Standard sets out how best to deal with complaining customers

Organisations are regularly confronted with complaining customers. Properly handled complaints result in improved organisational reputation, regardless of the organisation’s size, location or sector. Organisations that deal well with complaints can increase customer satisfaction and loyalty; enhance public confidence as well as eliminate causes of complaints and improve operational effectiveness.


As consumers we want our complaints and queries handled in an open and responsive process and not develop into ongoing disputes.

Standards Australia has recently published the revised standard AS ISO 10002:2014 Guidelines for complaint management for organisations. The revised edition is intended for complaint management in organisations, incorporating new perspectives and approaches to complaint handling that have proved effective over recent years, and reflects the trend away from quality management approaches in the complaint management/dispute resolution field. The standard provides guidance on complaint management within an organisation, including the planning, design, operation, maintenance and improvement of the organisation’s complaint management system. The Standard is suitable for use as one of the processes of a quality management system.

Importantly the new standard has an extensive set of appendices covering a range of practical advice on matters such as accessibility, unreasonable conduct by complainants, dispute prevention and management, effective apologies, options for redress, guidance for small organisations, etc.

CFA has a representative on the Standards Australia Technical Committee QR-015 Complaints Handling which revised the 2006 edition of the standard.

CFA provides volunteer representatives on Standards Australia Technical Committees as part of the CFA Standards Project; if you are interested in finding out more about the Project and/or becoming a volunteer CFA Standards Representative please contact the Standards

Photo credit: Rev. Xanatos (cc)