOUNTABILITY  

The organisation will ensure that accountability for and reporting on the actions and decisions of the organisations with respect to complaints handling is clearly established.

 

11.         CONTINUAL IMPROVEMENT  

The continual improvement of the complaints handling process and the quality of services should be a permanent objective of the organisation.

 

Paraphrased from the Australian StandardTM

Customer satisfaction – Guidelines for complaints handling in organizations

(AS ISO 10002-2006).

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