New Complaints Handling Policy and Procedure Templates

September 2014

While it should always be the aim of every organization to ensure that no customer has a cause for complaint, mistakes – innocent or otherwise – and difficult customers are a reality in most cases. Having a complaints policy and complaints handling procedure in place not only helps to ensure the efficient and effective handling of complaints but also shows your commitment to providing (and improving) high quality service to your customers.

A range of new Customer Complaints Policies and Complaints Handling Procedures is now available, designed for businesses dealing in goods and/or services, ranging in size from a sole trader to a large enterprise.

The Customer Complaints Policies are written in consumer-friendly language and are designed as customer-facing documents whose purpose it is to explain your complaints handling procedure to customers and to give instructions on how to make a complaint.

Our new Complaints Handling Procedures are designed primarily for internal use within a business, using more formal and detailed terminology to guide staff through the handling of a complaint.

Three versions of each are available, designed for use as counterparts. The sole trader versions of the policy and procedure are designed for use by either individuals or sole traders with a small number of employees and contain only one stage of complaint handling (i.e. the initial decision is final with no escalation).

The small business versions are designed for those businesses with at least one level of staff below management and contain two stages of complaint handling whereby customers may appeal to have their complaint escalated if they are not initially satisfied.

The medium-large business versions are designed for organisations with multiple levels of staff and multiple members at the senior (e.g. directorial) level. Three stages are included in the medium-large variants, the top level being a referral of the complaint to senior management, the board of directors or a similar level.

In each case, the documents provide the option for referral of complaints to an external body – designed for those businesses who are in regulated trades or are, for example, members of trade associations.

The contents of this Newsletter are for reference purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Independent legal advice should be sought in relation to any specific legal matter.

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