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.”
“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 private tutor-led course at your premises, a one-day open course in London or a three-hour online self-study package.
A one-day, interactive tutor-led workshop. Delegates practise effective complaint handling, learning the techniques through group discussion, exercises and working on sample complaints.
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 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