Many organisations miss out on opportunities to learn by not listening to the concerns and complaints of their customers. In fact, many organisations make it difficult for a customer to complain appearing to take a complaint as an affront! Consumers are more likely to complain if they receive poor service or a faulty product and, with the rise in use of social media, a customer complaint can seriously damage the reputation of your company, so we need to learn how to manage complaints so that we both limit the damage and exploit the opportunity to learn.


Research suggests that an effective complaints-handling process can be used as a strategic tool to improve the satisfaction of customers and further suggests:

  • Nearly all customers would recommend a company to their friends if a complaint had been resolved efficiently. 

  • Four out of five customers would spread the word if a complaint had been handled badly. 

  • Despite the rise in complaints, only one in four employees feels qualified to deal with them. 

  • Only one in three customer-facing staff are actually trained to deal with angry customers

  • Most customers would pay more for excellent service.





To understand the benefits of handling customer complaints effectively in order to a) recover the relationship with your customer and, b) to learn so that the same situation does not arise again in the future.






By the end of the programme delegates will be able to:
•    Outline the causes of customer complaints;
•    Explain the business case for handling customer complaints effectively;
•    Describe an effective complaints-handling process from receipt to resolution;
•    Explain why people complain;
•    Demonstrate an ability to analyse the cause of complaints.



It is our intention to give you an opportunity to understand the nature and practice of complaints management. In order to do so, we will present you with a range of learning experiences including presentations, case studies, exercises and simulations.


Duration: 2 days


Class size:

To ensure maximum benefit for each delegate it is recommended that the class size for this programme does not exceed 16.


Who it's for:
Directors and managers with the responsibility for managing customer relationships in all sectors.

Course Content


Day 1


The rise of the consumer and the regulator
•    Consumer rights
•    The evolution of quality standards
•    Regulating complaints handling
•    The responsibility of top management.

The dissatisfied customer
•    What is a ‘complaint?’
•    Why do people complain?
•    What do people complain about?
•    Turning a complaint to our strategic advantage
•    Identifying and evaluating the benefits of effective complaints handling


The role of top management
•    The need for top management commitment
•    Defining the complaints-handling policy
•    Leadership and developing the right culture
•    Outlining the strategy and supporting execution
•    Defining the objectives
•    Monitoring and auditing the complaints-handling process.

Day 2


The complaint-handling process
•    The requirements of a complaints-handling process
•    What can we do to encourage customer feedback?
•    What is the most effective process for receiving a customer complaint?
•    Conducting the investigation – who should do it?
•    Initial analysis and corrective action
•    Tracking the complaint resolution process – what should be tracked?
•    Further analysis of the complaint and the response to the customer


Opportunities for improvement
•    How to analyse and learn from complaints data
•    How to stop complaints arising in the first place?
•    Tools to analyse where customer-delivery processes fail
•    Turning corrective action into preventive action.


Action items
•    Developing a plan to translate learning into actions at the workplace
•    ISO 10002:2004 Quality management guidelines for complaints handling
•    Summary and further support.

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LEAN Basics

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