Handling Customer Complaints

Handling Customer Complaints


How an organisation handles customer complaints is crucial to maintain a good reputation and to keep client business. Complaint handling training teaches the process and methodology needed to create an effective customer complaints handling procedure to improve customer care, satisfaction and complaint resolution rates.
This course will provide participants with the crucial skills and confidence to improve their handling of customer complaints with the goal of reaching a satisfactory solution that increases customer retention and loyalty.

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  • Introductions
    o Agenda review and rule setting
    o intro exercise, needs mapping, agree rules
    o Why are customer complaints so important to us today?
  • Key skills and qualities for handling complaints
    o Model for handling complaints
    o Benefits of handling complaints effectively
  • Communication, building rapport
    o Breakdown of communication
    o Building customer rapport
    o Impact of telephone and written communication
    o Verbal handshake
    o Communication styles
    o Paired practice, small group exercise, facilitated group discussion, self awareness questionnaire
  • Maintaining control and empathy in complaint handling
    o Using positive language
    o Remaining assertive when under pressure
  • Establishing customer needs
    o Asking open questions
    o Introduce questioning funnel
    o Listening and summarising
  • Defusing difficult customer emotional responses
    o Managing personal response - 6 Step Approach
    o Complaint handling techniques to defuse anger and other emotional responses
  • Agreeing an appropriate course of action with customers
    o Achieving a win/win outcome for the customer and the organisation
    o Being clear on the authority/power you have
    o Escalating complaints with a defined complaint management process
    o Making commitments and honouring promises

  • Learning Outcomes


  • Recognise the key skills and qualities needed to handle customer complaints effectively
  • Develop skills in building rapport and engaging with the customer
  • Learn how to demonstrate empathy whilst maintaining control of the conversation
  • Discover how to establish the customer's needs through questions and listening, understand customer needs
  • Acquire the ability to defuse difficult customer emotional responses
  • List the key attitude, skills and knowledge components
  • Ability to build relationships with customers in difficult situations
  • Levels of empathy felt by the customer, choice of wording when constructing sentences and judgement on timing of when to say the right things
  • Correct question list, correct identification of customer need
  • Ability to change customer emotional responses


  • Clerks, Administrators, Coordinators, Supervisors, Asst Managers, junior and middle managers, anyone who handles customer complaints or deals with customers on a regular basis