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Trainer’s Tip: Complaints Exercise


This 45-minute exercise from Colin Boxer focuses on complaints handling.

An approach that I have used is to ask them to provide a list of the top three complaints that they deal with - most common and/or most awkward to handle. Select the most common ones overall (how many depends on the time available) and then ask them to work in small groups to suggest how they could handle these.

The value in this approach is that the less capable and inexperienced get the benefit of the skills of the more capable staff in a very non-judgemental way. They also have a set of practical solutions to typical scenarios that they can start using straight away.

As the trainer you can plug the gaps in knowledge and validate the positive responses. If they have given you the typical complaints as pre-course work then you will have time to prepare for this - and to provide a summary handout of the ideal responses.

This gives them the 'what' to do/say - ideally, you would also want to spend time looking at the 'how'. That could perhaps be the next session. A role-play would be good, if they are up for it. I would also bring them together at a later date to find out how they have got on and tackle issues that maybe weren't correctly described the first time round.

It's actually quite a fun session, and can even provide the organisation with a bit of informal feedback in the areas it isn't performing.

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45 minute complaints training session

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