Plain Words – the Documentation and Training People
New! Book an open course. Virtual Classroom on 12 May 2020. Cost £395Book a private course, your choice of date and venue (office or virtual classroom)Book an online self-study courseView a short self-study sample
Training Course Outline – Complaint Handling Training Course
A happy customer may tell three people about their experience with you but an unhappy one could share their problems with up to ten. That’s the kind of word-of-mouth that you have to get right.
Dealing with complaints effectively can build a good relationship with your customers, save money by avoiding their escalation, and earn repeat business. But many people drift into the role without any specific complaint handling training.
Most companies receive and reply to complaints by telephone, email and letter, and increasingly these days, by social media. If it’s your job to respond to them, you can be your organisation’s most valuable ambassador. You need to stay motivated and to be confident that you are dealing with customers as effectively and positively as possible. Training in best practice and seeing what works will build that confidence: you can be sure you are using tried and tested techniques.
What you will learn on this complaint handling training course
By the end of the course, you will know how to:
- Listen effectively so you understand what you need to do
- Choose the best response to a complaint
- Structure your responses effectively
- Use best practice for emails and letters
- Write in a clear, concise style
- Check your responses and give them that final polish before you send them
What our customers say
“Was extremely beneficial to me and my job role. I hope to CLOSE all customer complaints in one shot from now on. Giulia was lovely and patient when listening to all of our questions and customer complaints.”
SB, Superdrug“I found the course very enjoyable and informative. We were able to share experiences and the interactive nature of the course produced a great deal of interaction. Thank you very much.”
JG, Basingstoke & North Hampshire Foundation Trust“I have taken so much from this training. I came to the training fairly confident in my writing skills and it has raised some development areas for me which were explained extremely well. I now have some really useful tools to ensure my writing is sent grammatically correct with good tone. Thank you.”
KE, Ovo Energy“It’s been very useful and informal with lots of opportunities to share ideas and ask questions – drawing on specific and current examples. Thank you very much for your time and trouble.”
SC, Institute for Learning
How we deliver the complaint handling training course
It is available as :
- A one-day, interactive tutor-led workshop. Delegates practise effective complaint handling, learning the techniques through group discussion, exercises and working on sample complaints.
- A self-study package
Private courses (at your premises or online virtual classrooms)
We adopt a flexible approach so that even our standard courses are tailored to your needs. Our trainers are all professional writers as well as experienced trainers. They use their judgment on the day to adjust the content and pace of the course so that delegates get the training that is right for them. This is done by:
- Discussing your requirements with you before the course
- Assessing the pre-course questionnaires
- Discussing with the delegates at the start of the course their objectives and outcomes
- Checking throughout the day that objectives are being met.
We can also further adapt the course by:
Our open courses in London
We specialise in small class sizes so that you get personal time with the tutor.
We deliver our complaint handling training course at venues in central London, all easily accessible by public transport. All the rooms have natural daylight, independent air conditioning and free Wi-Fi.
If your journey into London means an early start, don’t worry; on your arrival you can have a light and tasty breakfast of fresh bread, pastries, cereals and fruit. Throughout the day there's an endless supply of freshly brewed coffee and speciality teas as well as chilled water, fruit and homemade snacks. Most venues also provide a hot lunch and all can cater to special dietary requirements.
A self-study (online) package
Delivered online, containing eight modules with exercises, totalling three hours.
1. A few observations about complaints
- What is a complaint?
- How complaints can help you improve customer relations
- Misconceptions about apologies
2. Handling complaints by telephone and in person
- Listening techniques – know what can prevent you from hearing the whole story
- Three listening modes and their impact
- Meeting customers – body language can help or hinder
- Putting the customer at ease – some things you should never say or do!
- Handling unhappy customers – practical things you can say and do
- Putting things back on a positive track
When you book we send you a questionnaire which we ask you to return to us before you attend the course. This enables our Trainers to assess your needs in advance.
3. Identifying the best response to complaints
- Techniques to set a clear objective
- Understanding who you’re writing to and what they need from you
- Responding to complaints when you’re at fault, when you wish to make a concession and when you need to stand firm
- Being tactful and diplomatic, and some useful phrases
- How to ask for things without starting a long sequence of replies to replies
- How to give bad news – being up-front and empathising
4. Choosing the right words
- Eight principles to help you get to the point and avoid waffle
- Finding the right level of formality in your writing style
- British Vs American English
5. Responding by email
- Why have email etiquette?
- Email etiquette for subject lines, content, forward and reply
- Using signature files, attachments and different fonts
- Choosing the right structure for your content and objective
- Why correct email style counts
- Sending the right message – what your email could be saying about you
- How to minimise flaming by recognising ambiguous content and knowing when to use the phone instead
6. Responding by letter
- Why it’s important to get the basics right – address, contact details, salutation
- How to choose the correct structure, tone and style
- Standard forms of closures and enclosures
- Making it look good – layouts to support content and draw the reader in
- How form letters can save you time
7. Dealing with social media complaints
- Even if the customer’s not always right, this highly visible medium means all replies must preserve your and their dignity
- The four types of feedback – which one should you just delete?
- Planning your apology is essential – customers may value an apology more than compensation
- The eight steps to handling social media complaints effectively
8. Polishing your prose
- Evaluating the effectiveness of your response – is it simple, readable and complete?
- A top-down approach to improving your response
- How to use effective transitions to hold the flow of thought
- Tips to maximise impact
- Avoiding poppycock and commonly-confused words
- Grammar and punctuation – common mistakes and things that make some people go mad
- Using the tools to check your spelling
- How to proof your own writing – tricks to help you see what’s really there
For the timetable of all courses see the schedule.
To reserve your places you can book a public course, book a private course, call us on +44 (0)1235 60 30 22 or email .
Plain Words Ltd
The Documentation &
tel +44 (0)1235 60 30 22
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