RTO complaints in your RTO are not the worst thing that can happen. Sometimes you could consider them as negative and unwelcome, and they certainly can create stress a bad feeling. Consider you complaints as an opportunity to put things right and learn for the future too. It is the way you look at them that counts. You can choose to stress about the negativity, or use it to your advantage. If you treat them as an indicator, showing you the direction you next need to take, they can become a great guide.  

Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft says: “complaining customers are our biggest source of learning”

Feedback

You should be looking out for feedback and ways to improve your service. So often we are caught in the depths of compliance, and mechanisms of running our RTO that we miss some simple facts.

The customer, your students, and your team should be at the heart of everything you do, so listen to them.

As an Registered Training Organisation you are required to implement a transparent complaints and appeals policy. In the policy show how you will manage customer complaints in a constructive and timely manner. You show how you enable learners and clients to understand their rights and the RTO’s responsibilities under the Standards.

To show how you handle complaints and appeals it is advisable to have a policy and procedure that covers the processes. These do not need to be separated and can be combined into the one policy and procedure. Whichever way you choose, it is important that the policies are broadly applicable to anyone. Think about who else is likely to voice their opinion. It is not just about the student making a complaint or appeal. It could be an employer, a staff member who wishes to make a complaint about a learner or RTO, or someone else connected to the training.

Handling complaints

As you probably have worked out by now, handling any complaint is a very important skill to learn. This, along with providing exceptional customer service is, in fact, critical to your RTOs success. Being effective in handling customer complaints requires patience, strong listening skills, and the ability to identify valid complaints (as opposed to irrational grievances). Effectively dealing with even the most difficult customer is good customer service.

In this process the customer, your team member, student should not be viewed as an interruption, nuisance, problem, or “necessary evil.” Remember the customer is the whole reason the business exists in the first place. Consider anyone who is willing to provide you feedback as someone valued. The voices you hear are providing you with information about what can be improved. Lets be honest you could always learn something new.

Place a high value on your customers, do all you can to convey a sense of importance and appreciation to each of them. This doesn’t mean that the customer is always right, but it does mean that it’s a “win-win” when the customer is satisfied, and a “lose-lose” when the customer is not.