Complaint handling and dispute resolution - conveyancers

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Have a system to handle complaints. The benefits to your business can include:

  • improved product quality and service delivery
  • fewer mistakes and less time spent fixing them
  • better understanding of customers’ needs
  • increased customer loyalty and word-of-mouth referrals
  • improved business reputation
  • a healthier bottom line.

Have a complaints officer whose job it is to ensure:

  • there is adequate information available to customers about how to address any problems, especially at the point of sale
  • frontline staff are aware of:
    • the complaints handling policy
    • their authority to settle complaints
    • when and to whom they need to refer complaints
  • there is a process to handle more difficult and complex cases
  • complaints are reviewed regularly to identify ongoing issues
  • reports are made to senior management about complaints.

Make the complaints process easy for your customers:

  • Complaints form: use a form to record the details of complaints – download a copy our Example customer complaint form for businesses (PDF, 24KB).
  • Point of sale:
    • have a desk in your store where customers can take enquiries or complaints
    • display a simple sign, or include a paragraph on invoices, such as ‘Your custom is important to us – if you are not satisfied, please let us know’
  • Phone: have a dedicated line for complaints or problems
  • Web: include a customer feedback option on your website.

When dealing with a complaint in person or over the phone:

  • identify yourself to the customer
  • be professional, polite and courteous
  • listen carefully to the complaint
  • do not attempt to lay blame or be defensive – politely provide the customer with your perspective
  • make a record of the complaint and confirm the details with the customer
  • explain the courses of action available to address their complaint
  • check if the customer is satisfied with the proposed action and if not, discuss alternatives.

When dealing with a written complaint:

  • use the same strategies as with verbal complaints (above)
  • respond promptly (ideally within 48 hours) just to inform the customer you are processing their complaint
  • send a written response to the customer, even if you have already phoned them.

If the complaint cannot be resolved, seek assistance from an independent third party.

Regularly review complaints:

  • follow up with customers who have complained to check if they are satisfied and ask for feedback about your complaints handling system
  • review complaints monthly or quarterly to establish any trends, or obvious things you can change or improve
  • use complaint records to check how well and quickly your staff handle complaints.