Effective complaint handling

Effective complaint handling can help your organisation respond to complaints in a way that benefits the complainant, the community and your agency. Customers who have their complaint handled well have higher than average overall customer satisfaction.

Find resources and training to help implement effective complaint handling processes and policies in your organisation.

We also have guidance for agencies to handle public interest disclosures (whistleblowing).

Complaint handling process

We'll guide you through procedures to effectively handle complaints in your organisation, from receiving a complaint to providing an outcome.

Read more about the Complaint handling process.

Complaint handling commitments

The 6 complaint handling commitments aim to ensure a consistent approach to complaint handling across the NSW public sector.

Based on what matters most to customers, the commitments form the foundation of an agency's complaint management system.

1. Respectful treatment

We are responsive and treat our customers with courtesy and respect.

2. Information and accessibility

We make it easy for our customers to give us feedback so we can make improvements.

3. Good communication

We keep our customers informed about the status of their complaint or feedback.

4. Taking ownership

We are trained and skilled to manage customer complaints and one person, or our team, will manage the complaint.

5. Timeliness

We do our best to deal with customer complaints as soon as possible. Our customers know our timeframes for finalising their complaint.

6. Transparency

We record and analyse information on our complaint handling processes to help improve our services.

Complaint handling e-learning

Our e-learning modules aim to improve your understanding of good complaint handling by putting you in the customer’s shoes. They are the perfect introduction to the core components of good complaint handling.

Complaint handling e-learning modules



Effective complaint handling guidelines
NSW Ombudsman, February 2017
336.1 KB


Fundamentals of complaint handling

For frontline staff, supervisors or managers in public, community or private sector organisations who need to effectively handle customer complaints and engage with complainants.

Effective complaint management systems training

For staff who are responsible for developing, managing or implementing a complaint handling policy and system in their organisation – including quality assurance and corporate governance managers.