Home - TDA03 - TDTGCST03A


Process customer complaints

Unit Descriptor Field I Customer Service

This unit involves the skills and knowledge required to handle negative feedback/complaints from customers, whether formal or informal. It would typically apply to that part of a person's role where they have responsibility for or may be more concerned with the processing of customer service complaints. This is a 'tactical' type of responsibility, as it is primarily about accepting responsibility for the processing of customer complaints.

This unit is identical to the cross-industry guideline unit GCST03A with the same title.

1 . Respond to complaints
  1. Complaints are processed in accordance with organisational procedures established under company policies, legislation or codes of practice

  2. Necessary reports relating to the complaints are obtained, documented and reviewed

  3. Decisions are made, taking into account applicable law, company policies and codes

  4. Resolution of the complaint is negotiated and agreed where possible

  5. A register of complaints/disputes is maintained

  6. Customer is informed of outcome of investigation

2 . Refer complaints
  1. Complaints that require referral to other personnel or external bodies are identified

  2. Referrals are made to appropriate personnel for follow-up in accordance with individual level of responsibility

  3. All documents and investigation reports are forwarded

  4. Appropriate personnel are followed up to gain prompt decisions

Key CompetencyExamples of ApplicationPerformance
How can information be collected, analysed and organised?2
How are ideas and information communicated within this competency?2
How are activities planned and organised?2
How are problem solving skills applied?1
How are mathematical ideas and techniques used?1
How is use of technology applied?2
How is team work used within this competency?1

Range Statement

General context

Worksite environment

  • Work may be conducted in a range of work environments and weather conditions by day or night:

  • Customers may be either internal or external, and may include but are not limited to:

    • customers with routine or special requests

    • regular and new customers

    • people from a range of social, cultural or ethnic backgrounds

    • people with varying physical and mental abilities

    • people who may be unwell, drug affected and emotionally distressed

  • Types of complaints may range from simple customer dissatisfaction which can be resolved on the spot to scenarios where external bodies such as police are required; i.e. they may vary in terms of:

    • severity

    • formality

    • source

    • documentation required

  • Effective communication techniques may include but are not limited to:

    • active listening

    • using open and/or closed questions

    • speaking clearly and concisely

    • using appropriate language and tone of voice

    • giving customers full attention

    • maintaining eye contact (for face-to-face interactions)

    • non-verbal communication e.g. body language, personal presentation (for face-to-face interactions)

    • clear, legible writing

  • Forms of documentation may include but are not limited to:

    • written e.g. forms, reports

    • audiovisual e.g. tapes

    • computer-based systems

  • Line of referrals may include but are not limited to:

    • relevant superiors in the organisational hierarchy

    • external bodies e.g. ombudsman, ICAC, police

  • Contact with customers may include but is not limited to:

    • face-to-face interactions

    • answering the telephone

    • interactions with team members

  • Organisational standards, policies and procedures may include but are not limited to:

    • complaints procedures

    • organisational standard report forms

    • job descriptions

    • code of ethics

    • staff appearance and presentation

    • quality systems, standards and guidelines

    • oral, aural or signed communications

  • Depending on the type of organisation concerned and the local terminology used, workplace procedures may include:

    • company procedures

    • enterprise procedures

    • organisational procedures

    • established procedures

  • Communication in the work area may include:

    • fixed phone

    • mobile phone

    • fax

    • e-mail

    • Internet

    • radio

Sources of information/ documents

  • Information/documents may include:

    • workplace procedures and policies for the processing of customer complaints

    • regulations and codes of practice relevant to the processing of customer complaints

    • induction documentation

    • competency standards and training materials

    • manufacturer's specifications for relevant equipment

    • supplier and/or client instructions

    • award, enterprise bargaining agreement, other industrial arrangements

    • customer service and quality assurance standards and procedures

Applicable regulations and legislation

  • Applicable regulations and legislation may include:

    • State/Territory/Commonwealth legislation, regulations, industry codes of practice, standards and guidelines, procedures and protocols, etc. relevant to processing customer complaints, including consumer law, trade practices legislation, and anti-discrimination/equal employment opportunity, harassment and privacy legislation

    • relevant State/Territory environmental protection legislation

    • relevant State/Territory OHS legislation

Evidence Guide

Critical aspects of evidence to be considered

  • Assessment must confirm appropriate knowledge and skills to:

    • identify the need(s) and concerns of a customer

    • process a complaint in accordance with workplace procedures and in an appropriate timeframe

    • recommend appropriate action arising from a complaint

    • communicate effectively when processing customer complaints

    • respond appropriately to telephone and verbal inquiries

    • locate, interpret and apply relevant information

    • maintain workplace records and documentation

Interdependent assessment of units

  • This unit of competency may be assessed in conjunction with other units that form part of a worker's job function

Required knowledge and skills

  • Australian and State/Territory standards, regulations and codes of practice relevant to the processing of customer complaints, including consumer laws and trade practices regulations

  • OHS and procedures and guidelines relevant to workplace operations

  • Workplace procedures and policies for the processing of customer complaints

  • The importance of customer complaints as a source of information for continuous improvement of customer service

  • The importance of good communication during the processing of customer complaints

  • The individual's role in processing customer complaints

  • Requirements of customer service systems/operations and relevant equipment

  • Ability to:

    • apply language skills which allow for adequate communication with required people

    • apply literacy skills to the level required to process complaints

    • apply numeracy skills to the level required to interpret the interpret customer complaints and take required actions

    • identify and solve problems when dealing with customer enquiries or complaints

    • relate to people from a range of social, cultural and ethnic backgrounds and physical and mental abilities

    • identify and correctly use equipment, processes and procedures

    • modify activities depending on differing workplace contexts, risk situations and environments

    • apply relevant agreements, codes of practice or other legislative requirements to work processes

Resource implications

  • Access is required to opportunities to:

    • participate in a range of exercises, case studies and other real and simulated practical and knowledge assessments that demonstrate the skills and knowledge to process customer complaints, and/or

    • process customer complaints in an appropriate range of workplace contexts

Consistency in performance

  • Applies underpinning knowledge and skills when:

    • identifying the need(s) and concerns of a customer

    • processing a complaint

    • recommending appropriate action arising from a complaint

    • communicating effectively during the processing of customer complaints

  • Shows evidence of application of relevant workplace procedures including:

    • Relevant regulations and codes of practice

    • OHS regulations and hazard prevention policies and procedures

    • workplace procedures and instructions related to the processing of customer complaints

    • relevant guidelines relating to the use of required equipment

  • Action is taken promptly to respond to/report any customer complaints in accordance with regulations and workplace procedures

  • Performance is demonstrated consistently over a period of time and in a suitable range of contexts

  • Recognises and adapts appropriately to cultural differences in the workplace, including modes of behaviour and interactions among staff and others

  • Work is completed systematically with required attention to detail without damage to goods, equipment or personnel

Context for assessment

  • Assessment of this unit must be undertaken by a Registered Training Organisation:

    • As a minimum, assessment of knowledge must be conducted through appropriate oral and/or written questioning

    • Appropriate practical assessment must occur:

      • at the Registered Training Organisation, and/or

      • in an appropriate work situation

  • Practical assessment will frequently be in the workplace or a suitable similar environment. Access to such an environment will be required. Questioning may occur in the work environment, or other suitable room such as an office, classroom or lunchroom.