NSW Fair Trading have launched the Small Business Complaints Toolkit.
According to a NSW Fair Trading media release, NSW Fair Trading Commissioner, Rod Stowe launched the Toolkit in conjunction with the opening of the 2016 National Consumer Congress, last week.
Stowe stated in the media release that the Toolkit, which was developed by the Society of Consumer Affairs Professionals Australia (SOCAP) and Monash University’s Australian Centre for Justice Innovation, may help businesses stay off the NSW Complaints Register, which is launching later this year.
Stowe also stated in the media release that the Toolkit could provide opportunities for businesses.
“Complaints should be an opportunity for small businesses to learn how to improve their service and in doing so, boost their bottom line.”
The Toolkit specifically focuses on best practice, welcoming complaints, processing complaints, complaint outcomes and record keeping and complaints and the law. The Toolkit also includes case studies, figures, templates and useful links.
The introduction of the Toolkit emphasises that businesses are paying more attention to complaints handling and the reasons why they are doing so. These reasons include but are not limited to: good complaint processes helping businesses improve and the consequences of a badly handled complaint.
The best practice section of the Toolkit provides guidance for small businesses on how to handle complaints. This section also focuses on customer expectations, appropriate marketing and review, ensuring fairness and good complaints management.
The welcoming complaints section of the Toolkit emphasises that businesses need to make their complaints policy clear and that staff should be constantly trained to handle complaints properly.
The processing complaints section of the Toolkit provides guidance on how to process complaints in different forms (e.g. in letters or through social media), as well as how to assess a complaint, handle complaints from vulnerable consumers and managing expectations.
The complaints outcomes and record keeping section of the Toolkit focuses on the process after a complaint has been dealt with, what records need to be kept and how to regularly view records over time.
The complaints and laws section of the Toolkit focuses on legal requirements when handling complaints, specifically on industry specific requirements, agreements and consumer law.
The Small Business Complaints Toolkit can be found here.