Process customer complaints

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to handle formal and informal negative feedback and complaints from customers. Operators may exercise discretion and judgement using appropriate knowledge of products, customer service systems and organisational policies to provide technical advice and support to a team.


This unit applies to individuals who are skilled operators and apply a broad range of competencies in various customer service contexts.


Not applicable.

Elements and Performance Criteria

1. Respond to complaints

1.1 Processcustomer complaintsusingeffective communicationaccording to organisational procedures established under organisational policies, legislation or codes of practice

1.2 Obtain,document and review reports relating to customer complaints

1.3 Make decisions about customer complaints, taking into account applicable legislation, organisational policies and codes

1.4 Negotiate resolution of the complaint and obtain agreement where possible

1.5 Maintain a register of complaints/disputes

1.6 Inform customer of the outcome of the investigation

2. Refer complaints

2.1 Identify complaints that require referral to other personnel or external bodies

2.2 Makereferralsto appropriate personnel for followup in accordance with individual level of responsibility

2.3 Forward all documents and investigation reports

2.4 Followup appropriate personnel to gain prompt decisions

3. Exercise judgement to resolve customer service issues

3.1 Identify implications of issues for customer and organisation

3.2 Analyse, explain and negotiate appropriate options for resolution with customer

3.3 Propose viable options in accordance with appropriate legislative requirements and enterprise policies

3.4 Ensure matters for which a solution cannot be negotiated are referred to appropriate personnel

Required Skills

Required skills

analytical skills to identify trends and positions of products and services

communication skills to:

interpret customer complaints

monitor and advise on customer service strategies and resolutions

communication skills to:

people with diverse abilities

relate to people from culturally diverse backgrounds

literacy skills to:

edit and proofread texts to ensure clarity of meaning and accuracy of grammar and punctuation

prepare general information and papers according to target audience

read and understand a variety of texts

problemsolving skills to:

apply organisational procedures to a range of situations

deal with customer enquiries or complaints

exercise judgement in this application

selfmanagement skills to:

comply with policies and procedures

consistently evaluate and monitor own performance

seek learning opportunities.

Required knowledge

key provisions of relevant legislation from all forms of government that may affect aspects of business operations, such as:

antidiscrimination legislation

ethical principles

codes of practice

privacy laws

occupational health and safety (OHS)

importance of good communication skills and the individual’s role in processing customer complaints

organisational procedures and standards for processing complaints and recommending appropriate action.

Evidence Required

The evidence guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

Evidence of the following is essential:

applying judgement in the application of industry and/or organisational procedures

working with customer complaints

knowledge of organisational procedures and standards for processing complaints.

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Assessment must ensure:

access to an actual workplace or simulated environment

access to office equipment and resources

examples of customer complaints

examples of documents relating to customer complaints policies and procedures.

Method of assessment

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples are appropriate for this unit:

direct questioning combined with review of portfolios of evidence and third party workplace reports of onthejob performance by the candidate

analysis of responses to case studies and scenarios

demonstration of techniques

observation of presentations

oral or written questioning to assess knowledge of individual’s role in processing customer complaints

review of documentation outlining necessary reports relating to customer complaints

review of complaints/disputes register.

Guidance information for assessment

Holistic assessment with other units relevant to the industry sector, workplace and job role is recommended.

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Customersmay include:

customers with routine or specific requests

internal or external customers

people from a range of social, cultural or ethnic backgrounds

people who may be unwell, drug affected or emotionally distressed

people with varying physical and mental abilities

regular and new customers.

Complaintsmay include:

different types of severity, formality and sources

scenarios where external bodies such as police are required

straightforward customer dissatisfaction

level of documentation required.

Effective communicationmay include:

giving customers full attention

maintaining eye contact (for facetoface interactions), except where eye contact may be culturally inappropriate

speaking clearly and concisely

using appropriate language and tone of voice

using clear written information/communication

using appropriate nonverbal communication (body language) personal presentation (for facetoface interactions).

Document and review reports relating to customer complaints may include:

completing forms and written reports

using audiovisual tapes

using computerbased systems.

Referralsmay include:

external bodies:


Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC)


relevant superiors in the organisational hierarchy.


Communication – Interpersonal Communication

Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Licensing Information

No licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements apply to this unit at the time of endorsement.