Internal complaints handling procedures
The purpose of this fact sheet is to assist members of staff to handle complaints appropriately, including the implementation of internal complaints handling procedures.
This document is issued for guidance purposes only.
As an organisation which is people based, occasional genuine errors do occur. The principles and procedures set out here are concerned with learning from experiences, and ensuring fair dealing with customers.
In respect of dealing with complaints the staff should:
- Focus on putting matters right where possible
- Ensure that their manager is aware of the matter at the earliest possible stage
- After discussion with their manager issue an apology to the affected party if appropriate in the situation
- Assess what lessons might be drawn to avoid a repetition of the problem or issue
In most cases the customer will be content that matters have been put right and an apology given. However, there will be occasions where customers will feel sufficiently strongly about an issue that they will want to take matters further. Contact details for the Curator should be given to the customer and a complaint form completed.
Complaints will be acknowledged within a reasonable time of their being received.
Complaints will be investigated by a person of sufficient experience, seniority and competence who, where possible, was not directly involved in the particular act or omission giving rise to the complaint. Any remedial action on those complaints should be promptly taken.
Many complaints can be resolved satisfactorily by following the procedures set out below. In this way the level of customer satisfaction is improved and issues of ‘poor service’ may be resolved without the need for matters to be taken further.
The purpose of this process is to focus on the issues that gave rise to the complaint. It is taken as read that members of staff will, at all times, be professional and courteous in their dealings with customers and others.
The procedures to be followed include:
- Completion of a complaint notification form
- Acknowledgement of the complaint, say within 5 days of receipt
- Verification of the complaint by both parties
- Taking any remedial action
- Where the complaint cannot be promptly remedied, advising the complainant and setting out a proposed time frame
- Arrive a mutually satisfactory outcome
- File the complaint notification form and related correspondence
- Monitor for repeat situations.
Keep records of complaints for six years.