Benefits of effective complaint handling

Every year, 6 million people make complaints in Australia. If you work in customer service in a public sector agency or community organisation, complaints are likely part of your day-to-day work.

Person answering phone in call centre

At the NSW Ombudsman, we look at complaint handling as a tool to improve service provision, customer relationships and organisational culture. Effective complaint handling can help your organisation respond to complaints in a constructive way that benefits the complainant, the community and your business.

What complaint handling can do for you

There are lots of reasons to make complaint handling a priority in your organisation. Effective complaint handling will:

  • Demonstrate your commitment to acknowledging, addressing and resolving problems Acknowledging, investigating and resolving complaints shows that your organisation is committed to continuous improvement.
  • Maintain or enhance your relationships with the communities you serve Public sector agencies and community services organisations have a responsibility to the communities they serve. Demonstrating your belief in the importance of effective complaint handling can help build trust among the people who rely on your services.
  • Improve your transparency, accountability and reputation  Acknowledging and taking responsibility for your mistakes can help strengthen public perceptions about your organisation.
  • Achieve substantial returns on your investment  According to a 2018 SOCAP report, every dollar an organisation invests in complaint handling has a potential return of up to $10. This is often the result of ‘extended benefits’, including improvements to products and services as a result of complaints, increased customer and staff satisfaction, and positive public perception.

Find out more about our complaint handling workshops.

Search publications.

I am looking for:

In the publication category: