Top tips for effective complaint handling

Complaint handling often comes down to plain old commonsense. Here’s just a selection of practical, sensible tips that can help turn an unhappy customer into a loyal client.

  • Avoid letters and email in the first instance – let the Client speak to a live person
  • Make sure you keep any promises you make about contacting them or call-backs
  • Keep calm and carry on!  Listen patiently and don’t interrupt.
  • Empathise with the Client, acknowledging their concern, and apologise on behalf of the firm (provided this does not amount to an admission of negligence if there is a chance it might lead to a claim at some stage in the future.)
  • Reassure the Client that you will do your best to resolve their complaint
  • Check whether they have had a copy of your complaint handling procedure and, if not, send them one.
  • If the complaint arose because of a breakdown with internal processes or communication make sure you investigate and fix what was broken.
  • Thank the Client for their feedback and for their assistance in improving your Client care standards.  If it led to you repairing a broken process let the Client know it is now fixed.
  • If relevant, offer appropriate compensation.  It doesn’t have to be financial – what about a free or half-price will?
  • Make sure you finish the process with a formal letter summarising the result and your belief that the complaint has been satisfactorily concluded.  Offer them an opportunity to return to you if your belief is false, and send them the minimum information required by the Legal Ombudsman.
  • Record all actions in your central complaints register

To find out more about the art and science of complaint handling book up for our in-house workshop.  More details here