Complaint Handling

Complaint Handling


If handled effectively, most complaints can be resolved without invoking a formal complaints procedure. When addressing grievances, the goal of all customer-facing staff should be to adopt a solution-focused attitude.

This course outlines the recommended approach to de-escalating complaints, and reinforces the importance of all customer-facing staff in reducing the number of formal complaints lodged.

Delivery Mechanisms: Lecturing/Group Discussion/Case Studies/Practical Exercises.

Course Content

  • Recognising & acknowledging why customers complain
  • Types of complaint
  • Principles of effective customer service
  • Principles of effective complaint handling

The Complaint Handling Process:

  • Stage 1: Informal Resolution:
    • Process requirements
    • Roles;
    • Policy guidelines
  • Stage 2: Escalation (aka The Formal Complaints Process):
    • Requirements
    • Roles
    • When it’s invoked
    • How it’s invoked
    • What complainant needs to know
  • Stage 3: External Adjudication (e.g. NIPSO):
    • Role of NIPSO
    • Possible outcomes
    • What complainant needs to know
    • Relevant documentation


  • Appropriate skills & behaviour:
    • Attitude
    • Behaviour
    • Communication
  • Investigating complaints:
    • The process
    • Problem solving: Root Cause Analysis
    • Questioning skills
    • Recording accurate information
  • Drafting responses:
    • Stage 1 responses
    • Stage 2 responses
  • Lessons learned:
    • Creating a culture of continuous improvement
    • Taking action
  • Skills practice at each stage

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